Chicago Public Schools cancels fourth straight day of class
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced at 7:41pm last night that it has canceled classes today again as the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and CPS try to hash out final points of contention.
Driving the news: CPS and CTU swapped counter proposals over the weekend but remain stuck on three main points.
The CTU wants 10% of randomly chosen students tested each week unless parents opt them out.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she's morally opposed to testing students unless parents explicitly opt them in.
Context: Dozens of districts across the state and country conduct opt-out testing. And some cities, including Los Angeles and Washington DC, are making testing mandatory for all students to return.
Speaking of testing: Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted Saturday that he'd secured 350,000 rapid tests to "get teachers and kids safely in classrooms ASAP."
- Lightfoot tweeted back thanks for "agreeing to sell" CPS 350,000 tests.
The CTU wants teachers back in school buildings Monday to prepare for remote teaching.
- CPS insists that students return to the buildings, too.
What they're saying: CPS says "schools are the safest place" for students, citing a department of health study showing fewer COVID-19 infections among students who returned to in-person school last year.
The other side: CTU contends schools are still unsafe. Northwestern University infectious disease professor Dr. Robert Murphy told WGN-TV Friday that "it's not safe to open schools."
- State contact tracing data lists schools as the top potential exposure site.
CTU wants a stated threshold that could flip the whole district to remote rather than just a single school or classroom.
- CPS rejects any such threshold.
🤝 Meanwhile, a surprise mediator has emerged: Rev. Jesse Jackson. At a CTU press conference Saturday, he said he has been speaking to Mayor Lightfoot and the union as an "honest broker," to help solve the impasse.
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