Chicago Public Schools Cancel Classes After Teachers Vote Against In-Person Instruction

Joe Barrett:

Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted late Tuesday to stop providing in-person instruction, citing the latest spike in Covid-19 that has sent cases to record levels in the city.

City leaders called the vote by the Chicago Teachers Union an illegal job action and said teachers who didn’t report to work wouldn’t receive pay. The administration promised to provide parents with a plan later Wednesday for how it would resume operations in the face of the walkout.

School administrators and the union in the nation’s third largest school system have clashed repeatedly over Covid protocols throughout the pandemic. Classes were online for much of the 2020-2021 school year and began returning to in-person last February amid strong objections of the union.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a media briefing Tuesday that the shift to online learning last year had been very difficult on working families and hurt many students.

“Achievement gaps are real and they are affecting kids of color at an exponential rate,” she said.

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