Lori Lightfoot Lauds Chicago Schools Resumption as Union Disruption Ends

Chicago in-person school classes are back after teachers’ union representatives agreed to follow COVID-19 safety rules, ending a tussle that stopped classes for five days. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was happy to see them back.

They ended up voting for an agreement on Monday night that will let students in the country’s third-largest education department go back to school on Wednesday.

The plan also set rules for when schools would be closed if there are more COVID-19 confirmed cases. Because of worries about the rapid expansion of omicron, many teachers were hesitant to return to in-person classes.

Chicago Public Schools didn’t like their plan to bring back remote instruction. They said it would be bad for students; so they blocked teachers from their online accounts.

The deal still needs to be approved by the union’s approximately 25,000 members.

Teachers Resumed on Tuesday

Families in mostly poor areas with about 350,000 students were told the Chicago Public Schools would start back up on Wednesday. Teachers will come to the office on Tuesday.

During a news conference on Monday night, Lightfoot expressed gratitude to her team, local officials, parents, and teachers for all their hard work.

She said CPS came up with a great idea that both negotiating teams talked about in great detail all day. Because of this, on Wednesday, they can get educators back into the classrooms.

They can then get children back on Wednesday.

Lightfoot didn’t like it when people talked about losers and winners in the disagreement.

Some may wonder who triumphed and who lost. She said no one benefits when youngsters are removed from a secure, conducive learning environment.

After missing four school days in a row, the Chicago mayor is certain many children are eager to return to school with their instructors and friends. Also, childrens’ parents or guardians can finally take a much-deserved breath of relief.

The Deal Wasn’t Perfect

At a subsequent media briefing, union officials admitted the arrangement was not flawless; they reiterated their wish for an opt-out evaluation process, which they were unable to secure. 

It’s not flawless, but it’s something they can be proud of because it was so hard to get, stated CTU president Jesse Sharkey. It does offer some crucial items that will help them protect themselves in schools.

Stacy Davis Gates, the union’s vice president, described the pact as the sole measure of safety for everyone who enters a Chicago public school.

She added, in this epidemic, the Chicago Teachers Union once again had to construct the framework for safeguarding and transparency in schools. What families don’t realize is without the personnel, the school staff in the facility, they have nothing.

Furthermore, Gates said Lightfoot was “unfit” to lead. He said the Chicago mayor was on a one-woman quest to destroy their school systems.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said President Joe Biden kept in contact with Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker as they worked to reach a deal on Monday.