The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted not to return to classes on Monday, January 25, citing safety issues despite the fact that schools around the state and nation have opened without too many problems.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) said that 130 private and parochial schools along with 2,000 learning centers returned to classrooms in the fall.

As if we needed more proof that the CTU only cares about causing trouble and not the kids.

Preschool and special education teachers and 6,500 students returned to the classrooms on January 11.

The second wave with 70,000 elementary kids should have gone back on Monday, January 25.

From WGN:

About 10,000 kindergarten through eighth grade teachers were supposed to be back in the classrooms Monday.

A week ahead of in-person learning returning for their students on Feb. 1. However, that in-person date for teachers has now been pushed to Wednesday.

CTU says 86% of its 25,000 members participated in a vote, and 71% of those who voted opted to stay remote for the time being.

In response, CPS pushed their start date by a couple of days — but that means things could come to a head on Wednesday.

The CTU and CPS have these unresolved issues:

The key unresolved issues are: which teachers and staff who have a household member with a vulnerable medical condition are eligible for accommodations for remote work; the public health metrics that determine the reopening or closing of individual schools and the district as a whole; how vaccines factor in to requiring staff to work in person; and the scope of districtwide testing of staff and students.

The CTU shot back that only 19% of eligible students for in-person instruction returned in the first wave. They don’t want the teachers to go back if only 20% of the students return.

I do not know what will happen to the teachers who returned in the first wave. The union doesn’t want them to show up while the district expects them to teach on Monday.

What About the Parents and Students?

What do the parents have to say?

Block Club Chicago reported that some parents showed up outside the CTU building on Saturday to ask the teachers to please return to the classrooms.

One mother, Michelle, has an autistic son in pre-K. He returned last week, but “he’s already waited too long for in-person learning to return.”

Luckily, Michelle has seen her son improve. She wants other kids to have that chance to improve as well:

Holding a green sign that read, “Our kids are falling through the cracks,” Michelle said she thinks the CPS plan is safe and has already seen improvements in her son’s learning in the last two weeks. She does not want to see a teacher strike that could affect her son’s progress.

“When they started school two Mondays ago to Friday, he has shown great improvements. That’s why he needs school,” Michelle said. “I feel bad for these teachers because I know how it is to be in this predicament and I want to support them but I have to look out for my son because he really needs to be social.”

Albert Molina has two children in CPS. Unfortunately, remote learning affected their love for learning:

“My children have always loved school but I’m heartbroken to say that after 10 months of nothing but e-learning, the spark my children have for school has faded,” Molina said, also an educator and administrator.

The parents said they respect and support the teachers but also want to make sure their children receive a quality education in-person.

“We value and so greatly appreciate their tremendous efforts during this difficult time,” Molina said. “I’m confident that they wish to return to in-person learning just as much as our students and parents.”


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