Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Joe Barrett on January 28, 2021.
Days before Chicago Public Schools planned to reopen for all elementary school students, a teachers strike could shut down the nation’s third-largest school district.
The district and union are clashing over how to reopen schools safely, while cases of Covid-19 continue to ravage swaths of the city. The strike would be the second in two years.
The school system started in-person classes three weeks ago for pre-K and special-needs students and plans to launch in-person learning for all elementary schools on Monday. Teachers have been negotiating with the city over how to reopen the schools safely, but no agreement has been reached. The Chicago Teachers Union told members to stay home Wednesday and Thursday, forcing CPS to cancel those recently restarted classes.
The union has said it would strike, if the city retaliates by shutting teachers out of remote learning software, as it has warned of doing in letters sent to individual teachers. Bargaining talks resumed Thursday and were expected to continue through the weekend in the absence of a breakthrough. …