Classes have been canceled Jan. 5-7 in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) after the teachers union voted to refuse to appear for in-person work, The Chicago Tribune reported. [UPDATE: Classes have also been canceled for Jan. 6.]
Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) for the vote, which the union said was endorsed by 73% of its members. CTU said it took the step out of concerns about inadequate COVID-19 protections and intends to continue to teach remotely.
Before the final vote was revealed, Lightfoot, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez and public health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady held a news conference where they again insisted that, despite the current spike in cases, children need to be back in school and that it's a relatively safe environment with proper mitigation.
CTU's House of Delegates, its 600-member governing body, approved a resolution Jan. 4 for members to teach remotely until Jan. 18, unless an agreement with CPS is reached or the rate of Chicago COVID-19 cases falls below a certain threshold.
On Jan. 5, the stalemate made national news, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying the country is "more than equipped to ensure schools are open ... including in Chicago." Former President Donald Trump said that "what is happening in Chicago, with all the school closures, is devastating."