Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) are still stuck in a stalemate over remote versus in-person learning, with classes canceled again for Jan. 10.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the CTU unveiled a proposal Jan. 8 that would have remote learning start Wed., Jan. 12, districtwide if school officials agreed to a set of additional COVID-19 safety protocols.
Under the latest offer, CTU members would return to classrooms starting Monday, Jan. 10not for formal classes but to distribute laptops and help students sign up for a weekly, school-based COVID-19 testing program. Remote learning would begin Jan. 12 with in-person classes slated to return Jan. 18, if case numbers hold right.
However, in a statement Windy City Times received Jan. 8, Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said, "CTU leadership, you're not listening. The best, safest place for kids to be is in school. Students need to be back in person as soon as possible. That's what parents want. That's what the science supports. We will not relent."
Martinez has signaled he favors testing 10% of unvaccinated people in schools each week plus those who voluntarily sign up, though parental consent would be required for any testing. But on other issues, the district and union are further apart.
In another statement sent Jan. 9, Lightfoot and Martinez said, "Out of fairness and consideration for parents who need to prepare, classes will be canceled again Monday [Jan. 10]. Although we have been negotiating hard throughout the day, there has not been sufficient progress for us to predict a return to class tomorrow. We will continue to negotiate through the night and will provide an update if we have made substantial progress."