CPS, CTU Avoid Teacher Lockout, Remote Learning to Continue During ‘Cooling Off' Period

Chicago Tonight
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Chicago. Public schools is in session tomorrow. A lockout and strike have been averted but for how long amanda finicky joins us now with more. Amanda does yes within the past hour or so we got word from both. cps and the chicago teachers union that remote learning will continue at least for tomorrow and wednesday. Today was to have been the first day back in the classroom for kindergarten. Through eighth graders who wanted to return to physical school instead. It was another day of virtual learning as negotiations progress. This is a sort of last minute. Maneuvering that is frustrating for whiplash parents like ryan griffin. It's a fiasco for parents for twenty four hundred students. I can't underestimate how disruptive that is to two families lives especially. you're balancing sharing for other family members. I did speak with griffin earlier this afternoon before the latest news. Which is this. Cps today says that talks led to an important milestone and as such it will not go forward with locking out teachers of their virtual classrooms for refusing to show up in person. Tomorrow or wednesday. And if they're not locked out of the classroom then the union says teachers are not going to strike meaning that they will again show up tomorrow to teach virtually as they as most at least have been. Since last march both sides are signaling optimism that this may be the end of the back and forth we have secured agreement on one other open issue and made substantial progress on a framework that we hope will address the remaining issues. We are calling for a forty eight hour cooling off period that will hopefully lead to a final resolution on all open issues as a result of the progress. We have made and as a gesture of good phase four now. Teachers will retain access to their google suite. That's a statement from both mayor. Lori lightfoot and cps chief janice jackson the chicago teachers union meanwhile calling it heartening that the lightfoot administration will continue bargaining saying that its members. Don't want to strike in this. I know in just a bit. You're going to be speaking with c. You leadership it is not by the way just chicago. That has their eyes on this. Reporters pressed the white house press secretary about chicago central strike this afternoon. She said that. President joe biden respects mayor lightfoot and also teachers noting that first lady jill biden is one. He chose the mayor and the unions to work this out. They're both prioritizing the right things which is ensuring the health and safety of the kids and teachers and working to make sure that children in chicago are getting the education they deserve so he is hopeful. We are hopeful they can reach common ground as soon as possible. Mayor lightfoot meanwhile on national cable news this morning saying she was pushing to seal the last few remaining but tough issues. We're pushing as hard as we can to seal these last few remaining but tough issues. It's not about we don't want to be safe. It's absolutely not about we. Don't respect the rights of organized labor. Chicago's a labor town but this is about balancing a lot of different issues but mostly also about putting our kids i. She says if both sides do that they will reach a in. No time but parents that i talked to stay throughout all of this. They're feeling ignored. Mom of three courtney. Ritsma says she has gone out of her way to learn what schools are doing to make classrooms safe while covid remains a threat participating in all of the cps acts. Ask the experts series that they had I was attending the school town halls. And every time i went it was like left me frustrated because i wasn't getting answers at like most parents at the events. We weren't getting answers to to most of our concerns to our most basic questions. Why she and a group of grass roots parents planned a sick out her kids were purposely absent from their virtual classrooms today stem. Her daughter wrote letters to the principal and learned about boycotting in civil action with the scout. We are trying to kind of doing action that hits the school where it counts. And if you know anything about cps you know that attendance is something they track like crazy and so this is an easy way for us to get a clear representation of one of weakness. And here's how many cps however could not share attendance numbers quickly so it is hard to say how big a success the sickout was now three weeks ago. Another group of parents formed another grassroots group. This is the chicago parents. Collective father of three ryan griffin says. He understands why. Cps wasn't ready to go back to school in august but he says now there's been six months to plan for it but now that we've prepared why not now for at least those that are finding rebel or is not working and that's a big population of students more than double in size of the next largest school district in illinois hunter. We ignore those parents choice for that option griffin says he wants teachers and the district's to at least take some baby steps to get a path so that these students can eventually be in school five days a week safely. Is that post vaccinations. That would be great. We need optimism and we need our leaders to agree on something instead of tuning into press conferences and twitter. The day before. We're supposed to go back to school. He says leaders from side should be setting an example for children. He says parents everyone went through strife back in the twenty nineteen strike and he says they shouldn't have to go through it again during a pandemic now chicago is in the clear at least four two days but there is still no complete deal in in a statement issued the parents. Yes says that while today was he bake agreements several outstanding issues that had been outstanding. Since the summer. They must continue to make what they called meaningful progress because time is running out. Now brenda back to you. Amanda thank you and of course as we just heard the impasse over reopening chicago. Public schools has yet to be broken but the two sides say they have made

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