Chicago braces for possible teachers' strike - its first in 25 years
September 7th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Chicago braces for possible teachers' strike - its first in 25 years

by Faith Karimi, CNN

(CNN) - Chicago is bracing for a teachers' strike that could affect hundreds of thousands of students next week in the nation's third-largest school district.

Teachers and support staff set a walkout date for Monday, which would mark the first time they have gone on strike in 25 years.

"This is a difficult decision for all of us to make," said Karen Lewis, the union president . "But this is the only way to get the board's attention and show them we are serious about getting a fair contract which will give our students the resources they deserve."

If it happens, it will affect about 400,000 students, including some from neighborhoods struggling with crime and gang problems.

City officials scrambled to minimize the disruption by setting up 144 sites to provide a "safe environment, food and engaging activities" for students if the strike occurs.

"If the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union chooses to strike, no one will be hurt more than our students, and we are prepared to offer a safety net for families who are not able to access alternative options for their students," said Jean-Claude Brizard, the school system chief executive.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice • teacher unions • Teachers
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Betty thomas

    Right no class in college. This is parents role

    September 13, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  2. Barbra & Jack Donachy

    Chicago School System's CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard demonstrates precisely the kind of boneheaded, impolitic leadership that leads to these stalemates in the first place when he blames the teachers he is supposed to be leading: "If the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union chooses to strike, no one will be hurt more than our students," he brays, as though there are no other factors involved and no one else but teachers sitting at the negotiating table. In great school systems (which Chicago's emphatically is not), administrators LEAD teachers rather than offering half-thought-through statements to the press.

    September 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm |