Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has canceled classes for the fourth day in a row as the city and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) have failed to reach an agreement on COVID-19 safety measures.
CPS announced the school closure decision Sunday night, stating in a tweet that “we remain committed to reaching an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union as soon as possible.”
The school district noted that a “small number” of schools plan to offer in-person activities for students on Monday.
The union voted on Jan. 4 to switch to remote learning because of rising coronavirus cases in the area, stating that union members would return to in-person learning either when cases “substantially subside” or the city signs an agreement on “conditions of return.”
CPS, in response, canceled classes Wednesday and rejected the call to allow remote learning for students. The district went on to cancel classes on Thursday and Friday.
On Saturday, representatives of the union released a new proposal that they consider a compromise. It includes a return to work for union members on Jan. 10, with students learning remotely from Jan. 12-17, with in-person learning resuming on Jan. 18.
Part of the proposal would involve Chicago Public Schools providing KN95 masks for all staff and students, which would be in addition to a previous agreement made in February 2021 that gives students and faculty medical-grade masks.
The proposal also provides a protocol for shutting down a school for in-person learning at individual schools within the district, something Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposed.