After concluding that the harm of school lockdowns outweighs the risks of COVID-19, many districts across the nation are reopening their classrooms, employing new sanitation standards, social distancing and masks.
But not in Chicago, where the district is responsible for the education of 355,000 children.
It’s because teachers won’t go back.
FoxNews.com reported the standoff between the members of the American Federation of Teachers and the nation’s third-largest school district.
It means students must continue with online learning, which has been in place for almost a year.
The district wanted the classrooms open because, Fox News said, online learning is “not working, particularly for many low-income black and Latino students who comprise the majority of the district.”
Chicago Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed disappointment.
“There is no question that students are persevering. But there is also no question that there is no substitute for in-person learning,” she said.
Teachers claim the district hasn’t done enough to ensure their safety.
That’s after school managers deep cleaned, offered COVID-19 testing and installed thousands of filters.
The report said teachers insist on widespread vaccinations, “better metrics” and more testing.
The conflict has been building for some time. This month, pre-K and special education classes were held in-person over the union’s protests. Teachers and staff who refused to do their jobs were docked pay.
But the union then threatened a walkout.
According to Chicago Public Schools, FoxNews.com reported, a December survey found that 6,500 of the nearly 17,000 eligible preschool and special education students expressed interesting in returning.
Only about 3,200 attended each day earlier this month, the district said.
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