Chicago schools to reopen after teachers agree to end Covid-19 walkout – Times of India

CHICAGO: Chicago public school teachers returned to their schools on Tuesday after reaching an agreement with the district on Covid-19 safety, ending a week-long walkout by canceling classes across the third-largest school system in the United States.

The system’s 340,000 students returned to school on Wednesday after voting for representatives of the Chicago Teachers’ Union on Monday night to end a week-long walkout in fear of Covid-19. The walkout began with a union vote to reinstate the virtual instruction, and as the Omicron variant spread, there was a push for more stringent security protocols, including more rigorous testing.

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While most U.S. public school districts have reopened their campuses for the new year, some major city education systems have opted for online education or delayed back-to-plan in classrooms due to staff shortages, in some cases due to covid illness. The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

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The seven-day average lawsuit in Chicago indicated a decline last week, down 8% from the previous week to 5,200 cases. The number of lawsuits has risen in the third-largest city in the United States, with Mayor Laurie pushing for lightfoot schools to remain open.

“Going back to distance education without any public health reason will create and spread the social, emotional and economic instability that many of our families are facing,” he told a news conference.

The dispute was tense. Lightfoot and the district declared the walkout illegal and said teachers’ salaries would be docked. The union accused the mayor and school officials of “locking out” teachers by freezing their online instruction platforms.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, the agreement calls for increased school examinations and the search for communication, the creation of metrics for remote travel to the district, and the promise of additional KN95 masks for staff and students.

During a news conference Monday, Jesse Sharkey, president of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, said the agreement was not ideal, but “includes some important things that will help protect us and our school.”

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