While talk of a potential teacher’s strike from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) certainly seemed like a possible reality in the coming months, the CTU may have finally made an agreement with the city of Chicago this week.
In recent education news, early this morning it was reported that the Chicago Teachers Union has reached an official agreement with the city that may help prevent a future strike. According to the “Sun Times,” each side was—interestingly enough—able to walk away with a significant win.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel succeeded in getting his longer school day, which consists of a 7 hour day at the elementary level, and a 7 ½ hour day for high schools. In return, more teachers have been promised to be hired to help fill in the extra time spent in the classroom, with a particular emphasis on the arts, including classes like music, art, and foreign languages.
The Chicago Teachers Union may avoid strike with help of new city agreement
Although in recent weeks the Chicago Teachers Union had accrued well over the 75% it needed to authorize a potential vote (earning at an overwhelming approximate 90%), the strike may not be taking place after all.
Backed by Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools may soon have a longer school day, but more teachers and more jobs will be available as well. Those expected to be hired for the new teaching positions will be teachers who were laid off from 2010 and beyond, further allowing the CTU to provide more much-needed placements for its members.
However, a challenging question remains. While this education news is certainly good for both parties, the school district is still in a financial crisis. The almost $700 million deficit may struggle to pay these new teachers, while the topic of pay raises for teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (as well as the CTU) also looms over the system, students, and parents.
The hiring of these rehired educators in the school system is estimated at this point to cost anywhere between $40 million and $50 million year, David Vitale, the President of the School Board, reports.
“Management will work and figure out where [the funds] will come from,” he said. “This is eminent development… and we will come up with an answer [as] this is a priority.”
Nonetheless, it is always refreshing to hear of a win-win situation that allows both sides and parties on an issue find a compromise, particularly on the key topic of education and teaching the young minds of students in the United States.
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