Chicago teachers move toward resolution

The 350,000 students could be back in school as early as Monday


Prachi Gupta
September 15, 2012 2:04AM (UTC)

After a few days of talks between the union and city officials, Chicago School Board president David Vitale announced today that a "framework" is now in place, and the "heavy lifting" is over. "Parents should prepare their children to return to school Monday," Vitale said. However, as CBS/AP reports, it's unclear what the framework entails, and if the union has accepted the district's proposal:

The union is trying to win assurances that laid-off but qualified teachers get dibs on jobs anywhere in the district. But Illinois law gives individual principals in Chicago the right to hire the teachers they want, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel argues it's unfair to hold principals accountable for their schools' performance if they can't pick their own teams.

The district has offered a compromise. If schools close, teachers would have the first right to jobs matching their qualifications at schools that absorb the children from the closed school. The proposal also includes provisions for teachers who aren't hired, including severance.

It wasn't clear if the union had accepted the proposal, but Lewis said it "did not intend to sign an agreement until these matters are addressed."

Union leaders and district officials were in talks for more than 15 hours yesterday, and union leaders held another meeting this afternoon. Though it was closed to journalists, CBS reports that "delegates could be seen through the windows cheering and applauding, some on them on their feet and pumping their fists in the air."

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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