Chicago mayor orders teachers to return to classroom as tug-of-war with union intensifies

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is ordering teachers to return to the classroom amid an ongoing dispute between Chicago Public Schools and the teacher’s union. 

“All teachers, pre-K through eight and cluster teachers must report,” Lightfoot said in a press conference Sunday evening. “If you don’t have an approved accommodation, we expect to see you back in class. Those who do not report to work…we will have to take action. Let’s avoid that.”

Lightfoot said that the Chicago Teacher’s Union did not show up for negotiations on Sunday, but said that she hopes union leaders will cotninue to negotiate. 

“We have been waiting all day [Sunday] for in-person negotiations to begin,” said Lightfoot. “We will stay up all night to get a deal done. We have been waiting on the CTU. ‘Where are they? Why haven’t they come back to us?'”


CPS’ original plan for a return to the classroom aimed for a Feb. 1 start date, but fell through after a vote by the Chicago Teachers Union earlier this month. Lightfoot said parents should not bring their kids to school for in-person learning Monday, encouraging them to send kids to learning hubs. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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