Lightfoot reiterated her place that town’s faculties are secure and that youngsters must be within the classroom. She argued the leverage is on the facet of outraged households, who’re demonstrating an “unprecedented degree of dad or mum activism,” noting that 70 p.c or extra of Chicago’s youngsters qualify without cost or reduced-price college lunches.
“This walkout by the teachers union, which is illegitimate, has had cascading adverse ripple results not solely on the scholars in their studying, their social and emotional welfare, but additionally on the households themselves,” Lightfoot stated. “It’s making them have tenuous monetary standing as a result of they must work, however additionally they must handle their youngsters. That is an untenable scenario and fully, completely avoidable. So I’ll be on the facet of the mother and father preventing each single day to get our children again in class.”
The general public spat between Chicago’s mayor and the teachers union comes at a time of heightened Covid-19 tensions and evolving CDC steerage. The Omicron variant has induced the most important surge in Covid instances throughout the pandemic, however the variant seems to be producing much less extreme signs amongst those that are vaccinated, leaving some specialists to rethink how we dwell alongside the virus.
Lightfoot stated town has responded to the union’s issues over testing for youngsters, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd, “We predict we can get settlement there.” She famous that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced he would present 350,000 extra exams to the varsity district.
“We’ve put collectively a revised proposal for a school-by-school metric, which actually mirrors what we have been doing, Chuck, all alongside this yr,” Lightfoot stated. “We have not sat idly by and let Covid rage by way of our faculties. When there’s been a necessity to close down a classroom or shut down a faculty, to go to distant studying, we have performed that.”
Time is of the essence to get this dispute resolved, she stated.
“We’re working just like the dickens to guarantee that we get a deal performed right this moment,” Lightfoot stated.