With the first day of school on the horizon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel remains confident that Chicago will eventually lose the distinction of having the shortest school day in the nation.
It won't happen this year, after the teacher's union last week rejected a 2 percent pay hike in exchange for extending the school day by 90 minutes, but Emanuel is hinting that the General Assembly will allow the implementation of a longer school day -- regardless of whether the teachers agree or not.
"I don't want to go through another school year cheating the children, because the past robbed them," Emanuel says.
Chicago Teachers Union officials were not available to weigh in on Monday's developments, but Lawrence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, was impressed that funds were available for any type of raise.
"This is a school district in desperate financial shape, and to find a 2 percent increase to merely extend the day so it meets more of what the average is in major cities is a pretty impressive offer," Msall said.