Parents and community members joined students and teachers for a city-wide “walk-in” Wednesday at hundreds of public schools across Chicago.
The Chicago Teachers Union organized the walk-in, which started with a rally 30 minutes before school began. More than 200 Chicago public schools participated.
"This is your school, this is my school," several groups chanted.
Dozens of students, parents and teachers at Ray Elementary at 57th and Kimbark sang and held up signs in support of CTU.
"We're here because we love our school and we believe that all Chicago schools should have what we have here at Ray," said teacher Gabriel Sheridan.
A similar scene was reported at Lakeview's Agassiz Elementary School.
The Chicago Teachers Union, which continues to negotiate a contract with CPS, coordinated the actions as part of a national movement in more than two dozen other cities to reclaim schools.
"CPS operates on a deficit, year after year after year," said parent Jim Schaal. "Each year measures are taken that are delcared to be emergencies and somehow next year we have a deficit all over again."
The protests come as CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union are at a stalemate in contract talks and more layoffs are threatened at the end of the month.
“Along with our parents, teachers and students, we want the same thing: equal funding for our schools so that we can protect classrooms, prevent additional painful cuts and continue the remarkable academic progress our students are making," CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. "As we face a $1.1 billion deficit next year, we will continue to bargain in good faith with the CTU to reach a final, fair contract agreement and work to secure equal funding for Chicago students from the state.”