As Chicago Public Schools officials contemplate how to go about instruction in the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago Teachers Union is pushing for remote learning to continue, and for in-person learning to be paused, this fall.
“We stand for a safe and equitable reopening of the schools, but today COVID-19 cases are soaring instead of dissipating,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said in a statement. “There is simply no way to guarantee safety for in-school learning during an out-of-control pandemic, and that means we must revert to remote learning until the spread of this virus is contained.”
The news comes as school districts across the country cope with the ongoing pandemic, and with pressure from numerous corners, including the White House, to resume in-person instruction.
In the state of Illinois, school districts are being allowed to develop their own plans for the fall, with social distancing procedures in place and with all students and faculty required to wear masks if schools opt for in-person learning.
Many districts have gone for a hybrid approach to schooling, with students splitting time between the classroom and their homes.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has indicated that a decision on schooling could come in the near future, but the CTU is now pushing publicly for a return to remote learning before any announcement takes place.
In fact, the organization will hold a press conference on Thursday morning to address the issue, and to express its concerns about resuming in-person learning.
“The mayor and school executives for both charters and CPS must begin to see parents, students, educators and other stakeholders as partners whose lives are valued – while the mayor’s ‘mitigation’ approach guarantees that lives will be at risk,” CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said in a statement.