Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday said she had not discussed keeping schools closed for the rest of the year with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, but suggested Pritzker may make an announcement on the matter later this week.
Lightfoot said the decision to end in-classroom learning for Illinois students due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic is ultimately up to Pritzker.
“We have not had that conversation yet with the governor. Although we are hearing that he may make some kind of announcement later this week,” the mayor said at an unrelated event at Wrigley Field. “Certainly, we’d love to be in conversation with the governor and his team about that before any announcement happens.”
When asked about possibly scaling back Chicago Park District programs for health or budgetary reasons, Lightfoot said she doesn’t believe the answer is to cut back and hinted toward potentially expanding remote learning for CPS students.
“I can’t predict yet. It’s our hope that, particularly once we come out of this, our youth are going to need to be connected even more so than what happened during the pandemic,” she said. “Particularly if school is canceled for the rest of the year.”
Lightfoot also added she believes the government should be acting to help provide these types of youth programs and aid the city in whatever ways possible.
“No, I'm not going to tell you that we're not going to face some challenges. There's no doubt that we will,” she said. “But our first instinct is not going to be cut. Our instinct is going to be around how do we economically spur the revitalization of the city and what role should government play in that very important discussion.”