Nearly 8,000 students will return to classes Wednesday after teachers at Chicago’s largest charter school reached a deal to avert a strike.
Negotiations lasted through the night Tuesday between teachers and support staff with UNO Charter School Network fighting for a new contract, finally reaching a tentative agreement after 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Although classes will be remain in session at the charter network’s 15 schools, UNO’s CEO Richard Rodriguez said both sides still have more work to do, including a $1.5 million shortfall to address before finalizing a contract.
"I appreciate the fact that they've come and they've worked with us to get through this and I look forward to working collectively with anyone who would like to help us ensure that educational funding is allocated appropriately," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said they will be looking into getting some of the TIF funds that Chicago Public Schools agreed to in the Chicago Teachers Union contract last week.
"After much discussion, we all agreed the most important thing is to keep schools open while we investigate ways to bridge that gap," Rodriguez said.
In the meantime, the two-year deal that was agreed upon gives 3 percent raises to support staff and caps class size at 32 students. It also creates a shorter work day and shortens the school year by five days.