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Less than 25% of Chicago students opt to return in first month of in-person learning

By staff

Chicago, IL – On March 19, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) issued a statement, noting, “A coalition of stakeholders – parents, students, educators, community organizations and elected officials – told Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her handpicked Chicago Board of Education for months that parents were choosing to stick with remote learning for their children, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black and Brown communities that make up the majority of our school district. Today, after a nearly month-long delay, Chicago Public Schools released attendance figures showing that less than 25 percent of students eligible to return have attended school for at least one day, and the district’s push for in-person learning has drawn even less students than the small number initially expected. The pandemic has brought us to this moment, and the numbers speak for themselves. Our families need assurances of safety, and it is clear that the overwhelming majority of the families we serve simply do not trust claims of equity from the mayor and CPS.”

The educators with Chicago Teachers Union as well as parents in the affected communities had for months been demanding improvements to remote learning, because that is what would provide the best educational outcomes, but they were largely ignored by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her hand-picked school board. The teachers were unsurprised to find less than 25% of students returning, because they had been talking to parents the whole time and hearing the same concerns.

Less than 50,000 total students returned to class in person even one time between February 11 and March 12, according to the district. CTU says “the mayor didn’t listen. CPS leadership didn’t listen. Yet the numbers speak for themselves. Now, however, is the time for everyone to listen to all families and start to reimagine public education for every child in our district.”

CTU continues to demand that Mayor Lightfoot and the school board commit to collaboration for safe in-person instruction, improved remote learning and the right to recovery from this global health crisis.

#ChicagoIL #PeoplesStruggles #ChicagoTeachersUnion #TeachersUnions