(The Center Square) – Chicago Public Schools canceled classes for a second day Thursday after failing to reach an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union, which says returning to the classroom is unsafe.
The disruption of classes in the nation’s third largest school quickly became national news.
“Long story short we want schools to be open, the president wants them to be open, and we’re going to continue to use every resource and work to ensure that’s the case,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
Like on Wednesday, the district will not offer remote instruction on Thursday, according to a message to CPS families.
“CPS is committed to returning students to in-person instruction as soon as possible. In-person instruction is critical for students academic, social, and emotional progress, and critical for working families who rely on CPS to care for and educate their children day in and day out,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said in a message to families. “By contrast, we know that remote learning not only places a burden on families, but causes students to suffer academically, socially, and emotionally.”
Martinez said he was hopeful that some CPS schools could resume classes as soon as Friday.
“The good news is that many staff members, including many teachers, chose to report to work today for in-person instruction. We have spent the day connecting with CPS principals to determine the level of instruction each school can offer CPS families,” he said. “Some schools have enough staff reporting to work to return to in-person instruction as soon as Friday, Jan. 7. Other schools have more limited capacity, and may provide learning packets and other materials for students to use during this illegal work stoppage.”