Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called out the teachers union in a Thursday press conference, demanding that they reach a deal that would put students back in schools.
Lightfoot said that, after dozens of meetings, the Chicago Teachers Union’s failure to come up with a deal had once again left students and parents scrambling to continue with remote learning. (RELATED: Lori Lightfoot Blames The ‘Incompetence Of The Previous Administration’ For Chicago Schools Not Being Open)
“We waited for hours last night, hours, and still did not receive a proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union leadership. As of this morning we’re still waiting. But to be clear, not patiently, not anymore. After 80 plus meetings and going above and beyond to address the CTU leadership’s various issues and concerns, we are out of runway,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot went on to say that the city had done everything possible to accommodate requests for teacher vaccination and plans for specific teachers who had additional concerns or pre-existing conditions, but still there had been no agreement reached.
“We’ve extended ourselves beyond measure out of empathy for our teachers in this very difficult time,” Lightfoot continued, emphasizing that time was running out for the union to come to the table and pointing out the fact that minority kids were the ones who were feeling the impact of their failure to do so thus far.
“Let me emphasize again while remote learning works for some it absolutely doesn’t work for everyone. Not by a long shot,” Lightfoot said. “And I’m going to keep repeating these numbers because they’re devastating and should create a sense of urgency in all of us to do the right thing for our kids in this difficult time, black and brown kids who look like me, coming from circumstances like the one I grew up in, who are struggling and are failing. We are failing those children by not giving them the option to return to school. Failing grades, depression, isolation and so much more.”
“My patience for delays from the CTU is over,” Lightfoot concluded, saying that parents deserved to know whether or not their children would be allowed to return to school and that it was unfair to leave them hanging until the last minute only to fail to reach a deal.
“Time is up. Let’s get a deal done,” she said.