Chicago Teachers Union Says Delta Variant Could Derail Plans To Return To School In-Person

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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The Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) warned that plans to return to in-person instruction could be derailed if the delta variant continues to spread.

The union published a letter online addressed to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s Board of Education, Fox News reported Thursday, calling on the mayor to “acknowledge the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 virus,” and to continue ongoing bargaining talks.

“Parents are concerned, and they deserve assurances that our union and the [Chicago Public Schools] team are working…to ensure safety in hundreds of school buildings across the city,” the letter read in part.

CTU also stated that they “applaud” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decision to reinstitute a mask mandate for students regardless of vaccination status, the letter states, but also adds a list of concerns that the school board should address, citing the delta variant.

Some of the demands listed include “Ventilation upgrades, a COVID-19 testing plan for unvaccinated and vaccinated members of our school communities,” and even “maintenance of criteria and health metrics based on COVID prevalence to pause in-person instruction.” (RELATED: New Mexico Governor Threatens To Suspend School Board For Refusing Mask Mandate)

The letter also called on mayor Lightfoot to invest $4 billion in federal funding into the school system, calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to provide for the students.

“Merely surviving the COVID-19 pandemic is not enough,” The letter concludes. “Chicago Public Schools needs to earn the trust and confidence of families across the city.”

Chicago Public Schools mandated masks for all students in July, regardless of vaccination status, breaking with CDC guidance that allowed vaccinated students and staff to not wear masks. The teachers union in March also instructed members not to reveal their vaccination status during a battle over school reopenings at the time.