Chicago Public Schools Announces It Will Require Vaccines For All Employees

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Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced Friday that it would require all of its employees and regular vendors to present proof of vaccination until mid-October in order to remain eligible to work.

CPS announced the decision prior to the start of in-person learning at the district’s schools scheduled for Aug. 30. The vaccine mandate will help give “parents and communities confidence in the safety” of schools, CPS’ interim Chief Executive Officer Jose Torres said in a Friday statement.

Employees who get their request for an exemption approved by the CPS will be asked to undergo COVID-19 testing at least once a week throughout the school year, the statement read. Those who fail to prove that they have been vaccinated will be considered “ineligible to work and not paid” until they comply with the new rule, the CPS said in the announcement. (RELATED: Here’s How The Government Could Implement Legal Vaccine Mandates)

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commended the decision Friday, emphasizing the importance of a “healthy environment where our students can reach their greatest potential.”

“This new policy enhances the district’s comprehensive reopening plan, and ensures that students and staff can confidently learn in-person beginning 8/30,” Lightfoot wrote on Twitter.