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With few Black and Latinx children vaxed for COVID and massive obstacles to testing sign-up, Union continues to press Lightfoot’s bargaining team for agreement to provide robust layered mitigation.

  • 3:30 p.m., TODAY, Thursday, January 6: Interview and b-roll opportunities, Back of the Yards High School, 2111 W. 47th St. Onsite contact: Jackson Potter, 312-731-2743.

CHICAGO — With few students signed up for free COVID testing each week in schools, locked out educators are taking matters into their own hands today and door-knocking in their school communities to sign families up for testing.

Educators are gathering at schools that include Back of the Yards High School, which will hold a brief press availability at 3:30 p.m. at the school, located at 2111 W. 47th St., then move off for door-knocking for the afternoon among the neighborhood’s modest single family homes and two-flats.

The mayor’s CPS team has received more than $2.6 billion in federal COVID relief funds for students’ COVID recovery. Yet Lightfoot continues to refuse to take leadership in protecting families and communities from COVID, with no plans for rigorous school-based testing or vaccine programs.

Less than half of CPS students are vaccinated, at the same time that city numbers for vaccinations among Black and Brown children remain dismal, according to figures the CTU obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request to the Chicago Department of Public Health. CPS has refused to release school-by-school vaccine numbers, at the same time that few students are getting weekly COVID tests at hundreds of schools, with parents complaining that CPS is not even testing students who HAVE been signed up.

Testing, contact tracing and vaccines are critical components of robust layered mitigation, yet CPS continues to fall short on these and other critical mitigations.

The mayor’s CPS team has repeatedly failed to meet even its own modest promises in testing and contact tracing, refused to stand up a robust student vaccine program, refused to document HVAC safety, failed to maintain even 3-foot social distancing, failed to improve serious problems with sanitation and cleanliness, and continues to reject a science-based metric to determine when there’s too much COVID to learn in-person safely.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.