More than 40 Chicago public schools reported new cases of COVID-19 today as educators plan press conference Wednesday to provide update on Mayor Lightfoot’s failure to protect students and school communities.

  • 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22: Press conference with CTU educators, local politicians, officers, school community members, SEIU Local 73. Jensen Elementary, 3030 W. Harrison St.

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2021 — Jensen Elementary teachers and staff will join colleagues from nearby schools, State Rep. Lakesia Collins, SEIU Local 73 representatives and CTU leadership at a press conference at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 22, at 3030 W. Harrison St. The West Side school has struggled for years without adequate resources and supports from Chicago mayors, and right now, is also struggling with COVID as the virus has forced nine out of 17 classrooms into quarantine.

Following Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s acknowledgement of problems with CPS’ failed testing, contact tracing and COVID mitigation in schools, her lawyers continue to offer next to nothing at the bargaining table, while rejecting the safety concerns of students, families and educators across the city. According to new data from the Chicago Department of Public Health, barely one in four Black students eligible have received the vaccine, despite the Union’s call for Mayor Lightfoot to provide vaccination programs in a district that is more than 1/3 Black.

At the same time, Union delegates from more than 40 schools reported positive COVID-19 cases in their buildings on Tuesday via the CTU’s COVID tracker. Additional concerns include a weekly shortage of nearly 1,000 substitute teachers, and the district’s failure to properly track positive COVID cases and notify school communities of potential exposure.

CPS’ lawyers, however, insisted at bargaining on Tuesday that schools are safe as they continue to dismiss widespread concerns about sweeping and persistent mitigation failures and safety issues.
Coming on the heels of today’s Speakout for Safety, educators will be discussing next steps in the Union’s citywide safety campaign at tomorrow’s press conference, which will be live-streamed to the CTU’s Facebook page.