The Delta surge has raised concerns from the district about attendance this fall, so it’s crucial that CPS begin bargaining in earnest over our proposals, and become partners in landing a safety agreement before the start of classes on August 30.
CPS proposes to offer testing to all adult teachers and staff but not to all students. Limited student testing would be triggered by the citywide transmission rate and, except for sports, only offered to unvaccinated students.
Merely surviving the COVID-19 pandemic is not enough. CPS needs to earn the trust and confidence of families across the city.
If both the science and the directives state that layered mitigation will keep school communities more safe, then this is what districts — including our own — must do to keep children 12 and under, and their families, safe.
CPS is still attempting to roll back many of the health and safety protocols agreed to in the winter and spring, including six feet of social distancing where possible and metrics for school-wide and/or classroom shutdown or pause.
With the mayor and CPS imposing in-person instruction on all students beginning Aug. 30, the safety protocols we agreed to in the winter and spring must remain in place.
CPS was forced, due to the work of our rank-and-file, and CTU staff and leadership, to provide the unspent $5 million in sports funding from 2019-20 that it claimed had been “swept up” into general operating funds and no longer available for sports.
Mayor Lightfoot’s CPS team needs to go beyond the bare minimum of engagement and provide additional safety through more school-based vaccinations and increased nurse, counselor, case manager and social worker staffing.
Educators, students and families want to feel confident about heading back to schools, so the sooner we have clear, actionable plans for increased staffing, vaccinations and safety measures, the better for all of us.
We have been clear about what our members, our students and their families need to return to school and, more broadly, to begin the long road to recover from the pandemic.