Parents, students, and teachers want to go back to school in person and want to do so safely. Will that be possible in September? Is there a number of educator or student deaths that we are willing to accept in order to have in-person school? Are CPS, the city, and the state willing to spend the money to make school reopening safe?
These questions are of particular concern in Chicago, where 84% of students and 50% of staff are Black, Latinx, multi-racial, or Native American. 1 The consequences of racist health care, discriminatory housing, and employment practices are that these students, educators, and their families are at greater risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Also, a large percentage of staff are at increased risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 due to their age and/or underlying health conditions. Half of CTU’s membership live in the Chicago zip codes with the highest rates of COVID-19, totaling well over 35,000 positive cases.