Lightfoot reiterated her place that the town’s colleges are secure and that kids must be within the classroom. She argued the leverage is on the aspect of outraged households, who’re demonstrating an “unprecedented stage of guardian activism,” noting that 70 p.c or extra of Chicago’s kids qualify without cost or reduced-price faculty lunches.
“This walkout by the teachers union, which is unlawful, has had cascading destructive ripple results not solely on the scholars in their studying, their social and emotional welfare, but additionally on the households themselves,” Lightfoot mentioned. “It’s making them have tenuous monetary standing as a result of they need to work, however in addition they need to handle their youngsters. That is an untenable state of affairs and fully, completely avoidable. So I’ll be on the aspect of the dad and mom preventing each single day to get our children again at school.”
The general public spat between Chicago’s mayor and the teachers union comes at a time of heightened Covid-19 tensions and evolving CDC steering. The Omicron variant has induced the most important surge in Covid instances in the course of the pandemic, however the variant seems to be producing much less extreme signs amongst those that are vaccinated, leaving some consultants to rethink how we reside alongside the virus.
Lightfoot mentioned the town has responded to the union’s considerations over testing for youngsters, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd, “We predict we can get settlement there.” She famous that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced he would present 350,000 extra assessments to the varsity district.
“We now have put collectively a revised proposal for a school-by-school metric, which actually mirrors what we have been doing, Chuck, all alongside this 12 months,” Lightfoot mentioned. “We have not sat idly by and let Covid rage by our colleges. When there’s been a necessity to close down a classroom or shut down a college, to go to distant studying, we have executed that.”
Time is of the essence to get this dispute resolved, she mentioned.
“We’re working just like the dickens to be sure that we get a deal executed at this time,” Lightfoot mentioned.