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Chicago school teachers say city residents don't want in-person instruction to resume

Nov. 9, 2020
Union-backed survey found that 72% of likely voters don't want in-person schooling while the Covid-19 pandemic still is spreading.

A survey of Chicago residents conducted on behalf of the teachers union says that the city's public schools should not resume in-person instruction until the Covid-19 pandemic is under control.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 72% of 500 “likely 2023 municipal voters” said in the survey that Chicago Public Schools should not reopen for in-person learning; 22% said they should reopen.

The survey, paid for by the Chicago Teachers Union, was administered Lake Research Partners.

The union wants to have an independent mediator brought in to help the union and the school district come to an agreement on how schools will move forward with instruction.

“The thing that we continue to say is that safety has to be a priority in the middle of a deadly, global pandemic,” Union President Jesse Sharkey said.

[From AUGUST 2020: Chicago Public Schools will be online only for the first quarter of 2020-21]

Union leaders say they have met repeatedly with administrators about remote learning and safely reopening schools, but there has been little progress.

“While the law does not require the district to bargain over the decision to reopen, the district has received the union’s request, and we are reviewing it," district spokeswoman Emily Bolton said in a statement.

The district said last month it would begin a “phased approach” to reopening schools some time in the new academic quarter, which began Monday. The district plans to first bring back prekindergarten and special education students, while requiring social distancing, face masks and temperature checks, among other things.

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