Contingency sites open if teachers hold walkout




The Chicago Public Schools will open more than 250 sites on April 1 in response to the plan by the Chicago Teachers Union to hold a "Day of Action" strike.

The school system is encouraging teachers to go to work on April 1 to teach children, help at contingency sites and do curriculum planning.

"Ensuring the well-being of our students is our highest priority," Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Forrest Claypool said. "To help parents plan for April 1, we want our school communities to know that we will be there for our students should they need us.

"While we are disappointed by the CTU leadership’s course of action, we share their belief that the governor must fix the education funding formula that discriminates against Chicago’s children and poor minority children around the state. The governor’s failure to fully fund education has pushed Chicago Public Schools and too many other Illinois schools into financial crisis."

The school district is encouraging parents who are able to keep their children home or who can exercise alternative options to do so. However, for parents who depend on the schools to care for their children, the school district, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Public Library will provide programs at more than 250 sites, including schools, parks and libraries.

In addition, the Chicago Transit Authority will provide free transportation to all students on April 1.

While some teachers have committed to being in their classrooms on the 1st, with an unknown number of staff absences on April 1, CPS cannot operate as we would on a regular school day. A full list of contingency sites will be made available on Tuesday, March 29th, when parents will also be provided with guidance about how to locate and pre-register to attend their designated contingency site.

A list of the sites and information on how to register for a program can be found at www.cps.edu.

The school district says that under state law, striking before mid-May is illegal. The district says that employees who do not work on April 1 will not be paid.

Sick days cannot be used for a walkout, employees who request sick time will be asked for documentation from a medical provider, and employees cannot use personal business days without a demonstrated need to be absent, according to the district.

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