Chicago Public Schools CEO addresses teacher shortage, back-to-school health concerns

The countdown is on until the school year begins in Chicago.

In less than two weeks, Chicago Public Schools students will return to the classroom.

The CEO of CPS spoke Wednesday about parents’ concerns and the preparations ahead for the new year.

Pedro Martinez acknowledged there are some challenges.


CPS says they are prepared to handle Covid-19 and Monkeypox, but they are not worried about the virus in the classroom setting yet.

Parents do need to know there are some issues still lingering, like the school bus driver shortage.

Block Club Chicago reports that 2,100 students were left without a ride on the first day of school last year because of the bus driver shortage. The district still needs to fill about 400 vacant bus driver jobs right now.

The bus driver shortage and teacher shortage are creating challenges for CPS, and no doubt will impact students and parents.

"One of the things I ask parents is to be patients, because we're testing the routes over the next week or so. So the first couple weeks of school could be a little bit hectic, but just be patient with us. So I think this year we're in a much better place than we were last year," Martinez said.

"So right now, we're in the process of working with candidates of over 1,000 positions. We actually have candidates that we're just trying to match up with schools," he added.

The school district says they can meet the demand for the 15,700 ride requests that have been made.

The school year for CPS begins Aug. 22.