Chicago teachers rally, march ahead of strike deadline

Chicago teachers are calling for district leaders to meet their demands on class sizes just days before a threatened strike that would affect thousands of students in the country's third-largest school district.

Members of the unions representing teachers and staff cheered for leaders at a rally Monday before marching through downtown.

Schools were closed for Columbus Day.

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are at odds over pay, benefits and teachers' demands for smaller class sizes and additional staff including nurses, social workers and librarians.

Talks continued ahead of Thursday's strike date.

Both sides described a weekend session as positive. But teachers still want tighter limits on class sizes and more support staff.

In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wants to build on the weekend's progress.