CPS, CTU reach agreement; students to return to in-person learning Wednesday

Chicago Public School students will return to in-person learning on Wednesday after an agreement was reached between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday night.

CPS said teachers would return to classrooms on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and students would be expected to return Wednesday, Jan. 12.

This announcement came less than an hour after the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted to suspend the union's remote work action, which was voted on last week.

In addition to children returning to school, the following services will also be available:

  • Food Service
  • Athletics
  • After-School activities
  • Before and After-Care
  • Transportation
  • COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts

Classes for CPS students have been canceled since last Wednesday as the union and district remained at odds over COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Negotiations over the weekend failed to produce a deal and rhetoric about negotiations became increasingly sharp. 

Earlier Monday, Union President Jesse Sharkey said the union and district remained "apart on a number of key features" that teachers want before returning to classrooms. He also accused Lightfoot of refusing to compromise on teachers’ main priorities.

"The mayor is being relentless, but she’s being relentlessly stupid, she’s being relentlessly stubborn," Sharkey said, playing on a reference the former prosecutor mayor made about refusing to "relent" in negotiations. "She’s relentlessly refusing to seek accommodation and we’re trying to find a way to get people back in school."

Lightfoot accused teachers of "abandoning" students by refusing to teach in-person. 

By evening she had said she was optimistic with the latest proposal, which went to union leaders for a vote.