CTU, CPS officials brace for teachers strike

Friday's "Day of Action" teacher walkout is not only raising eyebrows, it's also raising questions of legality.

The walkout is protesting Chicago Public Schools' decision to stop handing out raises based on experience and education level. The Chicago Teachers Union is arguing that unfair labor practices by CPS means teachers don't have to comply with the timing and notice requirements for a strike.

Jesse Sharkey, vice president of Chicago Teachers Union, called the one-day walkout a "minor hardship" compared to the much greater task of securing funding for the school system.

"Demonstrations are a chance to count our forces and show some urgency," Sharkey said. "The problem is our crisis with the state budget, and there hasn't been a budget for 10 months, has been that it's far too invisible. The people who it hurts the most aren't the people who have the loudest voices and this is a way for us to lift up those voices and say 'there has to be a solution to this problem. We have to get revenue for these schools.'"

Darlene Hill interviewed Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, about the legality of the teachers strike and how prepared the school system is to handle its contingency plan this Friday.  

"This is unlawful," Claypool said. It shows a disrespect for the law and a disrespect for the students. More importantly it shows a disrespect for parents and children, taking a day of instruction away from children and making parents scramble for options. It's not right."