CTU files injunction to prevent returning to in-person learning

The Chicago Teachers Union is going to court to try to stop the school district from sending teachers back to school buildings.

It is the second legal attempt by the union to put the reopening of schools on hold, calling CPS’ plan reckless.

“I don’t believe Chicago Public Schools can reopen in January. Again, you are seeing schools shut down across the country as we are in the middle of a surge,” CTU Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates said.

The union filed an injunction on the same day that parents voted whether they would send their children back for in-person learning beginning in January. The union wants the district to negotiate on several issues for a safe reopening plan.

“Chicago Public Schools told us last summer they would hire 400 custodians to maintain cleanliness in our school buildings. Only 100 of those custodians have been hired. They also told us that ventilation would work in all classrooms. There are 25,000 classrooms they don’t have air scrubbers,” Davis-Gates said.

CPS released a statement, saying in part: “Numerous studies and data from schools in Chicago and throughout the country have shown that classrooms can safely reopen with proper mitigation strategies, and we must open our doors in order to counter the dire educational consequences for students who need support the most.”

Doctor Anna Volerman of the University of Chicago Medicine agrees with CPS.

“The data shows there is very little corona spread in school buildings, even when there’s high transmission spread in the communities,” she said.

CTU is set to meet Wednesday to determine “their next steps in this fight.”