CTU seeks vaccination goal for Chicago Public Schools students this fall

The Chicago Teachers Union is calling for a vaccination goal when Chicago Public Schools fully reopen in the fall.

The union says it wants 80 percent of students 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October. 

As of July 5, about 58 percent of Chicago children ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated. 

The vaccination goal is part of a CTU proposal submitted Monday that also asks for ventilation system upgrades, 10% increase in special education teachers, bilingual teachers, English language program teachers, teacher assistants and arts educators by Jan. 27 to support community recovery.


The union also wants members who are medically unable to return in person to fill positions at CPS’ new remote-learning Virtual Academy for students with qualifying health conditions.

In addition, the union also proposes hiring 500 CPS parents and community members to visit homes to discuss vaccine availability.

CPS students are set to return Aug. 30, according to the Chicago Board of Education.

Starting next week, the Chicago school district will offer vaccines at three school sites for students and their families. The sites will be able to administer 600 doses weekly. The district is also working with hospitals for vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates and offering the shots at back-to-school events.

"Schools are trusted pillars of our communities, and as a district we are uniquely suited to help expand vaccination opportunities, which helps create the safest possible learning environments at our schools," said José M. Torres, interim schools CEO.

More than 50,000 children under the age of 18 have already been vaccinated in Chicago, according to the city’s Department of Public Health.

Roughly 350,000 students attend Chicago Public Schools.

Associated Press contributed to this report.