Dear CPS Parents and Families,
Today is the ninth time you have received a message from me that classes and after school programming are, again, not in session tomorrow. This is the third week that students are not in school, and it’s unacceptable. I want to thank all of our parents and families again for your extraordinary patience during this challenging time.
The district is working around the clock to reach an agreement with the CTU, and over the weekend, we put forward a generous and comprehensive offer that responds to what they have said is central to their demands.
CTU told us they needed staffing requirements in writing and we’re offering $70 million for robust and enforceable staffing targets, directing resources first to students and communities who need them most.
CTU told us they needed written commitments to address class size and we’ve put $25 million on the table to hire additional teachers and teacher assistants. These class size limits are written into the contract.
CTU asked for a nurse and a social worker in every school in writing and we have offered that.
We have also proposed additional positions, including special education case managers, librarians, and restorative justice coordinators for high-need schools.
All told, we have put forward a nearly half-billion-dollar offer with enforceable targets written into the contract. That’s never been done before.
This offer also provides the strongest compensation package we’ve ever put forward. We are offering a 16 percent across-the-board raise for teachers and support staff. By the end of the contract, the average teacher’s salary will rise to nearly $100,000. That’s an offer that speaks for itself, and our teachers deserve it.
And yet, we don’t have a deal because CTU leadership has said they want more money on top of our half-billion dollar offer to reopen our schools.
Our team is going to keep bargaining around the clock in good faith to get students back in classrooms. This is the best deal we have ever offered. It is a fair and equitable deal that guarantees social workers and nurses in every school, every day, pays the average teacher nearly $100,000, and reduces class size. The ball is in CTU’s court.
An agreement has been reached with SEIU Local 73
I’m ecstatic to report that CPS has reached a tentative agreement with SEIU Local 73, the union representing our custodians, bus aides, security guards, and special education classroom assistants who are the backbone of our schools. This deal includes across-the-board raises starting at 16% for all members and new benefits. With this agreement in place, we are able to welcome these staff members back to work no later than Wednesday.
I am proud of the offers CPS has put forward. They value our educators and support staff and invest in our highest need students first. Our offers leads with equity and aligns closely with our Five-Year Vision, and I firmly believe it is a significant step in the right direction for our district.
I look forward to the day when we can put this chapter behind us and come together as one family with one purpose — to provide every child from every community in Chicago with the education they deserve.
Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
More Important Information for Parents
School buildings will be open for students who need a safe place to stay during the day.
Please register your child at cps.edu/contingencyplan so we can ensure adequate staffing.
Students are encouraged to attend their regular school, but we will welcome students at any CPS school that serves their grade level.
Breakfast and lunch will be offered at school, and students will be provided with a meal to take home.
It’s important to note that regular transportation services will not be available, but CTA will offer free rides for students until the conclusion of the strike.
If students require medical, special education, or nursing support, the staff who regularly provide those services will not be available during a strike. We will, however, ensure contract nurses are available to support students as needed.
Chicago Parks and Chicago Public Libraries will also be open, along with Safe Haven sites and other community partner sites. Please use our site locator to find CPS and non-CPS sites near your home.
More information about our plans can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions for Families and on cps.edu/contingencyplan. The safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest priority and we will keep you updated on the latest information as it becomes available on cps.edu/contingencyplanand through our social media.