As the longer school day debate simmers – for now — with the recent compromise reached by Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, the labor group is now putting more of its focus on the issue of classroom size. The union has launched a campaign to decrease class size in schools and change a 1995 Amendatory Act that prohibits CTU from negotiating over class size, staffing, or teacher assignments.
Union leaders say it is important to address the issue of class size during a time when the Board is moving increasingly closer to closing and consolidating more schools, especially since "class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement," explains a CTU release.
The Chicago Public Schools dropped the Longer School Day Pioneer Program after an eight-hour negotiation session with the Chicago Teacher’s Union Thursday. The settlement prevents an Illinois circuit court from potentially issuing an injunction on the pilot program.
Earlier this week, Progress Illinois put together a scorecard on
corporate business movement in Illinois. Unfortunately, this has also been a particularly busy week for school unions and labor unrest in the state.
Tuesday, workers unions at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in
Carbondale picketed for better health care coverage, while the Chicago
Teachers Union (CTU) joined in on a rally against “corporate welfare” in
downtown Chicago. The next day, CTU also got word that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) board voted to rescind a 4 percent payraise. And by Thursday, the
teacher’s union at Roosevelt University held a vigil for the hundreds of
courses the school is cutting.