As Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey squabble over whether school days lost to the teacher strike are made up, Chicagoans are offering up advice.
The issue of makeup days is the only thing separating the union’s 30,000 members from returning to their jobs, and the city school district’s 300,000 students from returning to their classes.
The union wants the time made up. Lightfoot dug in on Wednesday night saying, “I’m not compensating them for days they were on strike,” but may have softened Thursday, a key ally told the Chicago Sun-Times.
It would be an unusual issue to hold the line on. Makeup time is generally part of strike resolutions, and an Illinois union official said almost all strike days in state history have been made up. Plus, state law requires at least some of the days to be made up if the district wants to maintain its state funding, virtually handing a compromise to the city and union.
But whatever is happening behind closed doors, the conversation out in the open Wednesday night and this morning suggests that any outcome could easily find public support — and, in fact, that the public has ideas for what days to add back to the calendar.
Here are some of the many conversations we’ve seen on social media about the prospect of makeup days.
Fair enough, but in the email that went around our school there was not one family that expressed an interest in make up days. It was a unanimous “no thanks”.
— Gracie Smith (@Gracie4Smith) October 31, 2019
Let them make up 2 days and enjoy summer we trying to Vacation after a stressful school year. Teachers going to have to take a lost like parents did. Great parents home schooled during strike days. #cpsstrike #CTU
— Jeriah Tolbert (@Riahka) October 31, 2019
Not all instructional time is created equal. Layering on 10 days in late June and Even July is of far less value than the time that’s been lost. Let’s work MLK and Pres Day, Nov report card pickup day and add on 2 days max.
— Neil (@DPUNeil) October 31, 2019
Please allow teachers and students to make up the days! But not at the end of the year! Students do not need more instruction in the summer, they need that instruction before the SAT & AP tests. https://t.co/fiu8ZdWTdg
— Cesar Balcazar (@cabalcazar) October 30, 2019
Or just do some days during the year on pd days, report card pickup etc. This is not worth prolonging this mess over…See 2012 calendar for ideas
— Michael (@mdkolody) October 31, 2019
I'm not a fan of the day b4 TG tbh. But i bet reasonable parents on twitter could come uo with a compromise schedule within hours. Wonder how long it will take Sharkey Davis Gates & Lightfoot.
— CPS Parent (@ParentCps) October 31, 2019
The union does not need to hold another vote to approve a deal on makeup days, so an agreement struck in negotiations today would clear the way for schools to reopen as soon as Friday — when city officials have said teachers would lose their health insurance coverage if they are not back at work.