Chicago’s public schools cancel classes as threat of Chicago teacher strike looms

Chicago Teachers Union members cheer at a rally ahead of an upcoming potential educators strike on September 24, 2019 in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s public schools have canceled classes after the teachers’ union president announced that his bargaining team will recommend teachers vote to go on strike.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday that classes would be canceled Thursday after determining that she can’t accept the Chicago Teachers Union’s demands, which she says would cost the city $2.5 billion it can’t afford.

Talks are expected to continue Wednesday.

The union issued a press release Tuesday night saying the bargaining team will recommend that the union’s House of Delegates “vote Wednesday to go forward with a strike.”

The union and the city have been haggling over several issues, including salary, class size and the number of support staff such as librarians at nurses at schools.

Some 25,000 teachers are poised to go on strike and closing the schools affects nearly 400,000 students. Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson says sports teams’ practices, field trips, tutoring and other activities also will be canceled.

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