Chicago students are set to return to school after the teachers union and city landed a deal on Covid-19 measures

The deal ends a standoff that has kept 340,000 students out of classrooms for a week.
By: | January 11, 2022

Chicago teachers are set to return to work Tuesday and students to get back to in-person instruction Wednesday following a breakthrough in union negotiations with the city over Covid-19 mitigation measures.

The standoff, which will have kept 340,000 students in the third-largest US school system out of classrooms for a week, has become perhaps the nation’s most contentious as the Omicron variant has caused a spike in coronavirus cases, again raising questions about pros and cons of in-person versus virtual school.

The Chicago agreement, which includes enhanced Covid-19 testing in schools, will extend through the rest of the school year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, adding, “I’m hopeful will have a stable, uneventful rest of the school year.”

Coronavirus testing in schools will ramp up to 10% of students in each school being tested each week, Chicago Teachers Union Chief of Staff Jen Johnson said. Some 350,000 rapid antigen tests were delivered to the school district to help address testing concerns, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday night.