CHICAGO — A mini revolt is breaking out over Chicago Public Schools’ decision to reopen elementary schools for in-person learning in a few weeks.
CPS announced last month that preschoolers and special education students would go back on January 11, while all elementary school students would follow on February 1. But as of Tuesday at least 3 local school councils passed resolutions calling on cps to halt those plans.
In a special virtual meeting of the Brentano Math and Science Local School Council, members debated whether to send an emotional statement to CPS about its plans to return to in-person learning.
“I’m really devastated to hear our teachers are being pushed to go back to a building where they are not feeling safe,” parent Nancy Salgado said.
Brentano teachers spoke out as well, expressing concerns about their ability to teach and reach out to their students, especially special education learners.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said remote learning doesn’t work for all and that students — particularly students of color — are falling behind. But 66% of Bretano parents, the majority of which are Latinx and Black, have chosen to stay with remote learning.
“I hope that they understand that we are, you know, scared,” said Tina Camarena, a parent and LSC member.
In a unanimous decision, the Local School Council members agreed to send a message to CPS opposing the return to school. While they say they realize their statement will not keep the schools closed, they just wanted to let the district know where they stand.
“I would love to send my kids to school. I wish, I wish they were in school. This whole year. It’s just not safe,” said Allyson Altenburg, a parent and Brentano LSC chairperson.
WGN reached out to CPS for a comment on these actions by the LSCs but did not immediately receive a response.