‘We can be open’: Lightfoot pushes back on CTU’s COVID-19 concerns as school year looms

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Mayor Lightfoot celebrated the opening of the new Hancock High School on the Southwest Side, as contentious negotiations continue with the Chicago Teachers Union. 

Interim CPS CEO Dr. Jose Torres said vaccinations will be available to eligible staffers, students and their parents, with testing services readily available.

CPS employees are required to have their vaccinations by Oct. 15.

Mayor Lightfoot said there’s a mountain of evidence that shows schools can successfully reopen with safety measures in place.

“We know based on everything that we learned from the last school year and over the course of this summer that we can be open and open safely,” she said.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey contends the protocols are not good enough to keep people safe.

“We are unwilling to sign off on an agreement that fails to include firm social distancing guidelines. Three feet of distance ‘where possible’ is unacceptable. And we must maintain a rigorous health screening process to identify potentially infected students before they walk through the door.”

School is scheduled to start on Monday.

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