It's not a great time to be the parent of a school-aged child in America—not now, when teachers seem manically focused on shutting down in-person education if they can possibly manage it.
But to be the parent of a school-aged child in Chicago? Well, my friend, you hit one of the worst lotteries in the country:
Public school officials in Chicago canceled classes for Wednesday amid a clash with the teachers' union, whose members had threatened to stay home in a bid to force instruction online during a coronavirus surge.
Union members had criticized the district's response to the Omicron variant, which has pushed cases in the city to record levels, and said conditions in classrooms were unsafe. They voted on Tuesday to refuse to report to school buildings, just two days after returning from winter break.
But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said reverting to online schooling was unacceptable and unnecessary, and her administration decided to call off class altogether — keeping the buildings open for emergency child care — rather than return to virtual instruction.
Yeah public education in Chicago is starting to feel a bit... contentious, right? Like...
I mean, the mayor's office seems to despise the teacher's unions. The teacher's unions seem to despise the mayor. Nobody seems to care about the kids. The best the city can eke out is "emergency child care" within school buildings.
Does this sound like a functioning educational system to you??
"Well," you might say, "It's not great, but teachers are naturally worried about contracting coronavirus from their students, so of course they don't want to go into class during a case spike."
More than 90 percent of Chicago Public Schools employees are fully vaccinated.
So you're telling me nine out of 10 of these folks are vaxxed up AND the current surge is due to the demonstrably less-harmful omicron variant AND YET they're STILL too scared to go into school??
It's not a great look for Chicago, but unfortunately it's not a surprising one either.
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