CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago Public Schools has canceled classes again for Monday as the standoff with the Chicago Teachers Union over COVID protocols continued into a second week.

Monday marks the fourth straight day CPS students have been out of class. Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke confidently all weekend about reaching a deal, but no agreement has been reached despite both sides negotiating overnight.

Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Pedro Martinez released a joint statement Sunday night saying, “Out of fairness and consideration for parents who need to prepare, classes will be canceled again Monday. Although we have been negotiating hard throughout the day, there has not been sufficient progress for us to predict a return to class tomorrow. We will continue to negotiate through the night and will provide an update if we have made substantial progress.”

Janet Luszczky, the mother of a sixth-grade boy, said she’s concerned about her son’s education.

“I fear that he is slipping away from the momentum that he had in the beginning of the year,” Luszczky.

What are main sticking points between CPS, CTU?

In its own statement Sunday, the CTU said, “The Union wants to reassure the parents and guardians of Chicago that we will remain at the bargaining table until we reach an agreement that will return us all to in-person learning safely and equitably.”

This comes after the union proposed Chicago teachers be in buildings this week, handing out digital devices and signing up students for COVID-19 testing in order to start remote learning on Wednesday with the goal of returning to in-person instruction on January 18.

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Teachers said they want to be in school but believe CPS schools needs to ramp up testing like local private schools have. The Chicago Teachers Union held a press conference Saturday afternoon to discuss their latest proposal to the mayor’s CPS team.

While CPS agreed on some of the terms, even considering remote learning on a school-by-school basis, the proposal, ultimately rejected as Mayor Lightfoot and CPS do not agree with CTU on delaying students’ return to the classrooms.

Appearing on “Meet the Press on Sunday, Lightfoot said, “This walkout by the teachers union, which is illegal has had cascading negative ripple effects not only on the students and their learning, and their social and emotional welfare, but also on the families themselves.”

CTU’s proposal also requests that CPS randomly test at least 10% of the student and staff population every week at every school. That program would allow students to opt-out. The proposal would also require CPS to pause in-person learning for 14 days and transition fully to remote instruction citywide if the COVID-19 test positivity rate in Chicago increases for seven consecutive days, remains at 15% higher than the rate from one week prior for each of those days and reaches 10% or greater on the seventh day.

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CTU members also requested that any school with 25% or more of its staff out due to COVID-19 cases or exposures for two consecutive days will be transitioned to remote learning. For schools with 100 or more employees, a transition to remote learning will take place if those cases reach 20%.

They also introduced rules for remote learning if student exposures reach certain percentages. Elementary schools would transition to remote learning if more than 30% of students are instructed to quarantine or isolate. High schools and departmentalized middle school programs would go remote if more than 25% of the total student population had received such instruction.

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Source: ABC7

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