Chicago Public Schools plans to add 90 minutes to the school day and two weeks to the year. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said she won’t serve on the advisory committee. “This news has nothing do with helping our children and everything to do with politicizing a real serious problem,” she said in a written statement.
Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard offered a 2 percent raise for elementary teachers, if the union agrees to longer K-8 school days in the coming school year. The union had agreed to accept a 2 percent raise. This proposal amounts to a 28 percent pay cut, teachers complain.
Chicago’s school day now runs from 9 am to 2:45 pm, one of the shortest in the country. Rahm Emanuel, the city’s new mayor, made extending the school day a campaign pledge.