The Chicago teachers union decided Sunday to continue its weeklong strike, extending an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over teacher evaluations and job security provisions central to the debate over the future of public education across the United States.
Union delegates declined to formally vote on a proposed contract settlement worked out over the weekend with officials from the nation’s third largest school district. Schools will remain closed Monday.
Union president Karen Lewis said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table.
“Our members are not happy,” Lewis said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”
She added: “They feel rushed.”
She said the union’s delegates will meet again Tuesday, and the soonest classes are likely to resume is Wednesday.
“We felt more comfortable being able to take back what’s on the table and let our constituents look at it and digest it. We can have a much better decision come Tuesday,” said Dean Refakes, a physical education teacher at Gompers Elementary School and a delegate.
The walkout, the first in Chicago in 25 years, had instantly canceled classes for 350,000 students who just returned from summer vacation and forced tens of thousands of parents to find alternatives for idle children, including many whose neighborhoods have been wracked by gang violence in recent months.
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