Chicago Public Schools rejects opt-out testing solution

Chicago Public Schools rejects opt-out testing solution

CPS rejected a proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union that would have tested randomly selected students. Mayor Lighfoot says parents opting in is non-negotiable

During the negotiations with Chicago Public School and the teachers’ union, one of the main issues between the two sides was how to handle COVID testing.

CTU demanded all students be enrolled in COVID testing by default instead of the current program where students opt-in with parents’ permission. In their proposal, 10% of students are randomly chosen for weekly testing unless their parents opt them out.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot adamantly opposes forcing students to opt out, asking “Why would we take that option away from parents? We’re not going to do that. Come up with a different plan.”

At a press conference Jan. 10, CTU President Jesse Sharkey accused Lightfoot of being “relentlessly stupid, relentlessly stubborn” in her negotiations with the union.

CTU says increased testing is the only way to keep schools on top of rising COVID cases.

Eight of the 10 largest school districts in the nation outlaw teachers strikes, with Chicago and Los Angeles being exceptions.

In November, Illinoisians will vote on a referendum giving unions like CTU the permanent right to strike over virtually anything that even lawmakers couldn’t repeal.

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