Chicago public schools back in session--for now

September 3, 2012

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It’s the first day of school for thousands of Chicago public school students.

But it may not last.

That’s because the Chicago Teachers Union set a strike date for next Monday and still hasn't reached a contract agreement with the school district.

Several schools started at the beginning of August, and could also get interrupted if teachers strike.

School leaders at Von Linne Elementary School on the city’s Northwest Side are focused on getting back in the swing of school.

When asked about the possibility of a strike, Principal Renee Mackin said, “We’re not even going to think about it. We’re not…. We are ready to roll.”

Talking to a reporter the week before school started, Mackin listed off the new fine arts programming Von Linne added with the extra discretionary money the district gave her.

The teachers union has been arguing for contract language that would bring more fine arts to every city school. Union and school district negotiators are still meeting.

Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard said he hopes they will reach a fair contract soon.

Meanwhile, Brizard is set to kick off the new school year at Roberto Clemente Academy Community High School in Humboldt Park.

CPS launched an aggressive back-to-school campaign last year and saw record-breaking attendance figures. They continued with the same back-to-school campaign this year, with robo-calls home, free CTA rides, and door-to-door leafleting to remind parents school is back in session.