CPS extends longer day incentives to charter schools

October 26, 2011

Michell Eloy and Associated Press

(WBEZ/Linda Lutton, file)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stops in to teach a class at Chicago International Charter School's Ralph Ellison campus.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is announcing a partnership he says will give the city's students more time in the classroom.

Emanuel will make the announcement Thursday morning at a charter school on the city's South Side.

A national group says Chicago's public schools have the shortest school day and one of the shortest school years among the nation's 50 largest districts.

Emanuel will be allowed to lengthen the district's school day next year under a new state law, but he's said he doesn't want to wait.

On Wednesday, the city's Board of Education voted in favor of a CPS plan to award up to $75,000 to a charter school that adopts the extra 90 minutes this year. Teachers from those schools could also get an $800 stipend.

He's persuaded 13 schools to waive their union contract and add 90 minutes to their school day this year in exchange for cash incentives. But the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board voted last week to block Emanuel's administration from negotiating with more schools.

The Chicago Teachers Union is currently disputing a similar incentive program in the Cook County Circuit Court. Charter school teachers are typically not unionized.