Emanuel defends longer school day despite labor board ruling

October 20, 2011

Michell Eloy and The Associated Press

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his efforts to bring a longer school day after a state labor board sided with the Chicago Teachers union in their efforts to end the mayor's push.

On Thursday, the Illinois Labor Relations Educational Board voted 5-0 to seek a court order that would block the mayor from extending the school day by 90 minutes. So far 13 CPS schools have adopted the extension. If granted, those schools could be forced to revert back to the original, shorter school day.

Emanuel says he's done nothing wrong and will stick with his plan.

"Our teachers are good. Our kids are great, and the system is stacked against them," said Emanuel. "I know legally we've done the right thing, but I know also we've done the right thing by our kids. And i'm going to stick with it, because it's the right thing for our children today as well as tomorrow."

The labor board will now refer the case to a state circuit court for review. Attorneys say the process could take weeks.