Emanuel says longer school day is not negotiable

April 15, 2011

(WBEZ/Susie An)
Rahm Emanuel speaks with students at Johnson College Prep.

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel is standing behind a measure that would allow Chicago Public Schools to extend instructional hours.

The Illinois Senate approved last night an educational overhaul that would change how teachers are hired and fired. It also includes a plan that keeps unions from blocking additional classroom hours.
 
Emanuel says extending hours and the academic year might not translate to more pay for teachers. He says he wants to negotiate with teachers.
 
"Come to the table, let's discuss it. We're not going to negotiate whether kids will get more instruction. That's essential because you have good teachers in the classroom with good principals. What I am going to say is that we will work together so that gets done. I'm not deviating from that goal. I was clear about it," he says.
 
Emanuel says there are other ways to compensate faculty, but he did not elaborate on what those could be.
 
The legislation was the result of an agreement between reform advocates, unions and education administrators. The plan has the support of Governor Pat Quinn and is expected to pass in the state House.