Union claims many schools have voted 'no' to longer school day

CPS says that's "totally false."

September 10, 2011

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Teachers at five schools have signed on to a CPS plan for a longer school day, but the union says many more have rejected it.

The Chicago Teachers Union says many schools are rejecting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s longer school day. The union says teachers at 30 elementary schools have voted down the idea of adding an hour and a half to each day.

Sherry Williams teaches third grade at Stagg Elementary, where she’s also the union delegate. "The teachers did take a vote on Wednesday morning. And the teachers voted not to be a part of the pilot program. They did vote 24 to 1. Twenty-four no, 1 yes."

A spokeswoman for Chicago Public Schools says that’s “totally false.” She says no school has voted "no."

The fight is escalating. In a written release Friday, union president Karen Lewis said she told the mayor two weeks ago that a longer day shouldn’t be used to warehouse students.

She says the mayor “exploded, used profanity, pointed his finger in my face and yelled. “

The mayor says Lewis hugged him at the end of that meeting.

The union is seeking an injunction to keep any more schools from voting on the longer day.

Teachers at a fifth school signed on for 90 extra minutes Friday; CPS says 70 percent of teachers there voted in favor.