Your NPR news source

Emanuel wants Sunday sermons to push longer school day

SHARE Emanuel wants Sunday sermons to push longer school day

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has set the topic for sermons in Chicago churches this Sunday.

Emanuel is locked in a battle with the teachers union over lengthening the school day. Thursday morning, at a breakfast with faith leaders, Emanuel made it clear he’s taking that battle to the pews.

“Now I know the pastors are for a longer school day and a longer school year. I ask each of you to speak in your sermon this Sunday about education. I want you to specifically speak about the need for a longer school day and school year so our kids aren’t cheated 10,000 minutes of quality education from those great teachers that are in the classroom,” Emmanuel told the crowd of mostly African American preachers.

He said students nationwide spend an average of 67,000 minutes in class, and said the equivalent for Chicago is 57,000 minutes.

CPS this week proposed adding 90 more minutes to the elementary school day, with a small raise for teachers.

The union rejected that offer Thursday, saying it would force teachers to work 29 percent more time for 2 percent more pay.

The school district is collecting petitions from pastors that read, “I do attest that I am in full support of lengthening the school day and school year, not next year, but right now.”

CPS says 200 pastors have signed so far.

The Latest
Prospective candidates took turns presenting their piles of papers for counting; officials had to confirm at least 1,000 signatures before they could be submitted. Candidates have until 5 p.m. next Monday to file.
The growth on state exams was led by Black students, CPS officials said. But preliminary math scores on state exams show students still lag behind.
Some faculty say the punishment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators goes against the school’s commitment to free speech. Others say the encampment was uniquely disruptive.
The Chicago Public Schools program aims to bolster teacher ranks amid a workforce shortage.
The ruling means charter schools are not protected by the state’s school closing moratorium, which ends next year.