Rep. LaPointe’s Statement on CPS Reopening

Please watch CTU’s legislative press conference from this morning here.

It is difficult to understand how we have reached this impasse between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools. 

This is an unnecessary showdown. Everyone agrees that teachers and students deserve safe classrooms, and everyone wants to return to normal as soon as possible. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that hasty re-entry could have devastating impacts on our schools, and on the larger community. We have to consider the health and safety of everyone involved – especially vulnerable family members of both students and teachers. It is wrong, and cruel, to ask our public school teachers to choose between keeping their jobs and keeping their loved ones safe from this terrible virus. 

It makes absolutely no sense for Mayor Lightfoot to threaten to punish teachers by cutting off their online access to their students. Pulling the rug out from under our teachers, just to make a negotiating point, would create serious learning disruptions for thousands and thousands of students, and these children have already been through way too much over the past year. 

It’s time to take a breath and let the process work. After a long, painful year, we’re finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Every day we come a step closer to widespread vaccination, and every day we get closer to a return to normal life.

So instead of handing down ultimatums, I urge Mayor Lightfoot to be patient and compassionate, and to focus on our shared goal of educating our students in ways that are safe and healthy for everyone.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Austin | 708 – 912-2247