The Chicago Teachers Union, Board of Education, and Chicago Public Schools have reached an agreement in the battle over the Longer School Day Pioneer Program. After eight hours of negotiations yesterday, officials from the three groups resolved that CPS would stop recruiting schools and educators for the Longer School Day program for the current school year. They also agreed to halt the administration of waivers by the Board as well as private talks between CPS officials and union members. Under the agreement, both parties will ask the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board to put the brakes on the impending request to Attorney General Lisa Madigan for an injunction on the program.
“This is a major victory for our students, parents and teachers who understand that a longer school day should be a better one—and that involves planning before implementation,” said CTU President Karen Lewis in a press release. “This agreement stops what would have been a costly and protracted legal battle against the Board of Education. Now that this distraction has ended we can plan for a better school day for our students when all schools switch to extended schedules next year.”
The agreement does not, however, cancel the Unfair Labor Practice hearing set to be held on the issue by the labor relations board in December. The outcome of that hearing could determine what will happen with the 13 schools currently taking part in the longer school day program, unless a separate agreement is made by CTU and the Board on that front.