A coalition of Chicago parents and community groups is backing the Chicago Teachers Union's decision to strike next Tuesday if the union and school district fail to reach a contract agreement by then.
The coalition, called the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign, delivered a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Tuesday to declare its support for Chicago teachers. Over 50 parent and community groups signed the letter.
"We, community, parent and neighborhood groups throughout the city of Chicago, support the Chicago Teachers Union's demands for lower classroom sizes, funding for special education teachers, an end to the chaos of constant teacher and staff layoffs, no cuts in compensation, and for well-funded, quality, stable neighborhood schools," the letter reads. "The working conditions of our teachers are the learning conditions for Chicago's children."
The group also announced it would be calling the mayor's office beginning on Wednesday as part of a citywide "call-in" campaign until the union and Chicago Public Schools district reach a new contract agreement.
"The solidarity committee is calling on the mayor to bargain a fair contract that protects teachers and students in CPS classrooms," the coalition said in a news release. "But if that doesn't happen, the group will take to the streets in support of the teachers."
Erica Clark is with the group Parents 4 Teachers, a member of the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign.
"We think the mayor believes he can use the budget crisis to divide parents from their teachers, and we're here to tell him, 'That's not gonna happen.' He better think twice about pushing them out to strike again," Clark said outside Emanuel's office this morning.