Chicago Schools Implement Longer School Days without Angering Teachers' Union

How do you make two parties who want opposing things happy? Well, if one party is a mayor who wants a longer school day and if the other is a teachers’ union that wants to keep their work day the same length of time, you can look to Chicago to find the answer.
Instead of forcing the current teachers to work a day that is 20 percent longer than the days they worked last year, the city has decided to hire more teachers to make up the extra time. The extra time in the school day will be filled with extracurricular classes, such as art, music, and PE.
Just where will these teachers come from? That’s another brilliant part of the solution: the teachers will be selected from a pool of teachers who were laid off since 2010.
However, the question still remains as to where the school district will find the $40-$50 million required to pay all of these new/returning teachers.
“Management will go to work to figure out where it’s going to come from,” said School Board President David Vitale. “This is eminent development and we will work on it over the course of the new month and we’ll come up with an answer but this a priority.”
“You can’t afford not to [do it],” said Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago. “You cannot relegate kids to the shortest school day and shortest year. This is the only way they’re going to have a chance at the future.”
So, how does the Chicago Teachers’ Union feel about this new implementation of the longer school day?
“CPS has finally backed off the unworkable, seven-hour, 40-minute teacher work day,” said the CTU’s president, Karen Lewis. “CPS thus reverses its publicly-announced policy that the CTU has consistently criticized as bad for both students and teachers…and it has finally agreed to recall rights for teachers. This is movement in the right direction.”
Via The Chicago Sun Times
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