CHICAGO (AP) — Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes today after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the latest development in an escalating battle over pandemic safety protocols in the nation’s third-largest school district.
Chicago has rejected a districtwide return to remote instruction, saying it was disastrous for children’s learning and mental health. But the union argued the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable.
Students had returned to class Monday in Chicago after a two-week winter break with COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations fueled by the omicron variant at record levels. School districts nationwide have grappled with the same issue, with most opting to stay open while ramping up virus testing, tweaking protocols and making other real-time adjustments in response to the shifting pandemic.