A student pours milk on his cereal as Mayor Lori Lightfoot passes out breakfast to Chicago Public Schools students at a contingency site, Gads Hill Center Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Striking Chicago teachers have returned to the picket lines for a second day as union and city bargainers try to hammer out a contract in the nation's third-largest school district. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Chicago strike means day off for some, emergency for others

October 19, 2019 - 10:35 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago parents are leaning on family, friends and community groups with teachers in the nation's third-largest school district on strike.

The strike based on a "social justice" agenda follows months of negotiations between the union and Chicago Public Schools that failed to resolve disputes over pay, benefits, class size and staffing.

Teachers say the walkout is about getting more resources and smaller class sizes for students, not about more money for them. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the district's finances are precarious and it can't afford all of teachers' demands.

School buildings have remained open. But the strike is especially difficult for the city's most vulnerable families, who are dependent on jobs with little or no paid time off.

Churches and nonprofits have tried to step in.

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