Reporting Bob Roberts
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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said Saturday that if teachers at other Chicago Public Schools want a longer day, their offer of pay and planning money remains on the table.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), in filing a grievance over the votes at the STEM Magnet Academy, Skinner North Classical and Melody Elementary Schools, claimed that “pressure, coercion and bribery” were the only reasons teachers at the three schools voted to accept the offer.
STEM Principal Maria McManus denied it.
“My teachers actually were asking for a longer school day,” she said. “We have a very unique curriculum at the STEM Magnet Academy and in order to effectively execute that they felt as though they needed a longer school day.”
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Included for each of the schools are the 2 percent teacher pay raises and a $150 thousand planning grant.
STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” but Emanuel said every Chicago Public School can benefit from more math and reading instruction, which is his goal.
“That gets you in Chicago up to par with the country,” he said. “It does not exceed.”
A spokesperson said that CTU considers it unlikely that teachers at many other public schools will vote to accept the offer, but Emanuel and Brisard said they were both optimistic that other schools would accept it.
Skinner and Melody will begin the longer schedule Tuesday, while STEM will implement it as of Sept. 26.
Emanuel did not give a deadline for the offer.