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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Public Schools administrators want your input on how to use the extra time that will be added to the school day starting next year.
CPS just launched a website, where Chicagoans can share their ideas, CBS 2′s Susanna Song reports.
Parents who are feeling overwhelmed with conflicting perspectives regarding the longer school day, can now research the plan and offer opinions online.
The CPS administration and the teachers union have been at odd over how to implement the school day plan.
CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has praised the few schools that have already implemented the longer day, saying it’s “right for the kids.” Nine schools have already launched a longer day on their own, in exchange for a 2 percent raise for teachers.
Teachers union president Karen Lewis calls it union busting, saying the longer day should be part of contract negotiations. The union has filed an unfair labor practice as a result.
The union has acknowledged that a longer day is coming system-wide, but they want what they call “a smarter school day” with “quality in addition to quantity,” Lewis said.
So with the focus on the quality, the new site will allow parents, teachers and students to provide their ideas.
“We built this page as a resource for parents, teachers and all Chicagoans who want to learn more about our efforts to provide an additional 90 minutes of instruction to our kids this year through the Longer School Day Pioneer Program,” Brizard said in a statement. “We also intend for it to serve as a source of discussion and dialogue among Chicagoans so we can gather their input as we work with schools on structuring the longer school day city-wide next school year.”