CHICAGO (CBS) – The state’s governing body for high schools has rejected a request from Chicago Public Schools that would have allowed athletic programs to continue during the teachers strike.
The Illinois High School Association board made its decision Monday, in response to the CPS waiver request.
Chicago school officials had hoped student athletes could continue competing in athletic events if teachers went on strike Monday. The Chicago Teachers Union announced Sunday night that its members would walk off the job beginning this week until a new contract is hammered out with CPS.
“It was the conclusion of the Board that granting such a request extended beyond its authority,” the IHSA’s executive director, Marty Hickman, said in a news release. “The IHSA’s By-laws are developed by and voted into practice by its member school principals, and, after some meaningful discussion, the Board ultimately felt respecting the guidelines put in place by our member schools was the only option available in this situation.”
Hickman added that IHSA by-laws allow school boards to at least authorize practices for schools where strikes are occurring.
CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard expressed disappointment at the IHSA’s decision.
“The cancellation of games and practices forced by the CTU strike would impact 11,000 students currently playing varsity sports this fall, and could compromise their pursuit of college scholarship opportunities,” he said in a written statement.