For Chicago Parents And Kids, Here We Go Again
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Updated 09/17/12 – 9:11 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Many Chicago parents were expecting to get the kids up and out the door to school on Monday morning.
But as CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, the schedule shuffle continues.
West Side mom Toni and dad Allen Packer have been struggling with schedules all week to make sure their little kindergartner Cyani has been looked after. They all waited for the decision that came early Sunday evening.
Cyani asked, “Am I going to school again?” The answer was no, and she was clearly disappointed.
“I just hope they come to a conclusion for the kids as well as the teachers,” her father, Allen Packer, said. “If it’s actually good and done for the teachers to compromise and benefit them, then they can take as much time as they need, I guess.”
“I’m a working citizen myself,” he said, “so I have somewhat of a duty to be on the working man’s side.”
In the Logan Square neighborhood, Gerre Harte watching over her daughter, Nell. The walkout has meant that Nell’s parents have had to do some schedule-juggling and plunk down more than $100 in day care costs.
Still, Harte said: “We’re supportive of our teachers and we really like our teachers.”
Looking a little sad, Nell declared, “I like to go to school.”
West Side resident Tiffany Williams has a daughter in charter school, so her daughter is still in class. Her son has been going to Eckhart Park in the West Town neighborhood, where there is a daylong program for kids during the strike.
Williams said she’s not confident the strike will be over by Wednesday.
“The contract needs to … the language needs to be very explicit and precise, and the president of CTU has already stated that that is not a good contract,” she said.
Williams said she might not like that school is out due to the strike, but she can understand why teachers have walked out.
“When you’re negotiating a contract, it does take a length of time,” she said.
As a result of the strike, Williams said she’s been late for work because she has to take her son to Eckhart Park.
“I’m getting aggravated, my child is aggravated. Doing lessons at home with him, he feels like I’m not his teacher,” she said. “He doesn’t like it, and he’s becoming frustrated. I would like for him to be back at his school. It’s a great school, rigorous curriculum, with caring teachers, dedicated teachers. So I’m ready for him to go back to school.”
While she said she’s not worried her son will fall behind because of the time away from school due to the strike, she fears students at other schools might face that problem.
Not all parents were taking the continuing strike sitting down. A small group joined forces outside the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters during lunch hour to send a message: They want teachers and kids back to school.
“I’m paying $60 a day, so this strike is going to cost me over $500,” parent Ann Meyers told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.
One fifth-grader agreed he’d much rather be at school.
“We have science fair coming up and we can’t even work on it until we get approval, so it’s really it’s hard,” Jackson Wildermuth said.