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CHICAGO (CBS) — As teachers in southwest suburban Evergreen Park begin a strike, teachers in the Chicago Public Schools are ready to vote on the new contract that ended their strike last month.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Chicago teachers will be voting on a three-year contract with an option for a fourth.
Teachers were out on strike for seven school days before they reached their deal.
If the contract is ratified, it will force the Chicago School Board to hire 600 more teachers in art, music and other special subjects, maintain limits on class size, promote racial diversity in hiring, and lower the focus on standardized testing.
The deal also includes base salary increases totaling 7 percent over three years, with other wage hikes based on experience and advanced education. It also maintains the maintaining the rights of principals on hiring
The district says the deal it concluded with the teachers’ union will add some $75 million annually to the district’s already huge, $1 billion budget deficit. Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation said late last month that to pay for it, the city may have to close as many as 200 schools and institute another property tax hike.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports