Public school officials in Chicago canceled classes for Wednesday amid a clash with the teachers’ union, whose members had threatened to stay home in a bid to force instruction online during a coronavirus surge.
Union members had criticized the district’s response to the Omicron variant, which has pushed cases in the city to record levels, and said conditions in classrooms were unsafe. The Chicago Teachers Union said late Tuesday night that 73 percent of members who voted favored pausing in-person instruction.
But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said reverting to online schooling was unacceptable and unnecessary, and her administration decided to call off class altogether — keeping the buildings open for emergency child care — rather than return to virtual instruction.
“Nobody signs up for being a home-schooler at the last minute,” Ms. Lightfoot said. “We can’t forget about how disruptive that remote process is to individual parents who have to work, who can’t afford the luxury of staying home.”