Chicago teachers are headed back to the classroom. Union delegates voted Tuesday (Sept. 18) to return back to their posts, after more than a week on the picket line.

“We said that it was time — that we couldn’t solve all the problems of the world with one contract, and that it was time to suspend the strike,” noted Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed legal documents to end the strike on grounds that the reasoning was unlawful, but the union was able to come a middle ground.  “This settlement is an honest compromise,” Emanuel said after the vote. “It means returning our schools to their primary purpose: the education of our children. It means a new day and a new direction for Chicago Public Schools.”

The contract agreement accepted by the union must be formally approved by its 26,000 members, a process which was expected to take several days. Among the items awarded to the teachers include annual salary raises, and longer school days allowing them time to be properly evaluated in conjunction with standardized testing scores.

As the city’s first walk-out in more than two decades, many parents in the area were unsure of what to do with the 400,000 children out of school during the strike.


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