K-12 DIGEST: Chicago Teachers Union sets a new standard for covid hardlining
A threshold by which the nation will draw a line between caution and carelessness on school covid protocols was reached in Chicago last night.
The city's teachers' union voted late yesterday evening to stop all in-person learning at least until Jan. 18, citing concerns over rising infection rates and a lack of mitigation infrastructure in Chicago Public Schools facilities.
Many of the 25,000 registered union members are parents of school-aged children and acknowledge that the stance on no in-person instruction grinds much of the city's planning around dealing with covid to a temporary halt.
At issue are costs associated with a CTU proposal to provide masks to all students and employees, a 20% benchmark for absences due to infection to trigger a return to virtual learning, and mandatory negative PCR tests for all students before returning to classes.
CPS proposes a higher benchmark for teacher absences and school-based virtual learning triggers based upon infection rates for students.
There will be no amicable solutions if the two sides can't agree on the percentages of sick people that allow for folks to work and learn from home because, at some point, everyone will be sick, at least for a while.
And this is the most crucial factor of this story; the two sides aren't arguing about sickness, but rather, should we try to stop people from being infected by covid or manage what happens when most, if not all people get infected by covid.