Chicago Teachers Union calls for school closures amid coronavirus outbreak

State officials have recommended canceling all events with 250 people or more. CTU says that should include schools.

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Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International Union members walk to Richard Yates Elementary School, following their strike earlier this school year.

Pat Nabong/For The Sun-Times

The Chicago Teachers Union is calling for an immediate closure of Chicago Public Schools in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday schools would remain open, despite issuing an order to cancel gatherings of 250 people or more.

“The enrollment in most school communities fits those parameters,” CTU officials said. “We are calling on Chicago’s mayor and Chicago Public Schools to follow the leadership of the governor and school districts across the country and immediately close all traditional public, charter and contract schools in the city of Chicago.”

The union planned a news conference to take place after Gov. J.B. Pritzker provides an update on the state’s response at 4 p.m.

CTU officials are also calling for a moratorium on evictions and utility bills.

“Our students and their families must be safe. We need a full and responsible expansion of our social safety net, and our union stands ready and willing to work with CPS and the city to help deliver any and all resources,” the union said.

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