National Teachers Union President to Visit Public Schools and Address School Safety in Chicago
AFT Chairman Randi Weingarten’s visit comes after two mothers died from COVID-19 at Jensen Elementary School on the West Side, while Mayor Lightfoot’s CPS team remains stuck on a deal. security.
CHICAGO, September 28, 2021 – On Wednesday, September 29, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which has 1.7 million members, will visit public schools on the south and west sides of Chicago. During his visit, Weingarten will meet with students, educators, community members and elected officials as part of his “Back to School for All” tour to highlight the importance of a safe return to school. face-to-face teaching five days a week.
Weingarten’s visit to Chicago follows Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent admission of flaws in his administration’s plan to reopen Chicago public schools for in-person learning, and the tragic death of two mothers in Jensen Elementary COVID-19. Since reopening, Chicago students and families have gone without weekly COVID-19 testing and contact tracing – two crucial mitigation tactics – as well as adequate ventilation resistant to COVID, vaccines and public schools neighborhoods with sufficient staff.
These security gaps continue as school communities across the Union and Chicago mourn parents lost to COVID-19 in Jensen, where 11 of 17 classrooms were in quarantine last week.
Weingarten is planning to participate in a walk-in tour to Englewood STEM High School and will be hosting several panel discussions with stakeholders from public schools. Since August, Weingarten has been crisscrossing the country, visiting 20 states and dozens of cities as part of AFT’s efforts to help schools reopen and stay open full time with safety and health protocols in place.
Also on the program, visits to elementary schools in Drake (2710 South Dearborn, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) and Beidler (3151 West Walnut, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.), two examples of sustainable community schools (SCS) won in the 2015 edition – 2019 Contract Campaign led by the late CTU President Karen Lewis. SCS was created to provide a way forward for the district and has provided adequate care and support to families during COVID-19, serving as a model for other Chicago public schools.
SCS has also provided comprehensive support to ensure that students’ lives are protected to and from school and during the school day, and pays particular attention to mental health, staff and increased community engagement to determine needs. of the school community.
Weingarten will be joined by CTU President Jesse Sharkey, CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates, CTU Financial Secretary Maria Moreno, CTU Secretary Christel Williams-Hayes, CTU Organizer and Commissioner from Cook County Brandon Johnson, Illinois Teachers Federation President Dan Montgomery, and other elected officials, school and community representatives during the visit. Weingarten is also expected to have solid conversations with students, parents, and community school advocates during the tour.
WHAT: AFT President Randi Weingarten participates in Englewood STEM High School walk-in and press conference
WHEN: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 7.45 a.m. (CST)
Press conference at 7.45 a.m. and walk-in to follow
- Jesse Sharkey, President of the Chicago Teachers Union
- Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
- Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Teachers’ Federation
- Stacy Davis Gates, Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union
- Other union leaders, educators, students and elected officials
OR: Englewood STEM High School, 6835 S. Normal, Chicago, IL 60621
REMARK: After the visit, Weingarten and CTU / IFT officials will be available for questions, interviews and B-roll opportunities.