Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel wants big changes for Chicago Public Schools. He told educators Wednesday night that CPS should add 90 minutes to each school day and 10 days to the school year.
A proposal in Springfield would let the board of education implement the changes without negotiating with unionized teachers.
“I don't want to have a debate on how we're going to compensate for an hour and a half, because we owe those kids. I want to have a debate, should we fill it with "facing history, facing ourselves?" What would that extra hour and a half be for a sixth grader? What should we do with math time? What should we do with science time? That's the debate we should have, not how to compensate it,” Emanuel said.
The proposal in Springfield would let the teachers union bargain for more money when its current contract expires. They could strike if at least 75 percent of unionized teachers approved.
In the meantime, the Chicago School Board will vote Wednesday on a consolidation plan affecting 12 schools.
The plan would force hundreds of students to switch schools, close some schools, and eliminate staff and administrators.
Two consolidation proposals were dropped after public hearings revealed neighborhood concerns about student safety.