Chicago's public school teachers are weighing a tentative proposal to end their strike, now in its second week. Leaders of Chicago Teachers Union first called the walkout in protest of a longer school day, the linking of evaluations to student performance, and job losses caused by school closings. School officials on Monday asked a judge to declare the strike illegal, because state law forbids the union from striking over "non-economic issues." Union officials say the city, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is "bullying" them. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. In the meantime, the effects of the strike are piling up. A statistical look at its impact:
Children who are out of school in Chicago because their teachers are on strike
Days of classes missed as of Tuesday
"Children First" sites across the city that have been set up to keep the kids busy and out of trouble. The sites, typically schools, also provide meals. Chicago's parks and recreation department has also organized programs to give parents a place to send their children.
Public school teachers and support staff on strike
Jobs added to the economy in August. Chicago Public Schools, the nation's third largest school district, is included in the Labor Department's monthly survey of 141,000 employers. Unless the teachers quickly return to work and start receiving paychecks, their absence will deflate the key jobs report for September.
Teachers the union says would lose their jobs under a plan to tie evaluations to student performance. The union says the system is "unacceptable" because student performance is directly affected by conditions at home, and it's unfair to punish teachers if kids do poorly because of what happens off campus.
Length of a school day, in minutes, for elementary students in Chicago, one of the shorter days in the nation. (That's 5 hours and 45 minutes.)
New length of the school day, in minutes, under a proposed agreement between the union and Mayor Emanuel (who backed down from a proposal for a 7 hour 30 minute day and agreed to this 7 hour day). High school students will attend classes for 7 hours 30 minutes, up from the current 7 hours. The deal is contingent upon the approval of a pay raise.
Average salary for a public school teacher in Chicago
Percentage that pay will be increased over three years under the proposed contract, with an option for another 3 percent raise in the fourth year. Many teachers' raises will feel smaller, though, as they will no longer be paid for unused sick or personal days. Also, they lost a 4 percent raise Emanuel canceled last year, and the city has rejected their request to restore it.
National average starting salary for a public school teacher
Typical starting pay for computer programmers, who begin their careers with training and responsibilities similar to those of teachers. Accounting professionals and registered nurses also start higher, at around $45,000, according to The National Education Association.