(Photo courtesy of Rachel D on Flickr under CC license)
(Photo courtesy of Rachel D on Flickr under CC license)

BY SAVANNAH RHEINHART, Copy Editor

Representatives for the Chicago Teachers’ Union decided against ending the strike despite union leaders and school officials agreeing upon a tentative contract, according to CNN.

Issues ranging from the length of the school day, potential job losses, and teacher evaluations are the central negotiations. Officials for the Chicago Public School District plan to add time to the school day, which prompted teachers to demand more compensation, in spite of having one of the highest median salary ranges for public school educators.

In terms of job losses, teachers are in fear for their positions due to rumors of school closings in the city. Throughout the strike, the number of schools closing has fluctuated without a definite amount coming from neither the union nor district officials. Many support the union and its strike due to this concern and the instability of jobs even though they see the children as the sufferers.

Officials for the Chicago School District want to associate student performances and teacher evaluations. Teachers fear being punished for poor student performance when living conditions and neighborhoods are connected, CNN reports.

These issues leave the Chicago Teachers’ Union to continue their strike. Currently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is filing an injunction to immediately end the strike on the grounds that state law forbids a teacher from striking over non-salary issues, such as evaluations says The New York Times.

So, where will do they go from here? Union representatives are meeting today to decide whether to end the strike and accept the offered contract or continue for more negotiation. Either way, Chicago citizens are concerned most for the children.

Students are unable to return to school until the strike ends, which leaves parents to find other options for their children. Support of the teachers is strong, but everyone agrees that the education of the students is more important.