Chicago teachers began walking the picket line for the first time in 25 years Monday morning, leaving parents to scramble for alternatives for their children.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel quickly blasted the strike announcement Sunday as “a strike of choice.” He repeatedly declared: “My team is available now.”
Dozens of teachers carrying signs reading “On strike for better schools” were getting plenty of support from passing motorists early Monday morning as they picketed outside Curie High School on the Southwest side.
A constant stream of honking horns kept the teachers in good spirits.
“It’s early in the strike,” said physics teacher Shane Crone of the teachers’ good cheer, “Hopefully this will be short.”
Crone was sorry to be striking but said the blame rested squarely with CPS and the mayor.
“There isn’t one part of our contract they haven’t tried to make worse for us,” he said. “They’ve had months to negotiate, but they didn’t start to move until we threatened to strike.”