The Straits Times
Published on Sep 14, 2012

Chicago kids mark a week off school as talks to end strike drag on


CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Chicago students marked a week off classes on Friday as hopes of an imminent end to a strike of public school teachers proved optimistic and tedious negotiations over the details of education reforms sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel dragged on.

Led by a fiery former high school chemistry teacher, Ms Karen Lewis, 29,000 teachers and support staff walked out on Sunday in the first Chicago Teachers Union strike since 1987.

The confrontation, the largest strike in the United States (US) n a year, has galvanised the US labour movement and exposed a rift within the Democratic party over reform of urban schools.

After negotiating long into the night, Ms Lewis and Chicago School Board President David Vitale emerged early on Friday morning to say no deal had yet been reached.