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Pedro Martinez speaks Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 outside his alma mater, Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. (WTTW News)

The former San Antonio Independent School District superintendent now finds himself leading a district that is struggling to execute contact tracing and COVID-19 testing as students resume in-person learning.

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According to the CPS website’s COVID tracker, since the start of school, 350 students of the more than 340,000 who attend CPS have had what the district calls “actionable” — meaning confirmed — COVID cases. (WTTW News)

State education officials say students who don’t have medical exemptions must be taught in school this year. But in Chicago, there’s still a standoff between the mayor’s office and the teachers union over what in-person learning should look like during a pandemic.

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Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

For the first time in 17 months, Chicago Public Schools students returned to the classroom for full-time, in-person learning Monday. At some schools, the mayor was there to welcome them back.

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(WTTW News)

The school district on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, which includes $672 million for priority facility investments throughout the city and more than $1 billion in federal funding for student supports.

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(WTTW News)

Defying Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Friday restoring the ability of the Chicago Teachers Union to bargain with the city over a wide range of issues, including class size, layoffs and the duration of the school year. 

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(WTTW News)

Just after midnight Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union said 13,681 of its members voted to approve the tentative agreement with Chicago Public Schools, meaning the school reopening plan is now finalized and the city will avoid its second teachers strike in 15 months.

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(WTTW News)
Chicago teachers who did not show up for in-person work Monday will not be locked out of their Google education suites in a “gesture of good faith” from city leaders hoping to reach a deal over a safe school reopening plan and avoid a potential strike.
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(WTTW News)

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said as Illinois moves into Phase 1B of vaccinations, a category that includes teachers, city leadership should prioritize staff at Chicago Public Schools.

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(WTTW News)

For the first time in 10 months, some Chicago Public Schools students are set to return to their school buildings Monday. What parents can expect — and what critics of the plan have to say.

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(WTTW News)

CPS CEO Janice Jackson said 49.7% of teachers returned Monday, one week before in-person learning is set to resume for some 17,000 students. Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates weighs in on “Chicago Tonight.”

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Shavon Coleman speaks out against a proposal to consolidate three schools in North Lawndale on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. (Grace Del Vecchio / WTTW News)

Community members, parents and officials are voicing their concerns over a proposal to close three elementary schools with dwindling enrollment and replace them with a new, state-of-the-art facility.

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(WTTW News)

“We all want to return to our students. We don’t want to die doing our jobs, and we don’t want to be vectors for spreading illness or death to our students and their families,” CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said.

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(ArtisticOperations / Pixabay)

School’s back in session next week – albeit virtually. Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates shares her thoughts. 

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(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools will start the school year on Sept. 8 the same way they ended the last academic year — with all students taking classes remotely, officials announced Wednesday.

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(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

President Donald Trump is pressuring schools to fully reopen in the fall. But as many teachers, parents and even some students are expressing fears over returning to school, cases of COVID-19 are rising across the country.

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Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey and CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates appear on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union has insisted that its next contract with the city include not just raises for teachers, but a host of other commitments. But with a possible strike looming, will those demands hold up?