Students and teachers in Chicago were heading back to the classroom after the Chicago Teachers Union and the nation's third-largest school district averted a threatened strike with a tentative contract agreement reached minutes before a Tuesday deadline and after more than a year of negotiations. The four-year agreement, which the union will recommend to its members, includes provisions on pensions, classroom sizes and layoffs. The deal still must be approved by the union's House of Delegates and the full membership, a process that could take weeks.
Chicago Public Schools finances will be stronger, and on firmer ground, because of this agreement.Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago's school system, which is independent of the city but controlled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, had a $7 million deficit on June 30, according to a school financial report. The threat of a strike piled extra pressure on the second-term mayor, who is struggling to stop a surge in violence in the city as well as trying to stem Chicago's financial woes. He is expected to give further details on school funding in his 2017 budget address on Tuesday.