Union, Chicago leaders close to a deal: Report

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

Hundreds of thousands of Chicago kids may end up back in class on Monday as the teachers union and city leaders appear to be close to a deal after a week-long strike.

"I'm pleased to tell you that we have in place the framework around the major issues," School Board President David Vitale said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "We have more work to do here. The heavy lifting is over. The general framework is in place."

The proposed salary bump of 16 percent over four years that the city put on the table earlier this week is likely to be its final offer, according to the New York Times. But the timing of each bump will be rearranged in a way the union prefers. The city will also no longer raise health insurance rates for teachers in exchange for their participation in a wellness program, and the city will agree to put in place an "appeals process"  for the new teacher evaluation system. Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) leader Karen Lewis said she was worried that thousands of teachers would be wrongly laid off under the new evaluation system, which relies heavily on calculations of students' test scores.

The union's leadership will still have to vote to accept the new agreement on Sunday to officially end the strike.