Chicago International Charter School (CICS) released the following statement on the end of the strike at four Civitas campuses
February 18, 2019
Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) is relieved that Civitas (CEP) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) have reached a tentative agreement, pending ratification, that will allow 180 educators to be back in the classroom on Tuesday doing the work that they love. We are relieved that 2,200 public school students can resume learning and families can resume their normal lives. The past two weeks have brought heightened emotions, divisions and challenges. Now, the entire community of students, parents and teachers at CEP has the opportunity to come together and heal.
The good news is that a compromise was reached. If CEP had met all of CTU’s financial demands, the four schools would have become insolvent and been forced to close. Instead, CEP is providing teachers with an average 31 percent increase in their salaries over four years bringing them to 102 percent of CPS’ current salary schedule, as well as maximum class sizes of 28 students and a reduced work year and work day. Further details of the agreement are below.
It is also our responsibility to address the possible negative impact that this agreement could have on CEP’s and CICS’ ability to fulfill our promise to our students. With the limited funding that is an unfortunate reality in public education, in order to pay for such a significant salary increase, we will be forced to make certain cuts and compromises. For example, we will likely need to limit the number of instructional coaches, assistant principals and other valuable support staff members.
However, there was an urgent need to make sure that our students could return to the classroom, and the agreement reached today enables us to meet that immediate need. As always, we are committed to doing what is best for all 8,300 CICS students and to balancing their needs with the demands of our teachers.
CICS’ mission is to provide students with a school experience that puts them on a path to success in college and life. We are eager to do everything we can to help CEP’s students, teachers and principals re-embark on their shared mission together and put the past two weeks’ disruption behind them. It’s time to refocus everyone’s attention and energy on students.
Details of the agreement between CEP and CTU:
Evaluation: A revised system that includes observation schedules, increased student growth expectations and coaching and support plans.