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Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis

The battle between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools continues to heat up as a handful of schools are opting for a longer school day in exchange for greater pay. We talk with CTU President Karen Lewis about this, the latest in their labor talks and more on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. Image Credit: CTU

The Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved a resolution Thursday in support of a longer school day for public school children.

“With this resolution, the City of Chicago speaks with one voice as it relates to the length of day,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The resolution is only the beginning of what I’m going to ask of you. I won’t back down.”

The Chicago Teachers Union released the following statement today in response to City Council's support of a longer school day:

“It is unfortunate the City Council bowed to the pressure of a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign that has no scientific evidence to show that this will do anything to improve the quality of education in our neighborhood schools. It is shameful that not one politician stood up for our students and teachers who deserve better. A longer school day is inevitable but how will it be funded and how will it be planned?

“The Chicago Teachers Union supports a longer school day if it's also a better school day. Our concern is about quality not quantity. We do not want our teachers and paraprofessionals coerced and bullied into signing away their contractual rights in order to get the resources they sorely need.

“The longer school day campaign is nothing more than a political gimmick based on lies, misinformation and half-truths. And a gimmick, even if CPS calls it “education reform,” harms the children of Chicago. They need rich, thoughtful learning, not empty political gestures.”

Are you for or against longer school days? Post your comments below or sound off on our discussion board.