National education and labor news

Chicago teachers hold first U.S. charter school strike

More than 500 charter school teachers in Chicago carried out the nation’s first charter school strike in December. The educators, who work for the Acero Schools network, spent the first week of December at picket lines and protests before returning to the classroom on Dec. 10 with a deal that protects undocumented students and provides educators with better pay and a shorter school year.

The Acero network is made up of 15 schools serving more than 7,000 Chicago children — the majority of whom are Latino. The Chicago Teachers Union, which represents workers at the charter chain, secured an agreement prohibiting Acero from collecting and distributing information about the immigration status of students, teachers and families. The deal also blocks Immigration and Customs Enforcement from entering Acero schools without a court order.

Teachers and staff members will receive annual raises over the four-year term of the new contract, and Acero will shorten the year for schools in their network, bringing them closer to the school year of Chicago public schools.

The Washington Post, Dec. 9

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