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Teachers union releases list of climate demands as students struggle to read on grade level

According to E&E News, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is making climate-related demands in contract negotiations as the city's students continue to fight hard in the classroom.

The CTU will push the city to include initiatives like electric school busesgreen job training programs for students and reducing emissions of buildings with solar panels and other retrofits, among other initiatives, seconds in E&E News. These demands are being made as 2023 testing data show that about 75% of Chicago Public Schools students could not read at grade level and 83% of students were behind grade level proficiency degree in mathematics. seconds at the Illinois Policy Institute.

The union is also calling for the removal of all lead pipes in school buildings, the replacement of non-opening windows and the creation of a “climate champion” role in each school to organize initiatives and activities related to climate, according to E&E News. The CTU also proposes installing solar panels and heat pumps in school buildings, as well as creating “heating and cooling centers” for community use when temperatures are very hot or very cold.

The union's climate wish list could cost hundreds of millions of dollars if granted in full, according to E&E News.

CTU could be well positioned to secure a favorable contract because this provided millions of dollars to the Democratic mayor by Brandon Johnson mayoral campaign, i Johnson he himself is a former union organizer, E&E News reported. The union too pushed to keep students out of school in favor of online learning during the pandemic, and Chicago's school system has the worst chronic absenteeism among America's largest districts, seconds at the Illinois Institute of Politics.

“This is the Chicago Union of Teachers' demonstration of our responsibility to our community at large,” CTU President Stacy Davis Gates told E&E News. “Our collective bargaining agreement and coalition work, especially in communities of color, will be a net benefit for everyone.”

Neither CTU nor Johnson's office immediately responded to requests for comment.

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