Teachers in Chicago, Illinois public schools continued their strike Friday as more than 300,000 children stayed home for a second straight day.
The Chicago Teachers Union confirmed the strike would continue as negotiations remain underway with the school district.
“They’re talking about class size. [Chicago Public Schools] is offering some discussion and that’s a first,” Chris Geovanis, a union spokesman told ABC News. “It’s very inadequate but it’s a start.”
Chicago, the U.S.’s third most populous city, is also home to the country’s third-largest public schools district.
In addition to a reduction in class sizes, at least 25,000 teachers and staff on strike are seeking higher wages and additional personnel.
Negotiations on Thursday lasted for 10 hours, but the parties remain far apart in their ongoing talks, according to multiple reports.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said the city does not have the roughly $2.5 billion that the union’s proposal would cost.
“We could get a deal done today if there’s a seriousness of purpose and a willingness on the other side we could get a deal done today,” Lightfoot said, according to the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said that it is a shame students have to remain home from school, according to the newspaper, but accused city officials of dragging their feet in responding to their proposals.
“We offered this framework on Saturday. It has taken them until Thursday. It has taken them until a strike to get to that. It shouldn’t be like that in the city of Chicago,” she said, the Tribune reported.
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