November 07, 2019

Chicago Teachers' Strike Focuses on Nurses in Schools

Chicago Public Schools teachers went back to work November 1st after reaching a Tentative Agreement with the City of Chicago to end an 11-day strike. One of the key sticking points throughout the strike was the Chicago Teachers Union’s (“CTU”) demand for increased support staff, including nurses, librarians, and social workers. Among other provisions, the Tentative Agreement provides that by July 30, 2023 every Chicago public school will have a nurse on site every day of the school year. The National Association of School Nurses has found that “school nurses play a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of children and contribute to improved health and education outcomes,” and that “the intensity of policies and programs in school health services [is] significantly related to graduation rate.” However, according to a 2018 study, only 39% of U.S. schools employ full-time nurses. Members of the CTU will vote on whether to ratify the Tentative Agreement on November 14 and 15.