As Schools Reopen, Chicago Will Hire 2,000 Employees to Assist Students Whose Teachers Stay Home
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will reopen in January, finally returning kids to their classrooms. But many teachers—between a quarter and half, the district suspects—plan to keep teaching from home, even if their students are back at their desks.
To cope with the potential staffing shortages, CPS plans to hire 2,000 new employees. About half of those will be part-time, non-unionized employees, and their job will be to supervise and assist students in the schools, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
“One of the primary responsibilities for half of the new positions will be student supervision, according to a job posting,” noted the paper.
Keep in mind that the teachers opting to keep working from home will still be paid. Their continuation of virtual education is facilitated by a variety of special accommodations and medical leave. The new student supervisors, then, are an additional expense. Many classrooms will have desks filled with students—presumably still glued to their screens—a virtual teacher, and a classroom aide.
One wonders why the student supervisors can’t just teach the kids themselves and cut out the middle man, but of course, Chicago’s public school teachers are unionized, and thus have extreme job protections. In fact, the union is largely opposed to the new staffing plan:
Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said the part-time job posting was the first the union heard teachers might teach remotely to students in a classroom, a proposition she called “slightly less terrible than forcing teachers to engage in synchronous learning from unsafe buildings.” She said in a statement, however, that “hiring people into a position that barely pays minimum wage, with zero health care benefits in the middle of a pan
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