by Sarah Barchus
The Chicago school board and the protesting teachers struck out in negotiations Wednesday after failing to settle contract terms and to return 350,000 students to class.
After 10 hours of contract discussion, the teacher's union agreed to six of the school board's 49 proposed points, union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said in a press release cited by the Central News Network. The main issues were teacher evaluations and rehiring process for laid-off teachers, the Star Tribune reported.
Under the proposed evaluations 6,000 teachers could lose their jobs, said union President Karen Lewis. CNN reported that the mayor's office and city and school officials have questioned that number.
Meanwhile, the 350,000 displaced students are offered free breakfast and supervision six hours a day at 147 drop-off centers, the Star Tribune reported.
Juan Jose Gonzalez, Chicago director for the education advocacy group Stand for Children, said parents are "all over the map" in terms of their support. The Star Tribune reported that parents supported teachers by joining the picketing and displaying signs in their yards, but some reform advocates said public opinion could turn against the union if compromise doesn't appear promising.