26,000 teachers and support staff went on strike today after contract talks broke down late last night.
Some of the key issues that Mayor Emanuel and the teachers union are disagreeing on are salaries and benefits, job security and teacher evaluation systems.
Here's what the mayor of Chicago said:
"This is, in my view, a strike of choice, and it's the wrong choice for our children. Don’t take it out on the kids of Chicago if you have a problem with me.”
Here's what the Union president had to say:
"This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could have avoided. We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve."
The strike has captured the attention of the country even those not necessarily affected by the strike directly.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney had to say this about the strike:
“Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet."
Many of the teachers on the picket line have said they are not striking because they want more money, but rather that feel they need better resources to handle classrooms numbers that usually average about thirty kids a classroom.
Here's what one teacher said:
"Oh my gosh. None of us wanted this. I want to be in the classroom, but this is important."
Unfortunately the ones most affected by these strikes will be the displaced children, so hopefully these strikes are not prolonged and the kids can get back in the classrooms and begin learning again.
[Image via AP Images.]