CHICAGO (WKOW) -- About 350,000 students will be out of school for a sixth day, as teachers in Chicago's Public Schools will carry their strike into a second week Monday.
The teachers, uncomfortable with a tentative contract offer, insist they need more time before deciding whether to end an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city's school board.
Emanuel fired back Sunday night by instructing city attorneys to seek a court order forcing Chicago Teachers Union members back into the classroom.
"This was a strike of choice and is now a delay of choice that is wrong for our children," he said in a statement.
A group of union delegates met Sunday afternoon to talk about the proposed contract, then later announced they want to discuss the contract with union members at their schools.
About 25,000 Chicago teachers have been on strike since Monday, September 10, over issues including benefits and teacher evaluations.
"The big elephant in the room is the closing of 200 schools," said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. "That's what the big elephant in the room is with our members. That's where they are. They are concerned about this city's decision on some level to close schools."
This is Chicago's first teachers strike in 25 years. Talks over whether to suspend the strike are expected to resume on Tuesday.
Teachers had only a few hours to review a summary of a proposed settlement worked out over the weekend with officials from the nation's third largest school district. That wasn't enough time, they said, to digest a complicated contract that addresses two issues central to the debate over the future of public education across the United States: teacher evaluations and job security.
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