THE TRUE long-term impact of the Chicago teachers strike may be not be known for some time. But there is no mystery about its impact in the immediate term — anxiety, panic, and disruption for myriad mothers and fathers left in the lurch when 30,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked away from their classrooms last week just as a new school year was getting underway.
“Parents and guardians frantically sought last-minute child care, pleaded with their bosses for leniency, and hoped that their kids would return to school sooner rather than later,” reported the Chicago Sun-Times. “Citywide, for thousands of families, stress was high.” The paper quoted Martina Watts, a mother in West Garfield Park, one of the city’s rougher neighborhoods: “I might be losing my job over this. As long as they’re on strike, I can’t work. I’m not getting paid.”