Thousands of Chicago teachers strike

Chicago — Teachers in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district, walked off the job Thursday in a massive strike. But the city is warning their demands are too costly.

By daybreak, thousands of striking teachers flooded the streets including Dujuanne Evans, who’s been teaching sixth grade on Chicago’s West Side for 13 years.

“It’s about equity, so it’s not about the money,” Evans said.

Overcrowded classrooms and wage increases are the most contentious issues. In a city plagued by gun violence and concentrations of poverty, teachers also want additional social workers and nurses in every school.

“They need someone to talk to, their families can’t provide it all the time,” Evans said.

Teachers and supporters march during a rally on the first day of the strike by the Chicago Teachers Union on October 17, 2019, in Chicago. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/Getty

Recently elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered the teachers union a 16% pay raise over five years. She visited students Thursday at two community centers that took in kids who couldn’t go to class. With school closed, the 360,000 students and their families are searching for alternatives.

CBS News caught up with the Muhisani family on Thursday morning as they got their daughters ready for a $110 a day strike camp. Helen Muhisani is hoping the strike ends quickly, saying the best outcome is that they “go to school.”

Unlike the last strike in 2012, all of the schools in Chicago are open offering breakfast, lunch and dinner for students.

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