Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicago teachers strike drags into second day

(Reuters) - Parents and thousands of Chicago children faced a second day of closed public schools on Tuesday as striking teachers and the nation's third-largest school district argued over details of education reforms sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Many parents stayed home from work with their children on the first day of a strike by 29,000 Chicago teachers and support staff Monday. But patience was likely to be tested on Tuesday as the largest U.S. teachers strike since 2006 dragged on.

The face-off in President Barack Obama's home city is the biggest private or public sector labor dispute in the United States in a year. The stakes are high for both supporters and foes of a national movement for radical reform of urban schools.

The Chicago dispute immediately became an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign with Republican candidate Mitt Romney criticizing Obama for his support of unions.

"I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools," Romney said in a statement on the same day he visited Chicago for campaign fundraising events. Read More