While the majority of focus was on the strike of the Chicago Public School system last week, it wasn’t the only Illinois school district to see a strike. The Chicago suburb of Lake Forest watched as teacher’s walked off the job on Wednesday. Those teachers, represented by the Lake Forest Education Association, are on strike over wage and health care issues. Last year the teachers agreed to a one-year pay freeze in an effort to help the district reach a budget surplus. The teachers are strongly opposed to a two-tier wage proposal from the Board of Education. The union has said the proposal would turn Lake Forest into a district “where rookies come to learn their craft and move on to neighboring districts due to the two-tier wage system.” The two sides failed to reach an agreement this weekend with the Board of Education ending negotiations by making today a mandatory student school day. The board said the school day will consist of a full day of “educational programming.” The school day will commence with administrators and community volunteers. The move is similar to how a private sector factory might keep minimum operations during a strike by having managers or replacement workers do the work of employees.
In order for a school day to be considered a legal attendance day Lake County requires the staffing of certified educators or at minimum, paid substitutes. It also must include five hours of course instruction in English, math, science, and social studies.