- Associated Press - Thursday, March 31, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on a plan by Chicago teachers to strike on Friday, shutting down schools for one day in a call for more education funding (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

Chicago Public Schools says parks, churches and libraries across the city will help ensure the district’s nearly 400,000 students have a safe place to go during a one-day teachers strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union is planning to shut down schools on Friday in a call for better education funding.

CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson says about 750 central office employees will be redeployed to “contingency sites” at 107 schools. Students there may participate in online learning, physical education and arts and crafts.



The Rev. Walter Turner says about 120 churches that serve as “safe haven” sites will be open starting at 9 a.m. They’ll offer meals and courses in financial literacy and anti-bullying during what he called “this major crisis.”

The Chicago Transit Authority is offering free rides to students Friday.

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4:10 p.m.

Chicago Public Schools officials say teachers won’t be disciplined if they don’t show up for work during a one-day strike. But the district does plan to seek legal action against the Chicago Teachers Union.

The union is planning to picket outside schools on Friday. They say they’re drawing attention to their fight for better education funding.

Schools CEO Forrest Claypool says it’s an illegal strike. He says the district’s lawyers have been reviewing legal options and plans to take action with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. Claypool says CPS could announce that action on Friday.

Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson says teachers who walk out won’t be paid. But she says they won’t be any “write-ups” or other “mass discipline against the rank and file teachers.”

Union officials say the strike is legal.

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12 p.m.

Thousands of Chicago teachers plan to walk off the job for one day on Friday, shutting down schools in the nation’s third-largest district.

The walkout could be an early glimpse of a prolonged strike still to come.

Some 27,000 Chicago Teachers Union members have worked without a contract since June. They’ve overwhelmingly authorized an open-ended strike like the one that closed schools for more than a week in 2012. That would still be weeks away.

The union says it wants to draw attention to its fight for a new contract and better funding for a district “on the verge of financial collapse.”

They also want to demonstrate the political might of the union and its allies. They blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for the budget crisis.

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