CPS parents relieved, say education battle continues

September 19, 2012 (CHICAGO)

While 350,000 students head back to class, those students missed a total of seven days in the classroom not learning as the strike was going on.

Parents were thrilled early Tuesday evening when they found out that the strike would be suspended.

Teachers officially vote on the new contract in the next ten business days.

During the strike, thousands of working parents were scrambling, trying to figure out how to take care of their children. There were more than 450 locations provided by Chicago Public Schools and other agencies where children went for non-educational activities for part of the day. Thirty-two thousand students took part in that program.

"I'm ecstatic. I'm so glad that the teachers got what they rightfully deserved," said one parent.

"We support our teachers. We're going to continue to support our teachers. I'm talking to our teachers, don't you give up, either," said another parent. "Because when you fight, we fight. When you hurt, we hurt. When you hurt, my children hurt."

Judy Vazquez helped three of her children get to three different schools Wednesday morning in the Humbolt Park neighborhood. After seven school days with no class, the kids say they're ready for reading, writing and arithmetic.

"I walked to school with them after they got ready," Vazquez said. "They were so anxious they woke up at 4:30 a.m."

Kayla Triche goes to Clemente High School and wants to be a U.S. Marshal. Her younger sister Kaitlin says she's going to open up a restaurant when she grows up .

"I love school because i love reading so much. It takes me to another place when I read," said Kayla.

All of them went to some of the facilities open during the strike. For the youngest brother in third grade, his mother says it was crucial to get him back in a learning environment. He's in a special learning program and is tutored.

"I am glad the schools were open; they were so bored. There were no academics going on. Everything was playtime," Vazquez said.

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