What Next

Chicago’s Public School Meltdown

It’s teachers vs. Mayor Lori Lightfoot… again.


Episode Notes

Chicago Public Schools canceled classes for three consecutive days this year, following a vote by the teachers union to defy in-person teaching orders amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. The union wants additional safety measures in place as teachers and students return to school. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the union’s actions are “illegal,” and the public schools system said the refusal to teach in-person amounted to a strike.

How will the showdown end? And when will students get back into the classroom?

Guest: Sarah Karp, education reporter at WBEZ in Chicago.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.