"That's why we have such an issue on recalls," Lewis said. "We understand that whole movement of closing schools and doing it aggressively."
Lewis' comments came after the Tribune reported Wednesday that
Union officials have complained that the administration is considering closing up to 120 public schools, prompting their demand that the district rehire laid-off teachers for job openings.
The mayor was repeatedly asked whether he plans to close schools next year and if so, how many. Emanuel didn't dispute that more underperforming and sparsely-attended schools will be shut down, but he wouldn't say how many.
"Nobody knows yet, because we haven't worked through it," Emanuel said.
Emanuel also said today that children should go back to school while negotiators stay at the table and craft a new contract for teachers.
"There's nothing that can't be worked out while kids stay in the classroom," Emanuel said at a news conference. "None of the issues are such that you can't do both simultaneously."
Emanuel already tried that approach on Sunday. He asked the
Among the most contentious issues being negotiated are a new evaluation system and principals' ability to hire who they want.