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The Latest: Chicago mayor: No makeup days in teachers strike

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Chicago Public Schools teachers’ strike (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

Chicago’s mayor refused to grant striking teachers demands to add school days making up for two weeks of classes canceled by the walkout.

The union’s elected delegates voted Wednesday night to accept a tentative agreement with the district but said they won’t end a strike without a commitment to make up classroom time from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Late Wednesday night, Lightfoot says that’s not going to happen. The first-term mayor has said throughout the strike that she would not extend the school year once it ended.

Lightfoot says union leaders did not include makeup days in their list of essential contract terms to reach a settlement. She says they can’t keep “moving the goalposts.”

Chicago schools announced after the union vote that classes are canceled for an 11th day Thursday.

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9:30 p.m.

The president of Chicago’s teachers union says educators consider Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s opposition to make-up days lost to a strike “punitive.”

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey spoke Wednesday night, shortly after the union’s House of Delegates approved a tentative labor agreement contingent on Lightfoot granting make-up school days lost to the strike.

But union members did not vote to suspend a strike and plan to protest Thursday morning outside City Hall.

Chicago Public Schools announced after the vote that classes will be canceled for the eleventh day on Thursday.

Lightfoot has previously said she would not add days to the school year. She is scheduled to give a statement on Wednesday night but has not yet spoken publicly about the union members’ decision.

The strike has kept more than 300,000 students out of class.

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8:55 p.m.

A strike by Chicago public school teachers will continue into an 11th day after they refused to return to work despite reaching a tentative agreement with city officials.

The Chicago Teachers Union tweeted late Wednesday that while they have a tentative agreement with Chicago Public Schools, they “do not have a return to work agreement.” The union announced they plan to be at City Hall early Thursday to demand Mayor Lori Lightfoot will commit to making up school days lost to the strike.

Lightfoot has said she won’t do that.

The 700 members of the union’s House of Delegate met into the evening to discuss the terms of the contract. In addition to a 16 percent pay raise over five years, the contract includes additional preparation time for kindergarten teachers during certain times of the years, and guidelines on immigration-related issues.

The strike has kept more than 300,000 students out of class.

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4:20 p.m.

Union officials representing Chicago teachers have scheduled a meeting that could end a strike in the nation’s third-largest school district, but they are still demanding concessions from the city’s mayor.

The Chicago Teachers Union said in a statement on Wednesday that it wants to hold a vote on a potential agreement if Mayor Lori Lightfoot will commit to making up school days lost to the strike.

Lightfoot has said she won’t do that.

Lightfoot’s representatives have not responded to a message left Wednesday afternoon seeking comment.

The union’s House of Delegates, made up of about 700 elected representatives for the city’s schools, is set to meet Wednesday evening.

The body met Tuesday night for an update on bargaining talks but did not take any vote. The strike began Oct. 17.

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3:10 p.m.

Deadlines that could affect Chicago students and their striking teachers are looming over contract talks to resolve a walkout that has canceled classes for ten days in the city.

High school students are rushing to meet Friday deadlines to submit early applications to colleges without access to their teachers or counselors, while athletic teams have been prevented from participating in playoff games.

Teachers, meanwhile, could lose health insurance coverage at the start of a new month.

Union leaders said this week that their 25,000 members will have to weigh the “risks and rewards” of continuing.

Talks resumed Wednesday in search of a tentative agreement that could end the second-longest strike by teachers in the city’s history. But no progress had been announced by mid-afternoon.

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2:50 p.m.

Chicago Public Schools says 19 high school football teams that qualified for state playoffs can practice this week, but they will not be allowed to compete on Saturday if the teachers strike hasn’t been settled by then.

The decision Wednesday comes just in time for the schools that are required by Illinois State High School Association rules to practice for three days before they play a game.

In a news release, the association said teams can only practice if they find coaches who have the proper certification.

The school district hasn’t responded to a request for comment and it is unclear how many of the schools have found people to coach the teams during practice.

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1:36 p.m.

The Chicago teachers strike has cancelled classes for a 10th day in the nation’s third-largest school district.

Contract talks resumed Wednesday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union met face-to-face Tuesday but failed to reach a tentative agreement.

Lightfoot says she sweetened the city’s offer during that meeting, committing more money to reduce class sizes and boost long-term teachers’ pay.

Union leaders said Tuesday night that they expect to get details of those proposals on Wednesday to share with teachers.

If negotiators reach a tentative agreement, union officials said elected delegates could have a vote on Wednesday afternoon.

But neither side seems certain that will happen.

Union leaders say its 25,000 members will have to consider the “risks and rewards” of continuing a strike.

Associated Press