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CPS Says 145 Teachers And Staff Were 'Absent Without Leave' On Monday, Won't Be Paid If They Don't Show Up Tuesday

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Public Schools on Monday said 145 school employees were classified as "absent without leave" as in-person classes for some students resumed.

Those teachers will not be paid if they do not show up on Tuesday, and will also be cut off from email and Google Classroom software.

CPS said on Monday, 70.6 percent of teachers and 80.7 percent of paraprofessionals came to work. The AWOL figure -- 145 employees out of 3,838 -- does not include teachers and staff who were absent for what CPS has deemed valid reasons.

CPS also noted the data are preliminary, as it does not include teachers who took personal or sick days.

In-person classes resumed Monday for preschool and some special education programs at Chicago Public Schools. But the Chicago Teachers Union has said the CPS reopening plan is not safe, and said it will defend teachers who refuse to enter classrooms.

The union held various demonstrations across the city Monday to oppose the district's reopening plans. Teachers have said "this plan is dangerous."

At a conference Monday morning, some teachers said they'd rather wait until a vaccine is widely available before going back to the classroom. Some teachers, parents, and activists have said CPS should keep classes virtual until the pandemic is over.

Activist Javier Ruiz said Monday that it doesn't make sense to bring students back to classrooms at the same time the mayor has extended the city's stay-at-home advisory through Friday, Jan. 22.

"Kids and parents should not be a science experiment," Ruiz said.

However, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady noted that schools were exempt from the city's stay-at-home advisory.

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