Chicago teachers rally to push ahead stalled contract talks

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CHICAGO — Hundreds of Chicago teachers and their supporters held a rally as the fight continues between the teachers union and the school district for a new contract.

Chicago Public Schools officials say pension obligations are forcing their hand to cut expenses early next year. They claim if feuding state leaders don't come through with an infusion of money, an estimated 5,000 employees will be laid off.

Before the rally late Monday, Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey says negotiations between the two sides are stuck in neutral. He claims the Board of Education is not negotiating in good faith.

Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said in a prepared statement noted the union hasn't joined district officials in Springfield "to fight for equal funding for Chicago's schoolchildren, who receive $3 for every $4 that students in other districts receive."

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