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Parents’ group voices support for teachers

Parents 4 Teachers founder EricClark during news conference Chicago Board Educati125 S. Clark Street Tuesday June 27 2012 . |

Parents 4 Teachers founder Erica Clark, during news conference at Chicago Board of Education, 125 S. Clark Street, Tuesday, June 27, 2012 . | John H. White~Sun-Times.

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Updated: June 27, 2012 12:26PM

If Chicago teachers strike, “many, many hundreds” of parents will join them on the picket line because the union’s desires reflect parent desires, a parent group charged Wednesday.

Parents 4 Teachers founder Erica CLark contended teachers are pushing the smaller class sizes, art, music and facilities upgrades that parents want, but district officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel seem to have another agenda.

“There’s a huge disconnect between what the board thinks kids deserve and what parents think kids deserve,” Clark said at a news conference immediately before the Chicago School board meeting Wednesday morning.

“Good teaching conditions are good learning conditions,” Clark said. If teachers go on strike, Clark said, “many, many hundreds of parents will be on the picket line with them.”

Afterwards, about 35 Chicago Teachers Union members picketed outside board headquarters, carrying signs reading “Standing up for teachers means standing up for kids.”

The CTU and Chicago Public School officials have been talking since November about an agreement that ends on paper June 30. Negotiations are expected to drag on through at least mid-July, when a fact-finder is due to release his recommendations on how to resolve the conflict.

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