Latest: Police say 3 arrested during Chicago teachers' rally

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Posted: Apr 01, 2016 10:53 PM
Latest: Police say 3 arrested during Chicago teachers' rally

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Chicago teachers staging a one-day walkout to protest budget cuts (all times local):

9 p.m.

Chicago police say three people were arrested and one person received a ticket during a downtown rally involving hundreds of teachers and their supporters as part of a one-day strike over education funding.

Police spokesman Kevin Quaid says he doesn't have details about what led to the arrests or what the charges are.

After a late-afternoon rally by the Chicago Teachers Union outside a state office building, hundreds of people marched through downtown for more than two hours to spread their message.

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7:15 p.m.

A rally involving hundreds of Chicago teachers and their supporters in downtown Chicago is winding down after they snarled rush-hour traffic as part of a one-day strike over education funding.

The Chicago Teachers Union held a rally outside a state office building about 5 p.m. Friday and then walked around downtown for more than two hours to spread their message.

Union President Karen Lewis says teachers are "united with people across this city and state to fight for them."

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and Illinois' Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, say the strike is illegal. CPS is seeking to block the union from future similar actions.

The union says the strike — which shut down schools for nearly 400,000 students — is legal.

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5 p.m.

Hundreds of Chicago teachers and their supporters are shutting down streets in downtown Chicago as part of a one-day strike over education funding.

The Chicago Teachers Union is holding a rally outside a state office building. The group then plans to march through downtown, disrupting traffic during rush hour.

Union President Karen Lewis says teachers are "united with people across this city and state to fight for them."

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and Illinois' Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, say the strike is illegal. CPS is seeking to block the union from future similar actions.

The union says the strike — which shut down schools for nearly 400,000 students — is legal.

Some other labor unions and groups affected by a state and local budget crisis are joining Friday's rally.

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3:30 p.m.

Chicago Public Schools is taking legal action to try to block the Chicago Teachers Union from holding another strike that the district describes as "illegal."

The district also wants the union to cover the still-unknown costs of providing more than 250 "contingency sites" for students while schools were closed.

Teachers are holding a one-day strike on Friday to call for more education funding. Union leaders say the one-day action is legal.

But schools CEO Forrest Claypool says state law is clear that the union can't strike until other steps have been exhausted. The district is filing a complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

Claypool says it's important to clearly establish that whether schools are open "is not subject to the whims of the Chicago Teachers Union leadership."

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12:20 p.m.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he agrees with Chicago teachers that more money is needed for education.

But he says the Chicago Teachers Union should join with him and Chicago Public Schools to lobby state lawmakers, rather than go on strike.

Thousands of teachers are protesting cuts in school funding Friday. Their one-day strike shut down schools for nearly 400,000 students.

Emanuel says for many of those students, school is the only place they get two meals each day or other services. He says the "kids are paying a price that" he doesn't "think is right."

The union blames Emanuel and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for the cuts.

Friday's one-day strike could foreshadow an open-ended strike over a new contract that, by law, can't occur for several weeks.

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11:45 a.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says a one-day strike by Chicago teachers is "shameful" because "children are the victims in this raw display of political power."

Teachers are picketing shuttered schools Friday to call for better education funding. They blame Rauner, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other lawmakers for cuts to education and other programs.

The Republican governor and the Chicago Teachers Union are longtime adversaries. Rauner has said CTU and other public-worker unions are too powerful, and he has pushed for measures to curb their political influence.

Rauner says if state lawmakers had approved some of his reforms, a strike could have been averted "and taxpayers and children would have been protected."

Rauner's anti-union agenda is a major reason he and majority Democrats still haven't approved a state budget.

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10:00 a.m.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has told teachers picketing during a one-day walkout that the union wants long-term sustainable funding for schools.

Lewis appeared at Beasley Elementary School on Friday morning as teachers staged an unprecedented one-day citywide strike. She told protesters that teachers "are dying a death of a thousand cuts." Lewis praised the support of other unions and said she hopes the one-day strike will jolt negotiations forward.

The union and Chicago Public Schools have been bargaining for more than a year without agreement in what is considered the last stage of contract negotiations.

The walkout has closed schools for nearly 400,000 students. Protests are planned throughout the city, culminating with a rally and march outside a downtown state government building at 4 p.m.

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9:25 a.m.

Parents are among supporters picketing with striking Chicago Public School teachers during a one-day walkout to protest budget cuts.

Tiffany Stockdale has two children who attend Chicago Public Schools. She was out with teachers Friday morning at DePriest Elementary School to show her support. Stockdale says the teachers' action may be inconvenient for some parents but that "it's for a good cause" — improving education.

Car and trucks passing by the school honked their horns to show their support.

The walkout will close schools for nearly 400,000 students. Protests are planned throughout the city, culminating with a rally and march outside a downtown state government building at 4 p.m.

Stockdale says if there's a longer strike she will support it.

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8:10 a.m.

A Chicago Public Schools physical education teacher says she's noticed negative changes because of budget cuts.

Gloria Fallon has been teaching for 16 years at Beasley Elementary on the city's South Side. She is handing out protest signs Friday outside the school during a Chicago Teachers Union one-day walkout to call attention to education funding cuts. The swimming teacher says there have been days when she's alone with 30 students in the pool. She says that's unsafe.

Fallon says the walkout is teachers' way "to flex our muscles and show we're serious."

Planned protests include a rally at Chicago State University with civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Friday's strike will culminate with a 4 p.m. rally and protest march outside downtown Chicago's state government building.

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7:05 a.m.

Chicago teachers and their supporters are marching on picket lines to herald the start of a one-day strike aimed at halting education funding cuts.

Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey stood outside a school early Friday as protesters shouted "fight for funding." He says the walkout's goal is to fix the Illinois state budget crisis and fund schools. He says teachers will fight until schools receive money and "we are not taking no for an answer."

American Federal of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is rallying protesters too, saying the funding cuts are a "reckless disregard of children." She says teachers are protesting because "they have no other choice."

The walkout will close schools for nearly 400,000 students who will have the option of spending the day at Chicago Public Schools' "contingency sites."

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12:45 a.m.

Picket lines and protests will likely meet students and parents who show up at Chicago school buildings Friday.

Teachers in the nation's third-largest district are launching an unprecedented one-day strike. They say it's aimed at getting lawmakers to adequately fund education and other programs.

The walkout will close schools for nearly 400,000 students who will have the option of spending the day at one of the "contingency sites" Chicago Public Schools is opening at churches, libraries and school buildings.

The Chicago Teachers Union last went on strike in 2012, shutting down schools for more than a week before reaching an agreement with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That contract expired in June.

Friday's action could foreshadow a longer strike over a new contract, which by law can't occur for several weeks.