Chicago teachers hold one-day walkout in protest of budget cuts

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CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A one-day walkout in Chicago closed schools for nearly 400,000 students on Friday, April 1, 2016.

Parents were among supporters picketing with Chicago Public Schools teachers during the strike to protest budget cuts.

Tiffany Stockdale has two children who attend Chicago Public Schools. She was out with teachers Friday morning 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.  Stockdale said if there's a longer strike she will support it.

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

Protests were planned throughout the city, culminating with a rally and march outside a downtown state government building at 4 p.m.

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

The picketing teachers 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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