Posted: Sep 22, 2012 1:18 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2012 1:21 PM
CHICAGO (AP) - The grueling teachers strike is over. Now comes the hard part for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
As he pushes ahead on his promise to reform the city's underperforming classrooms, he faces several daunting tasks: slashing an estimated $1 billion budget deficit, confronting a woefully underfunded employee pension system and finding money for the pay raises that settled the first teacher walkout in a generation.
He hasn't ruled out school closings and tax increases, both of which would be hugely unpopular.
Waiting in the wings are other unions, including police and firefighters whose labor contracts have expired. They were no doubt watching closely as the teachers stood up to the former White House chief of staff with the fearsome reputation.