Chicago teachers went on strike Tuesday for the ninth time in 18 years, walking picket lines on the day before classes were to begin for 435,000 students.
Negotiators were to resume contract talks, but union officers said it was unlikely that a settlement would be reached before the scheduled start of classes. School officials refused to comment on the strike.
'Anger and Frustration'
Officers of the 29,000-member Chicago Teachers Union said teachers would stay away from classrooms until they receive a contract. "The general attitude of the teachers is one of anger and frustration," union spokesman Chuck Burdeen said.
Along the picket lines at Pritzker School, on the city's Northwest Side, teachers seemed weary less than two hours into the strike.
"I'm real tired of it," said Eileen Grassman, 39, who teaches hearing-impaired children.
The teachers want a 15% pay increase over two years, but the Chicago Board of Education says it does not have enough money to maintain the current salary schedule.
Elsewhere, more than 284,000 students were affected by strikes in Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington state.
Teachers in the Michigan communities of Gibraltar, Constantine and Manistique went on strike Tuesday, raising the number of school districts in the state affected by strikes to 10.
Large Detroit Strike
The largest strike involved 11,500 teachers and 185,000 students in Detroit.
In New Jersey, teachers in Elizabeth's 22 schools went on strike Tuesday for higher wages, threatening to disrupt today's scheduled opening of classes for 15,500 students. No talks were scheduled in the district, where 1,300 unionized teachers and about 700 custodians, secretaries and cafeteria workers walked picket lines.