Source: Tentative deal reached in Chicago teacher strike

A tentative deal has been reached in the dispute between the Chicago Teachers Union and the city's school board, a source with detailed knowledge of the negotiations said Friday.

Students could be back in the classroom as soon as Monday, according to the source.

New hope emerged Thursday after days of sometimes contentious meetings between the teachers union and the school board.

"We will see if we can finish this up, hopefully, tomorrow," Chicago School Board President David Vitale told reporters Thursday night. "I think we made some pretty good progress."

Schools remained closed Friday, the fifth day of the strike, amid the negotiations.

Chicago Teachers Union spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said union delegates with the power to stop the walkout would be meeting Friday afternoon.

The union, which represents nearly 30,000 teachers and support staff, called the strike on Sunday night.

The union has said the two sides had been close to a deal on pay, but far apart on teacher evaluations, benefits and other issues.

The median base salary for teachers in the Chicago public schools in 2011 was $67,974, according to the system's annual financial report.

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