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Chicago students head back to school after strike

M. Spencer Green / AP

Students gather outside Benjamin E. Mays Academy for the first day of school on Sept. 19, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation's third largest school district.

More than 350,000 Chicago Public School students returned to class Wednesday after seven days off during the city's first teacher strike in 25 years.

"We feel very positive about moving forward," Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said Tuesday after the union's nearly 800-member House of Delegates voted to end the strike. "We feel grateful that we have a united union, and that when a union moves together we have amazing things happen."

Teachers said they're excited to get back to work after voting on the tentative deal article-by-article. One point even received a standing ovation: the freedom for teachers to create their own lesson plans. Full story…

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Students at Frazier International Magnet School wait outside before the start of school on Sept. 19 in Chicago, Ill.

M. Spencer Green / AP

Leslie Sabbs-Kizer, right, walks her children Nkai Melton, 8, Akaira Melton, 7, and Khaymya Smith, 3, to Bond Elementary school in Chicago, for the first day of classes Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Mayor Rahm Emanuel greets students as they arrive for school at Frazier International Magnet School on Sept. 19 in Chicago, Ill.

The Chicago Teachers Union finally reached a deal Tuesday, compromising on a pay increase and school reform. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

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