CHICAGO -- The Chicago Teachers' Union on Thursday approved a contract with the Chicago Board of Education, clearing the way for the Illinois General Assembly to consider a $300 million bond-financed bailout of the beleaguered school system this week.

Teachers voted 15,765 to 9,025 in favor of the two-year contract, which had been approved earlier this month by the union's house of delegates. Union representatives worked out the contract with board officials after weeks of intensive discussions aimed at keeping the schools open.

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