Chicago Teachers Union Cancels Strike
School Choice Weekly #154
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) called off a strike scheduled for October 11 after reaching a last-minute deal with the district, though no one seems to know what the agreement will cost taxpayers. The Chicago Tribune reported:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union both declared victory after reaching a tentative contract settlement that averted a strike.
What wasn’t immediately clear, however, was the financial cost of the deal that was reached Monday moments before a midnight strike deadline.
To finance the deal for this year alone, Emanuel tapped nearly $90 million in tax increment financing district surplus, even though he had for months dismissed the idea of using TIF money to shore up the school district’s shaky finances.
On Tuesday, though, he called using those funds “the right thing to do.”
The “right thing to do” for whom--students, parents, taxpayers? No, for the members of the teachers union, of course, as the Tribune pointed out:
The union got many of the things it wanted, including the continuation of the district paying the bulk of pension contributions for current teachers. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey praised the pay raises and job guarantees teachers would see under the tentative agreement.
“I think that we achieved really most of our bargaining objectives,” Sharkey said Tuesday. “And the things which we didn’t achieve largely have to do with not getting some of the things that we aspired to.”
CTU President Karen Lewis said the deal is “good for kids, is good for clinicians, is good for paraprofessionals, for teachers, for the community.” Lewis didn’t elaborate on how repeatedly keeping kids out of the classrooms and forcing already overburdened taxpayers to foot the bill for their lofty salary and benefits demands is good for kids or the community. Perhaps teachers unions elsewhere will enlighten us from their picket lines, the most attractive doubtlessly coming from Buffalo, New York, where union members benefit from “free” plastic surgery at taxpayer expense.
SOURCE: The Chicago Tribune
IN THIS ISSUE:
- PENNSYLVANIA: House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) says he plans to introduce legislation this year to expand the state’s tax scholarship program to help low-income students attend private schools.
- MASSACHUSETTS: School choice proponents are working hard ahead of the November election to get people to vote “yes” on Question 2, which would lift the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state.
- INNER-CITY SCHOOLS: Rashad Turner, a former leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, makes the case for school choice in The Hill.
- MILLENIALS: A survey by EdChoie says millennials are “the school choice generation.”
- COMMON CORE: A new white paper explains why the Common Core State Standards are “incompatible with and unsuited for a traditional Catholic education.”
- NORTH DAKOTA: Two candidates running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction express contrasting views on Common Core.
- BILINGUAL: California voters will decide whether to reverse a ban on “English-only” classroom instruction.
- SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL: The Aspen Institute is launching a new project focused on advancing “social-emotional” learning in schools.
- CODING: Educators and lawmakers debate whether computer coding should fulfill a student’s foreign language requirement.
- FED ED: States are considering how to implement new Obama administration rules requiring states to develop ratings systems for teacher preparation programs.
- CHARTER SCHOOLS: A new audit shows despite the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) having poured more than $3 billion into charter schools, DOE failed to provide proper oversight of some grants.
- THE ELECTION: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton answered “an identical series of questions about their vision and plans for public schools should they become president of the United States” for the Washington Post.
- COLLEGE ATHLETES: With the National Labor Relations Board having declared players on the Northwestern University football team are employees, not athletes, NU has changed its player handbook to declare the athletes to be employees.
- HARLEM: Harlem Academy, a private school, aims to challenge economically disadvantaged, academically gifted children.
Thank you for reading! If you need a quicker fix of news about school choice, you can find daily updates online at https://www.heartland.org/topics/education.