Chicago teachers’ union demands one eye-popping request that has taxpayers up in arms

Government-run public schools all too often fail to prepare students to become productive adults.

The failures are most pronounced in America’s large, Democrat-dominated cities, despite massive tax dollar expenditures.

Now the Chicago teachers union’s latest ask is leaving residents fuming.

President Ronald Reagan’s Education Secretary Bill Bennett traveled to Chicago in 1987 and told a closed-room group that the Windy City’s school system was “the worst in the nation.”

Local teachers and parents were indignant at his harsh words but one thing they couldn’t do was refute his estimation.

Over the ensuing forty years, Bennett has proven to be all too correct.

To this day, the city’s schools are an unmitigated disaster.

Chicago schools are nowhere close to adequately preparing students for adulthood

According to data from the Illinois State Board of Education, only 30% of black students meet or exceed reading standards in the third grade in the city’s worst schools.

By 11th grade that number falls to a mind-boggling 14% among this group. 

By any measure, the school district is a complete and total failure.

It’s gotten so bad and so embarrassing that the city has simply stopped grading school performance.

In a recent interview, far-left Mayor Brandon Johnson said, “I personally don’t give a lot of attention to grades. How do you grade a system, when the system has not fulfilled its basic obligation of providing an equitable system that speaks to the needs [of students]?”

He added, “My responsibility is not simply to just grade the system, but to fund the system. That’s how I’m ultimately going to grade whether or not our public school system is working: based upon the investments that we make to the people who rely on it.”

If that sounds like a cop-out and an excuse to throw more money at a problem without actually solving it, that’s because it is.

Chicago Public School (CPS) system was spending roughly $28,000 per student during the pandemic, partly with the help of federal bailout money.

The Chicago Teachers Union is now negotiating a new contract.

 

More money despite more problems to be spent in mind-boggling ways

The Teachers Union wants an additional $50 billion, an amount nearly equal to Illinois’ total base tax receipts for the entire year.

They want the money for higher wages, money for illegal aliens, LGBTQ proposals, and free abortions.

While the demands haven’t been yet made public, leaked information shows that there will be an ask for a huge pay increase.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the average salary of a teacher in Chicago Public Schools is now $93,182.

Under the new proposal, the average teacher’s pay will increase by half to $144,620 in the 2027-2028 school year.

This amount would be double the median household income in Chicago, according to Census Bureau statistics.

That’s an awful lot of money for complete and total failure.

Mailee Smith is a senior director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute and says, “These demands read more like a political agenda than a serious contract intent on supporting teachers’ wages and benefits and promoting the education of Chicago students. They are far outside the scope of traditional bargaining, putting taxpayer dollars on the line in pursuit of more union power and social activism.”

In the end, Smith has it exactly right.

The Teachers Union is more concerned with getting their slice of largess at taxpayers’ expense than with fixing the huge array of problems in the district.

Many parents with the means to remove their children from the failing system have done so and with stories like this, expect that trend to only continue.

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story. 

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