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Education Sun May 23 2010
The slate of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, CORE, has forced a run-off election against the incumbent United Progressive Caucus slate, headed by President Marilyn Stewart. UPC has come under harsh criticism from the opposing slates for a perceived unwillingness to organize with teachers and parents to fight privatization, as well as for failing to adequately service the contract.
More than 30 boxes of ballots were uncounted as of Sunday night, due to a logistical failure on the part of the third-party American Arbitration Association, which was brought in to run the election. Preliminary results of the election were reported by observers early Saturday morning.These are not expected to considerably change the outcome.
In the preliminary count, CORE and the leader of their slate, Karen Lewis, ended up with only about 300 fewer votes than the UPC, out of nearly 20,000 cast; UPC took 32% of the vote to CORE's 31%. The third-place finishers, ProActive Chicago Teachers, or PACT, ended with about 16%. Between CORE, PACT, and the Coalition for a Strong, Democratic Union (CSDU) which endorsed CORE after the results were announced, there are enough votes to take the 50%+1 necessary to secure election.
CORE began two years ago as a reform caucus and has used parent-teacher organizing coalitions, legal pressure, and direct action to help prevent school closures and protest Board policies. Should CORE win the June 11th run-off, they would assume leadership over one of the largest teachers unions in the United States.