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Education Thu Jun 03 2010
Perhaps the Chicago Teacher's Union needs to take a page out of New York City's book, where teachers will have to forego projected two percent pay raises to save some 4,400 teachers their jobs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.
The layoffs would, according to the mayor, "devastate the school system and erase much of the great progress we've made," reports the AP.
Is the same not true of the CPS? In Chicago, the budget deficit may force the layoff of 2,700 teachers to provide for a four percent pay raise negotiated in the CTU's contract in 2007. These layoffs and other budgetary cuts will lead to class sizes of up to 35 kids and the loss of junior varsity sports and other extracurricular activities.
And yet the CTU doesn't seem to be willing to make compromises. In March, the CTU released a statement in which President Marilyn Stewart emphasized her commitment to keeping the contract consistent.
"Parents and students in Chicago should have both: small class sizes with quality educational programs and teachers who are paid a fair salary for the hard work they do," she said.
It's true that teachers often go underpaid and overworked, but is this a case of Chicago teachers wanting to have their cake and eat it too? The future for the CPS is likely to be either cuts in the classroom or cuts in raises, because the Illinois legislature doesn't look like it's going to be figuring out a solution any time soon.