PHOENIX, September 10, 2012 ― Today thousands of school teachers in Chicago went on strike when their contractual demands were not met by the Chicago Public Schools.
In yet another example of how public sector unions help dismantle our education system, the Chicago Teachers Union has decided that the $400 million package that offered a 16 percent salary increase to Chicago school teachers wasn’t good enough.
So how much do Chicago school teachers currently make?
$76,000 a year, and that’s before any benefits.
Compare that to the average Chicagoan, who earns only $47,000 per year. Compare it to the average compensation for high school teachers in the United States. They make around $43,000 a year, while elementary school teachers make around $40,000 a year.
Compared to American teachers, average Americans, and the people of Chicago, the Chicago teachers have it pretty good.
And so, of course, they want more.
It’s bad enough that the Chicago public schools already have the shortest school days and the shortest school year in the nation when compared to the ten largest cities. Now, when most of their neighbors don’t get raises at all, they want to be compensated even more. They pay only 3 percent of their health-care costs, their pensions receive 71 cents of every new dollar directed at public education, they make $27,000 more than their neighbors for an eight-month work-year, and they want more.
This union strike has affected over 400,000 students and their families, students that these teacher unions claim to be fighting for. The parents of those students will in many cases have to cut back their own work hours to take care of their kids, and in some cases they will lose their jobs as a result. The kids, whose education isn’t very good in the first place, will enjoy their unexpected vacation, never realizing that it further damages their academic development.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, “Four out of every ten kids who start freshman year at a public high school in Chicago do not graduate.”
That is an alarming number, and no teacher should be proud of it.
The Illinois Policy Institute also points out that the, “Average teacher pay at Urban Prep Academy, the Chicago charter school that has sent 100% of its graduates to college for the third consecutive year is $47,714.”
These numbers clearly show that the Chicago Public Schools are rewarding bad teachers and letting the students fail.
The teacher evaluation system clearly needs to be reformed; yet with tenure and the union stranglehold on public eduation, we’ll never see the proper reforms that could turn around the Chicago Public Schools.
This has long been a core problem with the teachers unions in America: They’re afraid to let the bad guys go. They’re afraid to let the excellent teachers exceed the okay teachers.
The Chicago Teachers Union is clearly putting their own interests ahead of the students they were hired to educate.
This strike could last for days or weeks. It’s time the proper reforms to education are enacted to put students and education first and help further economic prosperity.
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