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Chicago's Teachers Union CEO kid attend private school?

Is it wrong to compare Stacy Gates to a rattlesnake? Yes. I don't want to demean the snake.

The Chicago Teachers Union Chief Sends Her Son to Catholic School

Stacy Davis Gates wants choice for her son, but not for everyone else.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Sept. 8, 2023 6:35 pm ET

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates PHOTO: SCOTT HEINS/GETTY IMAGES

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates has called school choice racist and made it her mission to kill an Illinois scholarship program for low-income children. So how did Ms. Gates try to explain herself this week after press reports that she has enrolled her son in a private Catholic high school?

“Dear Union Sibling,” began her email to fellow teachers. She said that black students have “limited” options on the city’s south and west sides: “It forced us to send our son, after years of attending a public school, to a private high school so he could live out his dream of being a soccer player while also having a curriculum that can meet his social and emotional needs.”

Ms. Gates’s desire to do what’s best for her child is laudable. What’s not is to do that while denying other families the same choice. The school where her son is enrolled reportedly costs her $16,000 a year. What about those who can’t afford such a school? Illinois’s Invest in Kids program funds about 9,000 scholarships, and last year it had 31,000 applications. But the program is scheduled to sunset, and that’s exactly what the teachers unions have demanded.

“Here is the truth: If you are a Black family living in a Black community, high-quality neighborhood schools have been the dream, not the reality,” Ms. Gates’s email says. There’s no arguing about that. For some schools on the south side, the percentage of students who can read or do math at grade level is in the single digits. But then she insists, as the teachers unions always do, that the answer is spending yet more money to “undo the decades of systemic underinvestment.”

The operating budget for the Chicago public schools has grown to $8.5 billion in 2024, from $6.3 billion in 2020, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. Yet enrollment is down 80,000 students from a decade ago, and many schools are underutilized. Don’t dare try to consolidate, though.

“School closings is a racist and failed policy,” Ms. Gates argued in 2018. “You do not close schools in environments that need investment.” Is it any wonder that among the first things to go are extracurricular programs like orchestras and soccer teams?

Ms. Gates’s son deserves a quality education, but so do his neighbors. With any luck this controversy will improve the odds of renewing the Invest in Kids program. But the real moral and political scandal remains the same: that thousands of Chicago’s children are locked into failing public schools as part of a political job-protection program for the teachers union.

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