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Chicago Teachers Union gets ready to strike? Again?

The Chicago Teacher's Union is right again. They need to do more to squash Charter Schools which actually provide a vastly better education and make sure the mother ship makes more money, even though Chicago is going bankrupt.

Chicago currently spends about $24,000 per student on education, whereas the lousy Wilmette school district (which includes New Trier) spent only $20,865 last year. BAM!

CTU goes big with new contract demands

Axios News

The Chicago Teachers Union released a list of "transformative" demands this week as they begin the arduous process of negotiating a new contract.

Why it matters: Chicago Public Schools and the CTU — one of the most progressive teachers unions in the country — are looking to disrupt the pattern of contentious standoffs that have led to multiple work stoppages since 2012.

What they're saying: "Our collective bargaining agreement is a tool, a vehicle for transformative change and we are going to up the ante," CTU president Stacy Davis-Gates said at a recent press conference.

State of play: The union has put forth over 700 new items in what they're calling the most "ambitious" contract proposal ever.

The CTU wants higher pay for teachers and staff. They're also pushing the city to pay for affordable housing for unhoused families and for all CPS students to learn an additional language.

Plus, fully funded special education classes, year-round sports for all schools and smaller class sizes.

The intrigue: Negotiations are expected to look different this time around. In recent years, the mayor and the union were not politically aligned. But all that has changed.

Mayor Brandon Johnson had previously worked for the CTU and was backed by the union in the 2023 election.

Johnson pushed back on any perceived conflict this week, saying he comes to the talks as a CPS parent: "What I want for my children, I want for everyone: a fully funded system."

The big picture: Federal COVID relief dollars have run out, and CPS faces a $391 million deficit.

The district has already sent next year's budget proposals to schools, which don't include raises or other CTU proposed investments.

The union and the mayor want the state to kick in more money for CPS, but Illinois officials haven't signaled that increasing Chicago's school funding is a legislative priority.

What's next: The current contract expires June 30.

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