On Sunday, after abandoning their classrooms for the picket lines and putting 400,000 of Chicago’s schoolkids on the streets for a week, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis and her 800-member House of Delegates voted to reject a deal reached only days earlier, keeping 26,000 teachers on the streets and forcing Chicago parents to scramble with childcare issues or miss work for a second week in a row.
Now, Chicago’s mayor and former top Obama aide, Rahm Emanuel is going to court to force an end to the strike—a move Emanuel could have done last week—since the teachers’ strike may be illegal under Illinois law.
She cautioned there is no contract yet, though a City Hall source said the school district and union have reached a “framework with all points resolved.”
Union president Karen Lewis said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table.
“Our members are not happy,” Lewis said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”
She added: “They feel rushed.” [Emphasis added.]
While nearly 40% of Chicago’s public school teachers send their own children to private schools, many of the kids’ parents who are most affected cannot afford to send their kids to private schools. However, since the CTU strike began, rather than having their children held hostage to a failing school system besieged by union greed and avarice, more parents are looking for alternatives for their children.
According to the Huffington Post, Catholic and charter schools (most of which are non-union) are seeing an uptick in parental inquiries:
UNO Charter School Network, which runs non-union, publicly-funded schools, has taken in 30 new students since the strike by 29,000 public school teachers was announced, according to CEO Juan Rangel of the United Neighborhood Organization, a Latino community group.
“I assume that number is going to increase,” said Rangel, who was co-chair of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election campaign. “They (parents) want their kids in school. They don’t want to have them out on the street.”
As was noted last week when the strike began, when union bosses like Karen Lewis wonder why unions are vilified today, all they need to do is look in the mirror.
Putting kids on the streets because teachers want to see what else they can squeeze out of a school system is unacceptable.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
Video by Ben Howe.
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com.