Chicago students and teachers were back in the classroom today, after the teachers union delegates voted to end the strike Tuesday evening. It appears the teachers union came to the realization that striking would do little to persuade the school board to resume contract negotiations, especially after the board filed suit on Monday to end the strike they believed was illegal.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike has lasted five days now. As teachers and other school staffers joined the picket lines, nearly 400,000 students have been out of school. At issue are salaries, tenure, benefits, teacher evaluations, and the length of the school day. In regards to the salary issue, many Americans might initially side with the teachers. After all, there is a common consensus that teachers are underpaid and overworked – especially in an inner-city district like Chicago.But some may be surprised to hear that on average, teachers in Chicago make $76,000 a year – among the highest in the country and significantly higher than their students’ families. Yet, this is not enough for these teachers. CTU has demanded an increase of 24% over two years. That is obviously a large number, but let me add a little perspective here; most Americans who are lucky enough to receive a raise only average somewhere around 3%. And those raises are not guaranteed nor are they granted every year.
I graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in History (minor in Political Science) and the University of Wyoming with a Master of Public Administration. I am an experienced copywriter and content manager. I am also a former intern/research associate for the Education Policy Center at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado and have previously blogged for National School Choice Week.