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Chicago Schools Crumble While Teachers Make Extremist Demands

Posted on Friday, May 10, 2024
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by Tammy Bruce
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87 Comments
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Chicago Teachers Union logo displayed on top of a pile of 100 dollar bills of US currency

We hear all the time that whenever the left takes something over, nothing thrives. But that’s not entirely true. Three things thrive when the left is in charge: madness, chaos, and failure. Every day the Biden administration provides an example of this for the world to see, but let’s look at the latest gob-smacking illustration. The Chicago Teachers Union’s (CTU) bizarre, extreme, and detached from reality contract demands.

In leaked documents exposing their contract negotiations with the Chicago Public School System, the CTU’s demands include pay hikes, free abortions, housing for illegal aliens (whom they call ‘newcomers’), LGBT ‘training’ in schools, climate initiatives, and the right to close schools for remote zoom classes for any situation the teachers deem a “trauma.”  The Daily Mail reported, “After any ‘traumatic event’ that happens at a school – which is not defined – the superintendent will be required to meet with the head of the teachers union to discuss closing the school for some time. ‘No school will reopen until all necessary supports, both physical and emotional, are in place,’ according to the contract.” Any closures of this type will also prevent teachers’ performance from being evaluated for that entire calendar year. How convenient.

And it doesn’t end there. They also demand school board policies that would prohibit being compelled to disclose to parents when a child declares they’re ‘transgender,’ and they want ‘gender-affirming care’ provided for all union members.

It’s one thing to negotiate for a reward or raise when you’ve been successful at your job. But the opposite is true for Chicago schools. Only 12.2 percent of low-income 3rd graders are reading at grade level, and only 21 percent of 8th graders are proficient at reading. Wirepoints reports, “They never tell parents the truth about how literacy has collapsed in Chicago Public Schools, particularly for black students. Only 2 of every 10 can read at grade level, according to CPS data. In many city schools, it’s 0 out of 10.” Moreover, the Illinois Policy Institute reports, “About three-quarters of Chicago Public Schools students cannot read at grade level on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness in 2023. Nearly 83% did not meet proficiency in math. Students in Chicago and statewide are still performing worse than they did before the pandemic.”

And what is the response by the CTU for this failure? They want a raise! “Union President Stacy Davis Gates’ audacious plan calls for members to bank at least 9% wage increases each year through fiscal year 2028. The average salary of a teacher in Chicago Public Schools is $93,182…Therefore, the average teacher’s pay will increase by half to $144,620 in the 2027-2028 school year… That figure would equate to more than double the median household income in Chicago, according to Census Bureau statistics,” reported Fox News.

The mendacity of this is shocking. The overall cost for the madness? 50 billion dollars. Or more specifically, “$50 billion and 3 cents” according to Union President Stacy Davis Gates who, as Fox News reported, declared: “We are asking you to give us an opportunity to tell our story,” Gates said in a speech in March referring to the union’s plans. “It will cost $50 billion and three cents… yes it will, and so what, that’s audacity.”

Actually, audacity is destroying young people’s lives by failing to teach the basics, and then pushing them out into society unprepared and illiterate. No teacher enters the profession hoping to destroy a student’s life. And yet, here is union leadership making preposterous demands about ‘social justice’ and political issues, all while the education of the children in their care is abandoned in favor of left-wing activism. Every teacher in every city who cares about their students should take note of what happens when you hand the control of your union, city, or country over to leftist agitators.

There is a method to their madness, however– the left relies on perpetual victimhood, and producing generations of functionally illiterate individuals, which will certainly keep the victim coffers full.

And why would they expect this, or any part of this chaos, to pass? “’ The Chicago Teachers Union spent nearly $2.3 million to get a union employee elected mayor, in large part because they want to legislate via their union contract. These demands read more like a political agenda than a serious contract intent on supporting teachers’ wages and benefits, and promoting the education of Chicago students,’ said Mailee Smith, Senior Director of Labor Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. “These demands are far outside the scope of traditional bargaining, putting taxpayer dollars on the line in pursuit of more union power and social activism,’”

The destruction isn’t limited to Chicago: Wirepoints tells us, “In 2023, there were 67 Illinois schools where not a single student tested was proficient in math and 32 schools where no student tested was proficient in reading. What’s worse, officials in those schools graduated nearly 70% of their students. More than 12,000 students attend Illinois’ zero-proficiency schools. Every single one of those children will struggle in life because they lack basic reading and math skills.” 

The madness, chaos, and failure unleashed in Illinois and Chicago’s schools immediately affects the families involved, but it also portends a disaster for America in general. We’ve seen the mess leftist activists have made of school boards and districts throughout blue states and cities. How much talent, passion, brilliance, and ingenuity are we losing when we allow students to be thrown into the leftist volcano? The CTU is an example of what the left has always done— co-opt an important issue and then parasitically invade organizations involved in work important to all Americans. The left then rides the issues to power and money, destroying everything it leaves in its wake.

What’s happening in Chicago and Illinois is also what’s happening at our universities—very few people are taking control of the environment to pursue their own failed, Marxist agenda, to the detriment of everyone else.

The leaked CTU negotiating document has not yet been released as their official bargaining stance, but no matter what they edit, soften, or re-write, all of this is part of the Marxist agenda which they fully intend to implement, no matter how long it takes.

Tammy Bruce, an Independent Conservative, has traversed a unique political journey that reflects her commitment to principles rather than party affiliations. She joined Fox News in 2005 as a Political Contributor, hosting her show “Get Tammy Bruce” on Fox Nation and providing insightful commentary on various issues for the Association for Mature Americans (AMAC).

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Granny26
Granny26
17 days ago

Most of their ‘demands’ have nothing to do with their jobs. Fire the whole bunch and bring on new ones that aren’t so ‘woke’.

lawrence greenberg
lawrence greenberg
17 days ago

I can sum up this article and so many others as follows. The political Left (in this instance, the Democrats), regardless of time or place, have but a single goal: Power and control, at any price, at any cost, by any means necessary. The history books show clearly the untold innocent millions who have paid the ultimate price for the political Left’s unceasing quest for power and control.

Papa John
Papa John
17 days ago

Your salary will be based upon student achievement. Simple formula and it eliminates all the politics.

John Shipway
John Shipway
17 days ago

Just let Chicago go, let it rot under the weight of policies created by the representatives the residents of that crap-hole massive city keep electing. Stay out of the problem, avoid it like Covid.

SEN
SEN
17 days ago

Heck no. Those demands are ridiculous. Don’t cave in. Stand up to them. What are they, Democrats?

Westhus092
Westhus092
17 days ago

The residents of Chicago should have a pretty short and straightforward response to these demands: ‘NO’.

tlang
tlang
17 days ago

Geez, Given prices, all of the problems of a failing school system and the perverts running the bus, would love to know what drugs the CTU is using. This is yet another reason parents need to keep their kids in either faith-based schools… many of which offer scholarships or are involved with Choice… or home school. The public school systems are a failure in virtually every city school system. And the unions have themselves to blame. Unfortunately it keeps teachers locked in a disaster and kids getting little more than a free meal and babysitting… certainly not learning.

Lover of God and America!
Lover of God and America!
17 days ago

total and complete MADNESS!!!! TEACHER’S UNIONS NEED NOT EXIST!

Dean
Dean
17 days ago

HEIP MAKE AMERICA A PISS HOLE VOTE DEMORAT!

Sandra D.
Sandra D.
17 days ago

I graduated from a Chicago High School in 1965, yes, I am old. But I cannot help but think of those wonderful teachers I had who are probably spinning in their graves.

P8triot
P8triot
17 days ago

“About three-quarters of Chicago Public Schools students cannot read at grade level on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness in 2023. Nearly 83% did not meet proficiency in math.”
This is madness. Criminal neglect!
Public education peaked in the 70’s and it has been in a slow but steady decline.
‘Graduates’ of this system are set up for failure and will expect to be on the public dole. They will probably have been taught by their woke teachers that the reason they will struggle socially and economically is due the their race or class in society, not the failed school system.
They will not be happy and will demand reparations. Our society will be even more chaotic, violent and dangerous. Average standards of living will decline.
Less producers and more takers is a dangerous and unstable formula.
China is watching us destroy ourselves and they must truly be amazed at how easy it will be to surpass and dominate us.

uncleferd
uncleferd
17 days ago

My fellow commenter, “tlang”, has made an interesting point… The employees of this Chicago School System seem to be high on much more exotic, illegal drugs than faculty and staff at other school systems… which isn’t fair… I mean, if the hallucinations THEY experience during classes are a lot more entertaining than what all the other faculty nationwide are seeing, well, that’s a critical labor dispute. I guess that Chicago crowd better “lawyer up”!!

Charles
Charles
17 days ago

The Chicago Public Schools are a War Zone and teachers already get combat pay as part of the extravagant salaries they get. Their demands are for the things that should not be even considered in a public school. The bottom line is they are not teaching even the most basic and don’t deserve raises for incompetent activity.

Nick
Nick
17 days ago

Let Chicago rot in its own feces. I don’t care about them at all. They are liberal Marxist Democrats. If you live there so sad too bad.

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
17 days ago

No government employees shoild ever be allowed to unionize. That said, teachers’ unions are communist captured. They’re destructive to teachers, administrators, children, and humanity in general. They undermine decency, good morals, and good education in every way.

Pat R
Pat R
17 days ago

The teachers’ union in Chicago has been making demands for years. And they get them BECAUSE their schools are quite dangerous to work in with all the crime, killings, and everything else that goes on throughout Chicago. Chicago has to meet their demands or all the teachers will walk out. And with no teachers, schools would close. Then those kids who do come to school would wind up in those gangs and crime would increase even more. AND guess what? It’s a Democrat-run city and has been for many decades.

R Reag
R Reag
17 days ago

Pull a Reagan

Thinking
Thinking
17 days ago

What the teacher union wants for their teachers in Chicago. Total control over the schools. What curriculum. When to close schools. They decide what is a calamity to teach via zoom. Not an emergency for the kids but a teacher emergency. First merit teaching should return to evaluate the teachers. When our kids went to school kids dien’t learn very much not like the European schools were. Short teaching days. Every week a day off for teacher work day. In Europe you learned multiplications in second grade fractions in 4th. By the time you went to high school you had had two years of junior college education. The whole education system has to be overhauled in favor of the students not for the teachers. Right now it prefers the teachers. We got to strengthen the curriculum. In high school they keep lowering the credits you need. 4 year of high school should end with 2-3 days of exams. Written and oral. But here it is oh that is too hard because junior is busy with sport or music. All important but should not be part of the school curriculum. Private sport clubs could be started after school. Merit education should be priority one in this country. Nobody would ever look at us as weak. Think of the research that would be done let’s say how to make fossil fuels useable pollution free. I am convinced there is a way. Only nobody wants to suggest to do research in clean fossil fuel. We have longer lived with coal for heat than electric and people survived. Incentives to research these problems instead of mandates to go electric. Electric needs some kind of fuel to generate. Only through education will we solve the worlds problems. Not division and wars. And it starts with a great education. Not brainwashing.

Jim
Jim
17 days ago

Problem solved and it’s simple. Get rid of the teachers union – decertify it.

Jeff Noncent
Jeff Noncent
17 days ago

If I had a child I will never let my kids go to a public school. The parents doesn’t have any choice, but to send their kids to a public school because they don’t have time to teach their own kids about life itself.

Steve
Steve
17 days ago

“Newcomers” Liberal Democrats’ newest name for “illegal aliens”.

Scott R L
Scott R L
17 days ago

It’s a rot that isn’t limited to Chicago. Here in Fort Worth, Texas, teachers want ever more money “for the children” — yet reading proficiency is terrible, and math and other subjects no better.

Couldn’t minimum-wage teachers churn out these ignorant students? They couldn’t do any worse.

William
William
17 days ago

There only two sexes.Male and Female.NO transgender, No ILLEGAL Aliens.Time these people get there head out of their ass and get back to teaching.

Dean
Dean
17 days ago

HELP MAKE AMERICA A S**T HOLE VOTE DEMORAT!

Mike L
Mike L
16 days ago

The teachers union in Chicago can give away $2.3 million for a mayor’s race, and they want more money for the teachers? Sounds like they want more money for political activities.
If they got extra money for campaign giving, they have enough money to give teachers more.

ThD
ThD
16 days ago

Remember the old adage of “learn from history or be doomed to repeat it”? Yeah, well, what we’ve been seeing are “programs” and “ideas” that are reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazi’s, Stalin and Mao. These are the beginnings of the State taking control over family decisions and personal morals and values. It is NOT up to the State to tell parents what is right and wrong or what morals and values should be taught and valued. This is exactly how communism gets its foot in the door. We’ve already seen it with the scamdemic and the government making people more and more comfortable by giving “free” checks and programs. People, especially younger people that haven’t truly entered the workforce yet, become willing to stay home and be “taken care of” by the State as they lose their freedoms.

Lou Di Leonardo
Lou Di Leonardo
17 days ago

Democrats Ruin Everything They Touch

Bob Chase
Bob Chase
17 days ago

Union negotiating needs to be limited to member pay and allowances, working conditions as they prevent members from working safely. The notion that unions rule policy should be disavowed!

GMA
GMA
17 days ago

Unrealistic demands..teachers union has money and plenty of it.

Russ
Russ
17 days ago

The new world we live in. Failing at your job and demanding more compensation for failing our chi,dren.

R Reag
R Reag
17 days ago

The first one to fire is the head of the union.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
17 days ago

Blue city teacher’s unions give unionism a bad name. The only way it would be worse is if they announced they are communist-trained.

GaryD
GaryD
17 days ago

All parents should pull all their children from public schools either home school or enroll them in private schools.This madness cannot continue to destroy young lives. Teachers unions and teachers are acting like dictators and communists and getting away with it like a lawless society.

Brock
Brock
15 days ago

“While nationally 11% of all parents enroll their school-age children in private schools, for public-school teachers it’s 20% – or almost twice the average. In large cities, the percentages are far greater. In Chicago, at least 39% of public-school teachers send their students to private school. What does it say when nearly 4 out of 10 Chicago public school teachers will pay money so their children don’t have to attend a public school in the district in which they teach? It says, loud and clear, that a large percentage of public-school teachers are giving public education a failing grade and they understandably want better for their children.” illinoispolicy.org/vallas-school-choice-and-the-hypocrisy-of-chicago-teachers-union-leaders/

Mike
Mike
17 days ago

Time to flush all that CRAP down the toilet!!

Matt
Matt
17 days ago

We used to visit Chicago quite a bit, do the tourist thing. Now we stay away. This is only one of the many reasons. Chicago has become an unsafe enviroment. This is so sad, it used to be a nice to go, with all the attractions and what not.

J. Rymer
J. Rymer
17 days ago

I grew up in Chicago. We went to private schools. It was like this in public school all along growing up. Most Every parent we knew would find a way for their kids to go to private school. We actually mastered the 3Rs. I’m retirement age now. Moved out of IL. Nothing changes except the intensity and insanity of teacher union demands. Truly sad for the future generation–and the taxpayers who tolerate this. It’s like this in most school districts nationwide as I can see, even in my PNW state.

Neal
Neal
17 days ago

Many years ago, unions had their place by protecting the workers from unsafe conditions. Now, like most organizations, they have become so corrupt. Power and money, which go hand in hand, is what runs the unions. I have never been a fan of unions as I notice they promote a lot of laziness, entitlement and certainly do not bring out the best in people. We are destroying ourselves from inside. We have pushed God aside, who is our moral and ethical compass. As a whole, this country is morally and ethically bankrupt. Evil is running rampant, and we have done very little in the last hundred years to stomp it out. This is what happens when evil is allowed to manifest itself. The love of money is the root of all evil, 1 Timothy 6:10. We can certainly see that today. Even people we have elected, that we thought would stand strong, have been bought off. The wheels have come off the democratic bus. They are running loose like a rabid dog and the good people of this country have set silent too long. We have dumbed ourselves down as a society. I believe, for the most part, parents have failed their children as well by not being involved in their education. When I see a child that can’t read and analog clock, do basic math, or barely read, I blame the parents. Video games and social media have taken the place of parents. Shame on us as a society for letting what our forefathers sacrificed, and fought so hard for, just slip away and end up in the trash bin of history. We need God, we need to find our moral and ethical compass again and we need good leadership that won’t be swayed by lobbyist, which like unions, needs to go away. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing and we can clearly see that happening today. Wake up America!

Richard Irvin
Richard Irvin
17 days ago

At one time the Union’s were needed but today the Union’s have become tyrants and are making demands that the taxpayers are forced to pay. We need to tell the teachers union to Kiss A**

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
17 days ago

What’s happening in chitcago is what’s happening in Illinois,greed and democrats.They are very good at spending someone else’s money,not theirs.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
17 days ago

Hey, take that billions of dollars they extorted for “ventilation” for Chicago schools then didn’t open them anyways during COVID and buy them teacher unionistas something really NICE!

Michael J
Michael J
16 hours ago

Not a very good return on investment.

Joseph Kinge
Joseph Kinge
10 days ago

They don’t want to work, have a new crew in September!!!

Mike
Mike
10 days ago

Chicago a blue city, in more than one way! My money is on the union will get most if not all their demands.

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
14 days ago

The mistake by the lake continues to dig themselves into a hole. Perhaps one day they will be known as the mistake in the lake.

Rich
Rich
15 days ago

Good ole’ democrat controlled Chicago labor unions. They will all support the communist democrats right up to Americas destruction. Go figure.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
15 days ago

Sorry Ass bunch of Blacks. Kyle L.

BillBoy Baggins
BillBoy Baggins
16 days ago

Tammy fails to mention the role of parents in raising and educating their children. Parents are at fault here, too.

Tplorable
Tplorable
16 days ago

Absolutely ridiculous. First of all, none of that has anything to do with education. These kids are at all time lows in reading and math. When these teachers start doing their jobs and teaching the kids something other than you can be a boy instead of a girl, then they can earn something more.

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
16 days ago

She’s right. They create a desrt in their wake…

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