Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual’s decision not to given in to a 19 percent increase in teacher compensation means no first day of school for one of the largest school districts in America as Chicago’s Teachers go on strike. What say you Mr. President? Over 400 thousand kids kicked to the curb (in Chicago that could be a death sentence) in attempt to extort more pay and benefits for Chicago’s alleged underpaid teachers.
According to some reports, Chicago teachers earn an average of 76K (without benefits) making them one of the highest paid in the nation. Apparently, Mayor Emanual’s proposal to lengthen the school day from 6 hours (the shortest in the nation) to 7.5 hrs., institute teacher evaluation law and his calls to grow charter school development (national policy changes touted by President Obama) aren’t so popular with Teachers after all.
Most people are required to work at least 5 days per week, 7-8 hours per day for 52 weeks every year. Of course we get a few holidays and approved sick days off and if allowed a week of vacation. Have you ever considered how often a Teacher actually works? Last time I looked I’ve never had the summer off with pay and my employer would laugh if I expected as many paid holiday/change of season work breaks teachers now enjoy. Yet working daily hours comparable to the average taxpayer is unacceptable to a Teacher?
I’m not going to apologize for the facts or substitute the feel good logic some use to justify increasing Teacher pay in times of fiscal crisis. I know what goes on in my children’s classrooms and how often they are in school. So save the self-righteous indignation and do the math. Public sector employees and they’re unions are bankrupting state governments. Student safety and education quality are being sacrificed to service ridiculous pension and benefit contracts and Teacher’s Unions demand more. Perhaps educators should consider the willful confiscation of their income to pay union dues before asking the middle class to dig deeper for undeserved salary increases.
In my home State of Texas, many school districts have eliminated bus transportation within a 2 mile radius for students (Pre-K through Grade 12). Spring Independent School District (located in the suburbs of Houston) found it impossible to find less than 2 million dollars in a 320 million dollar budget to get a second grader to school safely? Yet over 30% of their budget goes to employee benefits and pensions. Given that this district is predominantly African American and Hispanic where is the collective outrage?
Personally, I can’t wait to hear President Obama’s campaign position on Chicago’s current predicament. How can Obama support former White House Chief of Staff turned Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual and manage to placate the strongest and largest union in the United States? Will they trot out the “I inherited this” excuse or the “rich need to pay their fair share” slogan? Perhaps they should call Scott Walker for advice?