The Chicago Teachers Union strike is a local story with national implications.
Locally speaking, there are approximately 350,000 Chicago Public School students who are out of school in one of the nation’s most dangerous cities for school-aged children. There are scores of parents dipping into their reserves to pay friends or family members to look after their instant latchkey kids. Some cash-strapped parents have no reserves, and are forced to rotate their off-days, or use their vacation time to look after their kids.
Some parents have no jobs, and are not empathetic when the news reports teachers, on average, earn more than $74,000 per year.
Nationally speaking, the strike is uncomfortable for the president as the picket lines are erected in his hometown during this election season, and the teachers are historically among his strongest supporters. Also, CTU president Karen Lewis publicly spars with Pres. Obama’s former Chief of Staff, current mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Unions across the country also have an eye on the Chicago Teachers Union strike, as unions have complained that corporations and reform laws are designed to strip them of power or do away with them altogether.
Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose just wants the kids back in school. He Tweeted: “I don’t like that fact that OUR kids are not in school and that’s the only thing we have to SAVE these kids.”
“I’m sitting here just thinking how sad it is that my city got to go through this,” he said in another message. “I love my city and everyone in it even my haters!”
The Englewood native is healed and due to return to the Bulls after All-Star break.
Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, released a statement, encouraging the CTU President Karen Lewis to focus on a resolution.
“It is disconcerting to hear language from the president of the Chicago Teachers Union that seems to indicate a lack of focus on resolving the issues as quickly as possible. Our CPS families are not having “fun.” These negotiations are not “silly” but rather immensely significant and have lasting implications on the lives of our children, and their futures, and the educational and economic future of our city.”