To help you form your own opinions about the Chicago Teacher’s Strike we have assembled a list containing ten key facts about the strike. The information has been aggregated from many nationally syndicated news resources.
In Chicago, 87% of students come from low-income families.
Many of the families that depend on the Chicago public school system are low-income families. They often depend on the schools to keep their kids busy while they go to work and try to support their family.
At least 350,000 students are currently out of school.
The Chicago school district is one of the largest school districts in the nation. Over a quarter million students are enrolled in one of the many schools in Chicago.
Roughly 47% of Chicago voters since the strike support the teachers union.
People are pretty split on whether or not the support the teachers union in the strike or not. Many parents of students are against it as it is depriving their children of important time that they could spend in the classroom. Additionally, many parents are now having to unexpectedly arrange for childcare, which is another added expense many cannot afford.
29,000 teachers are currently on strike.
Of the approximately 30,000 teachers represented by the teachers union, 29,000 are currently on strike. It is the first strike in Chicago in over 25 years.
The average public school teacher in Chicago currently makes $74,236.
Chicago teachers are already among the highest paid in the nation, although it is not the main point of the strike, the teacher’s union is fighting for a raise in excess of 16% of the next four years. They are also fighting for increased benefits which would include maternity leave, short-term disability coverage, and freezing health care cost increases for the majority of the union’s membership.
Rahm Emanuel, the current mayor of Chicago was previously the White House Chief of Staff to President Obama.
Around 425 schools in the Chicago area are currently closed. 144 of the schools have remained open through the strike.
Some schools in the district remained open, not for classes, but rather to provide a safe environment for students and to provide meals to children in need.
Approximately 50,000 students in Chicago attend private schools and are thus unaffected by the strike.
Chicago has a high proportion of students that are enrolled in charter and private schools. Individuals with children in these schools argue that the public education system in Chicago has been in dire need of reform for many years and question quality of education attained at public schools.
Analysts predict that the strike will result in even more crime in Chicago, where there have been over 1,700 shootings since the beginning of the year, as kids won’t have anything to do until a resolution is made.
If students are not in school, they will be out getting into some sort of trouble fear many parents. To help counteract this a number of organizations have stepped up and are offering free programs for parts of the day for older students.
The primary disagreement is over job teacher job security. A new program will evaluate teachers based on students’ standardized test scores.
Under the new evaluation system as many as 6000 teachers could lose their job. The union argues that this form of evaluation doesn’t do justice and is not a good measurement of the effectiveness of an educator. The union also states that there are just too many factors beyond a teacher’s control which impact how students perform on standardized tests.