Strike! Chicago Teachers Fight For Their Students
“It’s not about the greed, it’s about the need,” says Chicago teacher Christina Morales. Teachers in the Windy City have been on strike since October 17. They are asking for more resources so kids can get a proper education.
Teachers would like reduced class sizes and more money that can go to necessary educational materials. They argue that too much money is going to administration, which are people like principals, vice principals, and other supervisor positions. They are not teachers, assistants, or nurses, and certainly not students. The national average for administrative spending per student is around $225. In Illinois it is around $540. Again, this money does not go into classrooms.
Some schools have nurses and social workers on site only a few days a week instead of every day. Classrooms are missing necessary educational materials that teachers often end up paying for themselves. Teachers want dollars shifted from the few at the top to the many students. If the goal of school is to educate, why isn’t the money going there?
Currently the city has offered the teachers a 16% raise over 5 years, while the union has asked for 15% over 3 years. But teachers want and need more to help their students. They are pushing for a cap on class sizes, people like nurses, librarians and social workers to be on site all week, prep time during the work day, and assistance for homeless students. They are asking for real things, not just cash.
During the strike, schools have been open so that kids have a place to go and be safe, but classes have not been in session. All sides want everyone to go back to work, but the teachers are standing firm. We hope that the students can get what they need and that this has a positive result for them. They are the most important people in this, after all.