Strike Talk Plus Fenger, Youth Connections

To vote for a strike, or not to vote for a strike?  That was the question in the comments last night and this morning.  Some interesting comments from parents, too.  Every comment counts.  The strike vote is also the subject of lots of today's news -- Brizard wants a raise, reform groups are airing ads against the strike, etc.  Plus a Linda Lutton story from Fenger HS and a bunch of other things.  A little vote in Wisconsin you might have heard about, for example.  Youth Connections Bronzeville isn't closing after all, for example.  Happy Tuesday, everyone!

A high school confronts its reading struggles head on WBEZ:  Poverty and safety are some of Fenger High School's major concerns. Reading is another.

Group airs radio ads against teachers union strike authorization vote Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey (behind podium) addresses reporters during a press conference at the Chicago Teachers Union, 222 Merchandise Mart, 4th floor...

Brizard Says He Wants Raise For Teachers; CTU's Lewis Says Offers Are Not Enough CBS2 Chicago:  Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard says he wants teachers to have a ...

Idea of teacher strike no longer farfetched, but for now it's only a vote Sun-Times:
That's when Jonah Edelman, a school reform activist out of Oregon, was videotaped before a Colorado think tank bragging how his organization had outfoxed the Chicago Teachers Union by helping pass legislation in Illinois he thought would make it ...

City TIF spending on school construction work widens disparity, report says Crains: That shortchanges open-enrollment neighborhood schools, it says — echoing a frequent charge from the Chicago Teachers Union. The report specifically examines how the city has spent $858 million in TIF money on schools since 1983.

Wisconsin recall election seen as harbinger of November Sun Times: Democrats hope they have the better ground game, not just to eke out a win for Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett but to carry President Barack Obama across the finish line here Nov. 6. Even with one poll showing this election neck-and-neck, some Democrats privately

'Not everybody in Springfield ever gets everything they want': Rep. Lou Lang on gambling WBEZ: Does Illinois even need more gambling? And is it the best way to generate revenue?

Charter network says school for troubled youth is not closing Chicago Tribune: Officials with the charter network, Youth Connection Charter School, said on Monday they only proposed closing the school or replacing staff because of a new contract being negotiated with Chicago Public Schools.


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  • So, who is the affiliate of DFER that placed the ads?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, the affiliate is AKPD.

  • it's probably IL DFER, right?

    also -- Video: CTU leaders visit schools before strike vote |

  • CPS parents and CTU members beware of the two reform groups, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). These deform groups held a joint news conference to lambaste the Chicago Teachers Union for threatening a strike while talks are ongoing. Stand for Children's local efforts are being bankrolled by wealthy and politically powerful Chicagoans, many of whom have influence within the Chicago Public Schools. One of them is Bruce Rauner (Rahm Emanuel's friend), a venture capitalist who played a key role in bringing Stand for Children to Chicago, met with CPS officials 13 times over the last nine months as CEO Jean-Claude Brizard's new team was shaping CPS policy. Last year, Stand for Children raised nearly $3.5 milliojn to drive through SB7 legislation in Illinois. Stand for Children has also received $5.2 million from the Gates Foundation from 2003-2011. SB7 backed by Stand for Children made it more difficuit for teachers to strike (only in Chicago) and changed how teachers earn tenure (only in Chicago). SB7 also compelled Chicago teachers to teach a 7 1/2 hour school day next year (only in Chicago). Jonah Edelman, CEO of Stand for Children boasted last year, "The unions (CTU and others) cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75 percent threshold necessary to strike," basing his prediction on data showing past strike authorizations had never exceeded 50 percent of the membership. Edelman suggested the teachers hadn't done their homework.CPS parents have complained Stand for Children has closer access to CPS officials then they do. Democrats for Education Reform came to Chicago about four months ago to convince Democratic politicians (Rahm Emanuel, already convinced and others) to get behind educational reform against unions. Democrats for Education Reform is the creation of a New York Hedge Fund billionaires and a handful of hired guns who speak out against unions, which employes the teacher bashing techniques of the "Big Lie" to build a base among CPS parents and CTU members. This week, Democrats for Education Reform went to the airwaves asking Chicago parents and Chicago teachers to sent a text to sign a petition protesting the strike vote. P.S.- CTU members, don't fall for the 'okey doke', vote to strike at your school on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Thanking you in advance.

  • CPS parents and CTU members also beware of the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC. ALEC has been working with corporations and conservative organizations to write "model bills" (SB7) that are introduced in legislatures around the country. ALEC's model bills promote corporate and conservative interests, including proposals to destroy unions, privatize schools, prisons and other public services; to make it harder to vote; and to take away workers' and immigrants' rights.

  • CPS veterans heading to Elgin Elgin Courier News

  • Thanks Retired Principal. Rauner and Pritzker are leading the charge against the CTU. Those special interest groups are nothing more than a ATM for the mayor in exchange for certain members being placed on a few board of directors. I don't expect the general public to really understand no more than they see in the media. However, as long as CTU members know the back door deals Rham and the wealthy elite have made with each other I'm sure that will guarantee more than 75% of the authorization to strike vote. I'm sooo ready to vote tomorrow I can't hardly wait.

  • In reply to Avenger:

    Dear Avenger, billionaire Penny Pritzker, a member of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May 2011 gives money to Stand for Children. The business connections to reform (deform) at CPS were forged under former Mayor Richard M. Daley with the call for 100 new schools, mostly charters, to replace neighborhood schools. This effort is largely funded by members of the Commerical Club's powerful Civic Committee. For some, the pace of reform under Daley was too slow, said Susan Crown, who headed the Crown family's foundation until 2009. Susan Crown, whose family has given more than $580,000 to Stand for Children, who blamed the teachers union for creating barriers to succeful reform, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked up the pace for school deform and trying to destroy the CTU.

  • CTU leaders pass out ballots before strike vote |

  • from CTU:

    CHICAGO – In a move to acquire more leverage at the bargaining table, on Wednesday, June 6, members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) will cast ballots to give its Union the power to call work stoppage should contract negotiations reach an impasse in coming weeks. The last teachers strike was in 1987 and it lasted 19 days.
    CTU President Karen GJ Lewis said, “We want the mayor and Board to know we have the support of all of our members at the bargaining table and we will use the full weight of our power to ensure we get a strong contract for our members and our students,” she said. “Strikes aren’t good for anyone and if the Board is wise it will work with us to do what’s in the best interest of our public schools.” Nearly 10,000 CTU members rallied and marched on the Board of Education on May 23rd, in a bold display of union solidarity.

    CTU Officer
    Wednesday, June 6, 2012
    Karen Lewis
    King College Prep – arrive at 7:00 a.m.
    4445 South Drexel Blvd.
    Jess Sharkey
    Vice Pres.
    Senn – arrive at 7:30 am
    5900 N. Glenwood
    Michael Brunson
    Rec. Secy.
    Aldridge – arrive at 8:15 am
    630 E. 131st Street
    Kristine Mayle
    Financial Secy.
    Eberhart – arrive at 7:30 a.m.
    3400 W. 64th Place
    Lewis and the other officers plan to visit their former school campuses where they will cast their ballot for strike authorization. Union leaders will give the public a rare glimpse by allowing reporters to observe them casting their affirmative vote for strike authorization early Wednesday.
    A new state law requires CTU to reach a 75% threshold in order to call a strike. A person, who does not vote, according to the SB7 law, is considered a “no vote.” No elected official in the nation is required to have a three-fourths of votes from every eligible registered voter in their district in order to take office or change public policy. Yet, the CTU is confident members are agitated enough to vote “yes” to take one step closer to a strike. In the meantime, CTU seeks to address the frequently asked questions from the general public about the strike authorization vote below:
    How many CTU members will participate in the vote; and who is eligible to vote?
    v About 25,500 members of CTU are eligible to vote.

    v Over 3,500 retirees, also represented by the Union, cannot vote.

    v “Agency Fee” participants, those who have opted not to join the CTU, but still reap be benefits of negotiated labor agreements, also do not vote.

    How will the vote be conducted in each school? (For more detailed procedures go to:
    v CTU delegates are the official representatives of their schools. It is up to each delegate to set-up the voting stations and to ensure each member within their school casts a vote.

    v Voting is conducted before and after work hours. Voting can begin as early as 6 a.m. at some schools and last until after 5 p.m. The Union delegate knows the best time to conduct votes.

    v Votes are cast by secret ballot. Once an individual votes they will place their ballot into an envelope which will be sealed at the end of voting.

    How long will the vote last?
    v CTU will conduct the voting process until there is a clear result. Right now this vote will take place over the course of three business days.

    When will the CTU report the results?
    v The Union will report the results as soon as it certifies the election and that every eligible member has had an opportunity to cast a vote. Members who do not vote, for any variety of reasons (out-of-town, sick, etc.) will be counted as “no votes.”

    Why doesn’t CTU wait until after the “fact-finding report” is issued in mid-July before taking the vote?
    v In May, CTU requested fact-finding around specific economic concerns. The fact-finding report, issued by a three-member panel (one representative of the Union, one from CPS, and an independent reviewer) will only cover a small portion of disagreements between the CTU and CPS. This report will not address some of the other key issues such as class size and resources for CPS students currently being negotiated.

    v CPS and their politically-connected charter school cronies are attempting to trick the public into thinking the July fact-finder reporter will resolve all areas of dispute in negotiations via a series of radio ads airing on select Chicago stations. This is not the truth. Either side can reject or accept the fact-finding report, however, the other issues will still have yet to be resolved.

    Is this strike authorization vote just about the money?
    v No. CTU is fighting for a variety of things that will help improve neighborhood schools, including smaller class sizes, air conditioning and heating repairs in schools; art, music, world languages and physical education instructors and classes in every single school; better school facilities; stipends for school supplies for needy students; and a host of other things that will improve the quality of education in our public schools.

    v Wages and benefits are important parts of labor agreements. The upcoming July 15 report will primarily address some of the CTU’s wage and benefits concerns. The CTU has requested a negotiable 29% pay increase over two years in the first round of bargaining. Twenty percent because teachers and public school educators are being asked to work 20% longer; 4% because this was the contractual raise stolen from public school workers last year; and a 5% increase in the second year of the new contract.

    The current CTU contract expires June 30. Public school educators are fighting for smaller class sizes, resources for students and schools, job security and adequate compensation for being required to work 20 percent longer and for having their 4 percent contract raises stolen from them by the City last year.

  • Dawn Turner Trice: Anthony Davis' high school classmates also excel -

  • Father Plegler: A rush to vote for a strike -

  • How dare he utter when he has fought the cardinal all the way and uses his flock to do it. He took a vow to follow his cardinal. Shame on him. Teachers are fighting for better schools for the students in his and other impoverished communities.
    What would Jesus do rev? What would the Rev. MLK, do?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    When Substance lumped Pfleger in with the rent-a-preachers I didn't buy it. I had no clue that he was in the pocket of the billionaires until I read that letter. My hat is off to you George. You called it.

    Where is the social justice in your agreeing to be a mouthpiece of the 1% to disenfranchise the poor, Father Pfleger?

    How much are they paying you? Is it Stand, DFER, the Black Star Project or Advance Illinois?

    Enjoy your 30 pieces of silver.

  • SE schools make up 1 pct of CPS but get 24 pct of TIF$. Nabe schools make up 69 pct but only get 48 pct @whet

  • A double whammy.

    Charter schools and Ren2010 schools get a disproportionate share of CPS capital investment and SE schools get a disproportionate share of TIF money.

    What will it take for people to recognize and understand that neighborhood schools get screwed like this on a regular basis?

  • I teach at a neighborhood school and year after year we watch helplessly as CPS takes away teaching positions that supported our students, closes languages, takes away supply money and aides for special ed as our special ed population increases and charters throw them out and we take them and SE schools do not accept them. We get used furniture. How our building falls apart--leaks in the gym and air conditoners and computers that do not work. And we get only 1 counselor for all the special ed and 900 students. No art and we have to buy someone just to cover all the testing or we would have to give up library time. CPS makes us buy more and more with our poverty money as we fall deeper in the whole that they dig for us as they take more and more away. This year CPS gave magnet schools of 800 three extra free positions. 500 students--2 extra positions! We got none and they took 2 away. Their plan is working to ruin neighborhood schools. CPS is successful in this.

  • Vote YES for Strike Authorization if you believe in having a career in CPS, and not a temp job as Brizard and Rahm would have it! Remember they have on the boards 100 neighborhood schools to close. In Solidarity, Vote YES to Strike Authorization!

  • Brooks BBall coach fired by CPS, allegedly for enrolling his Oak Park son at Brooks, says Tribune

  • Brackett interviews JCBrizard & airs DFER radio ad @ctujesse called "odious" Brizard keeps calm, Brackett pushes

  • I love Rev. Michael L. Pfleger but come on!! Isn't he the same man who stood his ground against the Catholic church?? Refused to be placed in a different parish and was reduced to the title of Reverend instead of being called Father Pfleger. I'm disappointed in him aligning with the billionaire club. CTU we must stick together!! This whole city is run by the wealthy who believe they have the priviledge of making the rules and changing the game.

    Rham is against the CTU. Springfield is against the CTU. Pay to play clergy are against the CTU.


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