Chicago Public Schools Teacher Raise: Too Little or Too Much?

Chicago Public Schools Teacher Raise: Too Little or Too Much?

By Maria Arrieta

Hancock High School, Junior

Now that it’s official that 60 minutes are going to be added to the high school day, the Chicago Teachers Union requested a 30% raise in teacher salaries over the next two years.  In my opinion, I think that teachers do deserve a raise but I don’t know if 30% is right.  I would say at least half or 15% would be satisfactory.  Like any other issue, there’s always going to be a sort of debate between the CTU and the Board of Education.

I can see that the CTU feels this way since teachers are staying an extra hour.   But at the end of the day, a 30% of raise is just too much to ask.

In my personal experience, I see that some teachers are more dedicated to their teaching than others.  I know one teacher who stays every day after school and uses the time to prepare for the next day.  I also see teachers that leave right away.  Either they still go to school or they leave to go home.  Who knows?  We are never sure.

It is up to the Board of Education to express their opinion about the CTU proposal but in the article “Chicagoteachers asking for 30% raises over the next 2 years” by Noreen S. Ahmed-Allah, CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll denied the opportunity to talk about the union’s proposal.

Furthermore, Union President Karen Lewis declined to comment on the details of the proposal.  To me, this shows that they don’t care about the proposal at all.  If they did, they would at least say something and not completely deny the opportunity to share their thoughts with the audience, especially the teachers because it concerns them.

Some possible solutions could be to give the teachers a possible raise of 15% and I think the teachers would accept an offer if the Board of Education expressed its opinion about the proposal but they aren’t.  I think the Chicago Public Schools teachers do appreciate the attempt to get 30% but it’s more likely that it won’t happen.  Fifteen percent seems fair enough to fight for.  If the average teacher salary a year is $67,000 + 15%, that equals $77,050.  Extra money is extra money and no one is going to deny that.

Some people may disagree with me by saying that a 30% raise should be the minimum.  However, they must remember that we are in a recession and money is tight right now.  It’s almost impossible to get a 30% salary raise.


Is there a better solution to help teachers get a raise?

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