The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, World Language and appropriate staffing levels to help our neediest students.
On the other side, the Chicago Board of Education, ”which is managed by out of town reformers and Broad Foundation hires with little or no Chicago public school experience, ”has pushed to add two weeks to the school year and 85 minutes to the school day, eliminate pay increases for seniority, evaluate teachers based on student test scores, and slash many other rights.
Teachers, parents and community supporters in Chicago have fought valiantly ”marching, filling auditoriums at hearings and parent meetings, even occupying a school and taking over a school board meeting. Most recently, 98 percent of our members voted to authorize a strike. But now we find ourselves facing new opponents, ”national education privatizers, backed by some of the nation’s wealthiest people. They are running radio ads, increasing press attacks, and mounting a PR campaign to discredit the CTU and the benefits of public education.
We are asking you to support our struggle for educational justice. You and your organization can show your support by making contribution to our Solidarity Fund. All donations will be used to conduct broad outreach throughout Chicago and nation-wide. Specifically, we plan to print educational materials, to distribute information about our positive agenda, such as the CTU report The Schools Chicago Students Deserve, and to mobilize massive support for educators in rallies and gatherings throughout the city. Any amount you can give will be a great help. You can donate using your credit card (here) or write a check to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund and mail it directly to the Chicago Teachers Union Solidarity Fund, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60654. If your organization or union would like to write a letter or resolution of solidarity, we would very much appreciate it.
Thank you for your support.
Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT