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Brizard Floats Pay Raise to Teachers In Exchange for Longer School Day, Year

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 24, 2011 1:30PM

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard
The Board of Education is set to vote on Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard's 2012 budget today. With talks between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union over the rescinded 4 percent pay raises at a standstill, Brizard took his case to the airwaves.

Appearing on Chicago Tonight last night, Brizard offered teachers a 2 percent pay raise in exchange for stretching the school day by 90 minutes a day.

CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said in a statement union President Karen Lewis does not want to be part of a publicity stunt.

“CPS has loaded its advisory council with charter school proponents, parochial school leaders, administration-connected clergy, politicians and union-busting advocacy groups. This news has nothing to do with helping our children and everything to do with politicizing a really serious problem. Our children deserve better.”

Lewis said extending the school day only to focus on more standardized testing is "the very definition of insanity" and called for "better school days."

Under the education reforms signed into law by Gov. Quinn this spring, CPS can extend the school day and year starting in 2012-13. If the two sides can't agree on an alternative to the pay raise rescission, CTU can vote to negotiate a successor to the current contract. If the Teachers Union takes that route, they stand to lose a lot, including teacher pay raises based on tenure and graduation degrees in favor of merit-based pay. CPS could also implement the longer school day as soon as January.