The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Teachers Union Calls For Immediate Resignation Of Chicago Public Schools CEO

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 2, 2017 5:32PM

Demonstrators in front of Chicago Public Schools headquarters on Madison Street during the Chicago Teachers Union "day of action" on April 1, 2016. Photo by Aaron Cynic.
The Chicago Teachers Union called for the immediate resignation of Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and asked its members to issue a no confidence vote on Wednesday.

“The efficiency measures proposed by Chicago Public Schools and imposed by the Chicago Board of Education have led to mass privatization, costly contracts, program cuts, mass layoffs, and an increased inefficiency of our public school services all while frivolously lining the pockets of wealthy investors,” the union wrote in a statement on its website.

The statement comes a day before teachers are scheduled to take the first of four mandatory unpaid furlough days the District imposed earlier this month. Chicago Public Schools officials said the days were in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s November veto of legislation that would’ve infused $215 million into the District to cover the teachers’ pension fund.

“Since Governor Rauner is denying fair funding to Chicago students, we are forced to make cuts that will create new challenges for schools that are working to build on their academic gains,” Claypool said in a mid-January press release. “But make no mistake, any additional cuts we are forced to make would fall squarely at the governor’s feet.”

Predictably, Mayor Rahm Emanuel came to Claypool’s defense, saying he has “complete confidence” in him in a statement given to the Sun-Times.

“Instead of throwing stones at each other, everyone who cares about Chicago’s schools and Chicago’s students should be focused on coming together to fight for fair funding in Springfield,” said Emanuel.

But while Emanuel and Claypool are laying the blame at the governor’s feet, teachers are caught in the middle. Though all four furlough days will take place on professional development days when students are not in attendance, teachers say it’s another of many hits they’ve had to take.

“Well-connected leaders Claypool and Emanuel should use their connections to do the same for teachers as we do for our students,” wrote Gina Caneva, who works as a teacher-librarian at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, to the Huffington Post. “They must provide for professional development and compensation equitable to that of staff members in other districts. I urge Claypool and Emanuel to be innovative rather than punitive when it comes to education funding.”