With the Chicago Teachers Union ending their seven school day strike earlier this week, the focus should now turn to the details of the new, tentatively, accepted deal: the CTU must vote to approve the deal on Oct. 2. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a chance to truly reform the education system of Chicago and curb the over-indulgent greed of unions, beginning with the CTU. Instead, Mayor Emanuel is going to have to raise taxes to pay for the agreed upon demands of the CTU while trying to balance a city budget that is already $369 million in the red. The “concessions” given to the CTU can only be described as laughable. ATR's Josh Culling has an article in today's National Review on how Rahm failed to deliver reform even though the stars couldn’t have been more perfectly aligned:
Student achievement now accounts for 30 percent of teacher evaluations, but the State of Illinois already requires 25 percent. Teachers will receive raises of 3 percent, 2 percent, and 2 percent over the next three years, on top of automatic step-and-lane pay hikes that are already set in stone. And the school day will be longer, but teachers won’t be teaching any more hours; the city is required to hire hundreds more teachers to fill out the longer school days. All told, the deal will cost Chicago hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.
With the entire nation viewing the CTU in a negative light, Emanuel had the best opportunity as Mayor to make major changes to the way things are done in Chicago. Unfortunately for residents, their captain missed the potentially game winning shot.