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InsiderOnline Blog: September 2012

A Lesson in Union Power

About 350,000 students at public schools in Chicago are not learning in the classroom this week because the unionized teachers decided to go on strike. The teachers want a 30 percent pay raise, but as John Fund notes, teachers in Chicago are already well compensated:

Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet the teachers rejected a 16 percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises or are looking for work. [National Review, September 10]

Teachers also get approximately three months off every summer, time they can use to earn extra money or not work at all. The teachers also want to renegotiate the city’s new teacher evaluation system that emphasizes student performance. Of course they do: In Chicago only 56 percent of students who start the ninth grade end up graduating.

Who is still in the classroom in Chicago this week? Students attending private schools, parochial schools, and charter schools. [Chicago Tribune, September 9] Hey, why don’t we have more of those schools?

Posted on 09/11/12 03:13 PM by Alex Adrianson

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