CTU’s Warpath to Eliminate All Choices for Chicago Families

January 23, 2024

What the CTU seeks is complete and unchallenged domination over education

It has never been a secret that the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) actively work against the families they pretend to serve.

And with their chosen candidate, Mayor Brandon Johnson, at the helm, and a weak governor, J.B. Pritzker, desperate for progressive adoration, the CTU only became more empowered and more determined to eliminate all choices for Chicago families.

First, CTU successfully lobbied against and eventually helped kill the Invest in Kids Act, which, since its inception in 2017, has uplifted over 40,000 students across the state and allowed families to send their kids to a school that better fit their educational needs. In the 2023-24 school year alone, over 9,000 families benefited from a scholarship through the Invest in Kids Act and left 25,000 families, desperate for better educational choices, on the waiting list.

Despite the majority of Illinois voters supporting this lifeline for families, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly obeyed the teachers unions and declined to extend the program. Now, the union’s latest strategy for complete domination over the education system is the elimination of the selective enrollment process in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). This latest stunt is once again out of touch with 82 percent of Chicago voters who are in support of the current school choice system in CPS.

For over 30 years CPS has operated selective enrollment schools. The existence of selective enrollment schools has afforded families, much like the Invest in Kids scholarships, an opportunity to escape their neighborhood school that may either be unsafe or less challenging for students. Every school year, nearly 75 percent of CPS high school students bypass neighborhood zoned schools in search of a functioning school outside their community. The CTU is keenly aware of parents’ willingness to travel a great distance for a better education, which is precisely why CTU is on a warpath to eliminate any other choices that threaten their power.

School choice policies empower families who want a better and more personalized education for their children. However, this is not the only reason why parents may seek to send their child to a different school. According to a survey from School Choice Week, 26 percent of parents indicated that “concerns about school safety or bullying” were primary reasons for considering a new school.

Failing to educate kids is morally bankrupt enough, but the latest CPS Inspector General report should make all Chicagoans outraged.

The IG’s report revealed there were 446 complaints of "sexual misconduct". Imagine being the parent of a victim who does not have the means to remove their child from the school at which a crime occurred and feeling trapped in a system more concerned with the outcomes for adults than the safety and academic success of their child.

Aside from having to face obstructions from placing a child in another school, imagine then being a parent of a victim who is forced to listen to CTU advocates sermonize against Chicago Police and demand “police free schools.” The Illinois Policy Institute compiled a list of more school safety legislation CTU has advocated against such as requiring metal detectors in schools and prohibiting schools from expelling students who have been convicted of violent felonies.

School choice allows children to escape much more than a poor education. School choice allows them to escape abusers, bullies, and begin a fresh start. Added together, this poses a serious threat to CTU leaders who want to be free of scrutiny and accountability and whose sole aim is to obstruct families from any opportunity to explore better educational options.

One of the biggest indictments of the quality of Chicago Public Schools is those in charge of the schools refuse to enroll their children in CPS. Just look at Governor Pritzker and CTU President Stacy Davis Gates, both of whom opted against public schools and chose to send their children to private institutions.

As cities and states across the country are unleashing educational freedom, Chicago, by leaving the CTU in charge of schools, is moving backwards and there is no sign of the Windy City slowing down.

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