Green Party candidate Nancy Wade released the following statement after the Chicago Teachers Union issued a strike starting at Midnight on September 10.
As a longtime teacher and as the Green Party candidate for IL's 5th U.S. Congressional district, I would like to announce my unequivocal support for the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in its labor dispute with the Chicago Public Schools. The scope of the teachers' demands, which they have clearly articulated, extends beyond salary and job security to offer a comprehensive blueprint for addressing systemic problems such as class size, adequate facilities, and more support staff. By contrast, rather than negotiating in good faith, Mayor Emanuel, his handpicked school board, and various corporate front groups have continued to scapegoat teachers for the failures of misguided local policies and for chronic city budget woes not created by the teachers.
Emanuel's policies as mayor, including his push for privatization and charter schools, and his backdoor attempts to weaken and circumvent the CTU, are emblematic of the Democrats' national education policies. It was Emanuel's former boss, President Obama, and Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan (and the former "CEO' of Chicago Public Schools) who pushed the disastrous Race to the Top--a toxic policy brew of charter school advocacy, privatization, and prioritization of counterproductive high-stakes standardized testing--even as they applauded local school districts' sabotage of teachers unions. Since I accept no corporate donations - my priorities as a legislator will be working to set new spending priorities and creating education policy that gives teachers the tools they need to teach our children, not undermining public schools and communities to line the pockets of wealthy campaign donors and calling it "reform.' We need to stand with our teachers so that our children get the quality education they deserve.