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[Press Release] New Poll Finds Overwhelming Support for Chicago’s Teachers

09/13/2011

Chicago Voters Understand and Want a  Better, not Just Longer,  School Day with  Teachers Appropriately Compensated

CHICAGO - A recent poll of Chicago voters finds strong public support for the city’s public school teachers and broad—and intense—opposition to the Board of Education’s and CEO Jean-Claude Brizard’s attempts to reduce teacher pay, even in the context of an extended school year.[1] Voters have a favorable impression of public school teachers, serious concerns about the Board of Education and new CEO and do not believe that teachers should be penalized for the Chicago Public Schools’ budget shortfall.

“This poll shows that Chicago voters recognize that teachers are dedicated public servants who often work under difficult circumstances,” said Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, which commissioned the poll.  “Instead of blaming and attacking teachers and staging public relations campaigns, the Board of Education should focus on finding the revenue necessary to give all teachers the tools to educate our children.”

“The poll results show that support for teachers crosses the usual dividing lines of Chicago politics,” said Celinda Lake, whose polling firm conducted the poll. “Whether it is opposition to canceling teachers’ cost of living salary adjustments, support for ending tax breaks for developers, or support for paying teachers more for a longer work day, there is consensus across the electorate. These sentiments are shared by solid majorities of White, Black, and Latino Chicagoans; men and women; younger and older; college educated and not; and voters in every part of the city.”

Key findings from the poll:

ü      Nearly three-quarters of Chicago voters have a favorable impression of public school teachers (74% favorable to 15% unfavorable), and nearly as many rate the job being done by Chicago public school teachers positively (60% “excellent”/ “good” to 30% “just fair”/ “poor”). A solid majority of voters also holds positive opinions of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (55% favorable to 22% unfavorable).

 


[1] Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a total of 723 General Election voters in Chicago, including oversamples of 100 Latino voters and 20 parents. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 3.6%.

Chicago Teachers Union