CTU Education Policy
and Legislative Program
Highlights for 2011– 2012
Small Class Size = Educational Achievement
Smaller class size leads to educational achievement, especially in elementary grades.
Yet, a new CTU study of state records documents this fact: when it comes to crowding students into classrooms, the Chicago public school system ranks among the top offenders in Illinois.
Our own school survey found over 200 classrooms where the Chicago Board of Education violates its own policy on the maximum number of students allowed. In one school, for example, we found 43 students packed into a third grade classroom. This is unacceptable.
We will continue to advocate for these children even though Illinois law unfairly prevents us from officially negotiating for smaller class sizes.
You can help us change this law .
End The 20th Day Rule
Instability, mostly at neighborhood schools, begins on the very first day of school because each year the Chicago school board waits until the 20th day of the school year to announce final teacher class assignments. The result is four weeks of school understaffing and disruption of the teaching and learning that was already underway.
Instead of adequate planning, the school board uses the entire first month of the school year as a “wait and see” period. Education is in limbo while the school board decides where to put teachers.
The Illinois School Code mandates that there cannot be a reduction in teachers due to the decrease in the number of students at a school after the 20th day of the school year. You can help us change this law .
Elect Chicago School Board Members
By law, Chicago Public School District #299 is the only one in Illinois with an appointed school board. The majority of Chicagoans support our call for democracy, a simple and fundamental principle, in how our school board members are chosen. Electing school board members will provide parents and citizens with more input into school decision-making. It will also help us hold the school board accountable to the public and not to politicians. We want a school board that is representative, accountable, inclusive, and transparent. You can help us change this law .
Oppose Pension Attacks
The average Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) retiree earns $42,000 per year. Of the 87,000 retired teachers in Illinois, almost 1 in 5 (17,269) receive a pension that’s less than $20,000. Our retired members have spent up to 35 years educating students and count on the pension promised by the state.
We are not allowed to receive Social Security. We contribute 9% of our salary to our pension fund each payday. The Chicago Board of Education is still on a “pension holiday” and has not paid into the fund for over a decade — now our pension plan is in a crisis and teachers have been blamed for the financial woes of the schools and state. Chicago corporate CEO’s, many of whom will collect millions of dollars when they retire, are pushing “solutions” to take control of and reduce our pensions rather than require adequate funding for them. You can help us stop these bills .