Congressmen Tell CPS to Use Education Jobs Money to Rehire Fired Teachers
The dispute between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union over teacher firings took another turn yesterday. The saga began in June when the Chicago Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution giving CPS Schools Chief Ron Huberman emergency powers to raise class sizes and lay-off teachers he deemed unnecessary, thereby sidestepping CTU's collective bargaining agreement. Huberman followed through on his mandate, administering hundreds of pink slips this summer. (Some of those jobs had been creatively "redefined," as the Reader has reported.) Two weeks ago, a federal judge ordered the district to "rescind" the firings of 700 educators who has earned tenure. CPS immediately appealed the decision. Yesterday, another judge ruled that Schools Chief Ron Huberman did not have to comply with the injunction immediately, arguing that CPS shouldn't be forced to rehire any teachers until the appeal had run its course.
CTU President Karen Lewis says her union members want to see action soon. Yesterday, she told Catalyst that says she plans to ask the appeals court to expedite the process. And at a press conference today, Lewis was joined by U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis, and Bobby Rush, all of whom urged the board to use some of the education aid Chicago received from the federal government to rehire teachers this school year.