Court’s Stay Does Not Prevent Chicago Public Schools from Returning Illegally Fired Teachers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Today’s legal maneuver to stall the process of hiring back all illegally fired teachers and relieve overcrowded classrooms is why there is so little public trust in the Chicago Board of Education,” said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. “The Board knows that students are being denied experienced teachers. The Board knows that student programs have been cut because there are no teachers and coaches to lead those programs. The Board knows that these illegal firings gave it the cover of darkness to fire more experienced, more highly qualified teachers only to replace some with less experienced, less costly teachers. While the Board plays its legal games, children wait for their teachers and teachers wait for their livelihoods.”
The court action today put on pause the 30-day schedule for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union to design rules to recall all illegally fired tenured teachers now and in the future. “This court order does not impact the findings of law that the Board has violated the constitutional rights of illegally fired teachers,” said CTU lawyer Tom Geoghegan of Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan.
“The Board should work with the Chicago Teachers Union to reinstate qualified laid off teachers, nearly all of whom have excellent or superior evaluations. Instead, the Board continues to ignore students, teachers and apparently U.S. legislators by refusing to return all illegally fired teachers by using all of the Education Jobs Act Funds given it for that very purpose,” said Lewis. “When will the Board understand that even though it is not elected, it is responsible to the public?”
According to a teacher who was illegally fired this summer due to a “redefinition” of her position, Sunny Neater-Dubow, “It seems to me that the Board is trying to wear us down. Why do they need more time to do the right thing? CPS has stated again and again that our students deserve the best, most experienced teachers but that’s exactly who they fired. We’re ready to return to the classroom now.”
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, is the third largest union in the country and the largest local union in Illinois.