CTU’s Day Off

Hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) took a taxpayer-funded day off at the Capitol May 15 to demand $1 billion more in state funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Hypocrisy was on full display as the union’s members took a day away from the classroom, forcing the district to spend significant taxpayer dollars on substitute teachers, while also paying salaries of the CTU members who traveled to Springfield. Republican lawmakers held a press conference to highlight the special funding CPS receives that’s not made available to other schools in the state that face far greater financial challenges.

Under the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, school districts are divided into a four-tier system with Tier One school districts being those that have the greatest need for new state funding to adequately educate their students. Since the funding formula was passed, and with additional state support, CPS has already moved up to Tier 2.

State Senator Sue Rezin noted that for many years CPS has received a disproportionate share of the state’s education resources through special carve-outs and unique grants, such as hundreds of millions from the Chicago Block Grant that was written into the CPS base as part of the formula.

Republican lawmakers also hit on the fact that in a tight budget year for the State of Illinois, the demands made by the Chicago Mayor and the CTU members are tone-deaf to the fiscal realities Illinois faces in crafting the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Members of the Senate Republican Caucus say they will continue to stand up for taxpayers as well as provide equal funding for schools throughout Illinois.

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