Mayor Emanuel, Superintendent Brizard, Chicago Teachers Union Mu - New York News

Mayor Emanuel, Superintendent Brizard, Chicago Teachers Union Must Come Together Fast: Renda

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and School Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard have not wasted any time in their first 100 days in office pushing forward major reform initiatives for the Chicago Public schools, including:

  • Canceling a 4 percent pay increase for the CPS teachers that had been previously agreed to.
  • Backing new state legislation that makes it harder for teachers to strike.
  • Slashing 8 percent of the total CPS budget by instituting program cuts and system wide layoffs.
  • Proposing a property tax increase to help bridge the huge $700 million budget shortfall.
  • Instituting a more streamlined central office structure to insure efficiency .
  • Focusing on improving principal performance including merit pay for outstanding performance.

While these initiatives are a big step forward in the reform process, we still have a long way to go.

The effort to lengthen the school day was met with a strong negative response from the teachers union, and now they are demanding to be compensated for the extra 90 minutes that they will work per school day.

The real test in the coming days will be if Brizard, Emanuel and the teachers union can come to an agreement so work can begin on the overall goals of raising graduation rates and improving student achievement results.

We call on both sides to hammer out an agreement on these compensation and work day issues and do it quickly; school is back in session and the stakes could not be any higher.

The views expressed in this editorial do not necessarily represent the views of FOX Chicago or its employees.

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