School starts Tuesday for Chicago Public School students, but the summer has already been filled with activity for CPS administration. Joining us to talk about the new school year and negotiations with teachers was Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.
Brizard said negotiations are progressing between the school board and Chicago Teachers Union. He said one of the key issues in the negotiations is salary schedule. CTU rejected a longer school day proposal from CPS, Brizard said, and the union is bringing other issues to the table.
“A lot is going on behind the scenes,” Brizard said. He said he has been meeting with Karen Lewis, sometimes over breakfast, to work out some of the issues and the lawyers for both sides are heavily involved in the talks.
Brizard was also asked if he thinks the CTU is standing in the way of improving conditions for CPS students.
“I’ve always believed that all the adults in the schools have the best interests of the kids at heart. I have to believe that,” Brizard said.
Brizard also pointed out that although there was no system-wide raise this year, 75 percent of teachers still got a raise July 1. Brizard said the city has been generous on teachers’ salaries.
“Chicago has not been cheap when it comes to compensating teachers,” Brizard said.
In other news, this week Chicago Schools Administrator Tim Cawley ordered nearly all CPS credit cards be cut up and tossed following a Fox Chicago News/Better Government Investigation of the travel expenses of the principal of the Ogden International School in the Gold Coast.
Brizard said the issue has been handed over to the inspector general. He said there has been an effort that started before this administration and will continue after that does not accept corruption and waste.