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In a Windy City economy that according to The Chicago Business Journal , has an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, a full percentage point above the national average of 8.1, it appears that the Chicago Teachers Union has managed to acquire a sixteen percent raise over the next four four years according to the Chicago Tribune.
Former White House Chief of Staff, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has given in to the CTU when already, the average Chicago public-school teacher is the best-paid in the country, making between $71,000 (the union's calculation) and $76,000 (the city's). And that's not counting benefits and pensions, paid days off, summer vacation and more. This is insulting to many of the families of many of the very students that these educators teach as roughly 84 percent live at or near the poverty line. This sweetheart settlement smells of political payback. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Democratic Party's chief funders remain teachers unions, groups that also accounted for an estimated 20% of delegates at the recent Democratic National Convention. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still the chief fundraiser for Barack Obama's super-Political Action Committee, and knows that not caving to the teachers might alienate the party base. It appears that he has wilted under their pressure even though, 99.7% of Chicago teachers are rated satisfactory while the graduation rate is just 60%, only twenty percent of eighth-graders are proficient in reading and less than 8% of 11th-graders are college-ready on state tests. Clearly, this is not a report card for the teachers of Chicago that merits a pay raise. The Chicago Teachers Union has indeed followed the lead of their Vice-President, Chief Hypocrite, and admitted supporter of Occupy Chicago, Jesse Sharkey in accepting undeserved pay
raises that he so vehemently demonized bank executives for accepting. Although it remains to be seen whether Barack Obama will be able to seize the opportunity to cast himself as the hero for 'negotiating' with teachers as a 'mediator', conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh may have indeed been right about the existence of a pre-arranged resolution to the crisis.
(HT: Meredith Jessup@romaticpoet.wordpress.com, David Feith@The Wall Street Journal, EagNews.org, Rush Limbaugh)