Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Parents Stand By Chicago Teachers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some parents are sticking up for teachers in the latest public schools showdown.

    A group of 15 parents gathered at Price Elementary, 4357 S. Drexel, on Friday morning to rally in favor of the four percent annual raises the new Chicago Public Schools board turned down this week. The board on Wednesday pointed to the district's $712 million deficit and said there's no more room for the $100 million the raises would cost.

    "I have the utmost respect and admiration for teachers and all that they do for our children," schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in a statement. "But today's Board action was taken in response to the massive financial crisis facing our system."

    Parents aren't buying it.

    "Budgets are about priorities," said Jitu Brown, education organizer for Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. Brown says teachers are undervalued and says CPS is invested in charter schools. "The investment that's been going on for the last seven years has been for closing schools, investing in contract schools."

    "We're stuck in a box of trying to pit teachers against other public service workers, against children's recess times, rather than looking at the wealth within this society." said parent Rico Gutstein, member of Teachers for Social Justice and a UIC education professor.

    In the end, parents say they want what's best for students. So does CPS 7th grader Hamza Abu-Shanab, 12.

    "I think teachers should get a raise," Abu-Shanab said, "but they need something to make it better for both the children and the teachers."