Chicago Public Schools

Budget Expert: Taxpayer Is ‘Big Loser' in Chicago Teachers' Strike Deal

A budget expert told NBC 5 that he believed taxpayers should be concerned about the agreement reached by the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools to end the more than two week-long strike. 

Teachers and students returned to schools on Friday after a tentative agreement was reached on Thursday. 

Budget expert Ted Dabrowski said the "big loser" in the deal is "the ordinary Chicagoan." 

"This contract will accelerate Chicago's slide toward insolvency, and Chicagoans are going to have to pay for it," Dabrowski said.  

The deal reached following the strike is estimated at $600 million, compared to the $120 million agreement reached following the seven-day teachers' strike in 2012. In the recent agreement, teachers won a nurse and social worker in every school, which is expected to be costly. According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the contract would amount to an $80 increase in a typical Chicago homeowner's property tax bill. 

However, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during negotiations, she was constantly asking about the implications on taxpayers. 

"What I can tell the taxpayers is you are never far from our minds," Lightfoot said. "The CPS budget team was at the table every single day, every single hour." 

The strike came to an end when both sides announced they had reached a deal on a return-to-work agreement with the final sticking point being whether or not Chicago Public Schools would make up missed instructional days. The two sides settled on making up five of the 11 missed days and students will return to classrooms Friday. 

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