Chicago Teachers Union president enrolled child in private school, sources confirm

Other Chicago political leaders have chosen to send their children to private schools in the past.

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Update: In response to reporting about sending her child to a private school, Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates has issued a statement via an email to parents and union members.

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates, who has been vocal in the past about her opposition to private schools, enrolled her teenager at a Catholic school, NBC Chicago confirmed.

After days of questions directly to Davis Gates and the CTU that were left unanswered, NBC Chicago confirmed via Davis Gates' own social media posts and multiple sources that her child was enrolled this year at a Chicago Catholic high school.

NBC Chicago is not naming the school nor the name of Gates' child. Gates has not responded to our requests for comment on the topic, but she has discussed her position on private schools in the past.

"I'm also a mother," Davis Gates said on March 6, 2022. "My children go to Chicago Public Schools. These are the things that legitimize my space within the coalition."

Last year in a Chicago Magazine article, Davis Gates said, "I can’t advocate on behalf of public education without it taking root in my own household."

Davis Gates has publicly voiced strong opposition to School Choice and the Illinois Invest in Kids program that allows for tax credits that benefit private schools.

On social media, Davis Gates has said, "school choice was actually the choice of racists. It was created to avoid integrating schools with Black children."

She also posted a link to an article titled "The Racist Origins of Private School Vouchers."

Davis Gates' family’s neighborhood high school is Harlan Community Academy. It ranks 437 out of 664 Illinois high schools.   

Other political leaders have chosen to send their children to private schools, including former mayors Rahm Emanuel, Lori Lightfoot and Richard Daley as well as Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s teenager does not attend the family’s West Side neighborhood school, but rather a magnet school across town.   

While Davis Gates is paying more than $16,000 tuition for her child to attend a Catholic high school, the Invest in Kids program that helps others who cannot afford that amount is on life support as the general assembly did not decide yet whether to extend funding for the program. The Chicago Teachers Union and other teachers unions have lobbied vigorously to oppose it.

The Invest in Kids program, which promotes school choice, is expected to come up when lawmakers return to Springfield for the fall veto session. It’s not clear if the CTU will continue to voice opposition now that their president has taken that route for her child.

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