Chicago Teachers to Take ‘No Confidence' Vote for CPS CEO Forrest Claypool This Week

The vote follows concerns over how the city plans to close an estimated $600 million funding shortfall

Chicago teachers are slated to take a vote of no confidence in Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool this week.

All members of the Chicago Teachers Union will be polled on the matter from Monday through Wednesday, according to a statement from the union. Ballots will be cast at all Chicago schools with up to 25,000 teachers and support staff eligible to vote. 

"It means there's a crisis in confidence in Forrest Claypool," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said Monday. "It means we've reached an inflection point, a turning point."

He added that it will also mean "calling for the mayor to fire him." 

The vote follows concerns over how the city plans to close an estimated $600 million funding shortfall.

Claypool has faced tough criticism from the Chicago Teachers Union since being named CEO of CPS in 2015.

The vote is being held “to publicly highlight Claypool and Rahm’s failure to advocate for our schools and students and their refusal to take the actions needed to properly fund and protect CPS,” a statement from the union read.

"He's a catastrophist," Sharkey said. "He makes wild threats he has no intention of carrying out and it undermines the confidence of the schools."

Despite potential cuts facing the district amid funding concerns, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said schools will remain open through the end of the school year.

Both Emanuel and Claypool have been critical of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who vetoed a funding bill that would have given the financially struggling school district $215 million.

Claypool, in a statement, called the no confidence vote a "sideshow" created by the union. 

"Instead of creating a sideshow, CTU should be fighting along side us in the courts and in Springfield, where the union continues to let Gov. Rauner off the hook for his racially discriminatory funding of CPS," the statement read. "Unlike Karen Lewis and Bruce Rauner, I don't believe that fighting for the civil rights of 400,000 school children is 'ridiculous.'"

Should members vote no confidence in Claypool, the union said it would “hold the mayor’s handpicked CEO accountable for failing to fight for our schools.”

“Pointing fingers at Springfield is not enough,” the union said.

The union plans to release the results of the vote on May 23.

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