August 25, 2011
We are disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union turned down our offer to give elementary school students a longer school day starting in January, in return for a 2% raise despite the rising tide in support of the longer day and year. We presented the union with an honest compromise that will provide hundreds of thousands of Chicago’s children with more time in the classroom. Every year, Chicago’s students get 10,000 minutes less in the classroom compared to the national average. Our children deserve better and it is time we make the tough choices to do better.
Yesterday hundreds of parents participated in a rally because they know their children need more time in the classroom to learn and succeed. And today we joined nearly 200 faith based leaders at an event to announce they have 400 petitions in favor the longer school day for kids in their communities. We hope that the union will reconsider on behalf of the children of Chicago.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.