The Chicago GOP is extremely disappointed that Mayor Emanuel abandoned real school reform, buckling under pressure from President Obama and Democratic special interests.
The deal announced today is bad for Chicago children and their families. The school closures, layoffs and tax increases that will result from this agreement will harm every single Chicago resident.
Mayor Emanuel folded on a number of critical reforms:
- - No expanded school choice for parents with students in failing schools
- - A watered down teacher evaluation that protects bad teachers
- - No formal end to teacher tenure
- - No merit pay to reward excellent educators
- - Guaranteed annual salary increases for teachers regardless of performance.
- - No increased teacher contributions for health or pension benefits, kicking the can down the road on CPS fiscal reform
- - Longer school days do not include more math, science, reading or writing coursework
Nowhere are the interests of parents or children represented. There is no provision for a "parent trigger", where parents can choose whether their neighborhood school becomes a charter school.
It's clear that the CTU got what it wanted and the Mayor went along. Once again, the children got the shaft.
The Chicago GOP will continue working with school reform advocates to bring full school choice to every Chicago family.
The Chicago GOP continues to stand up for city students, parents, and taxpayers even as hundreds of non-Chicagoans rallied against reform today.
After depriving students of a full week of classroom time, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis wrote an op-ed stating the union's unequivocal opposition to school choice for parents and the opening of new charter schools.
"While we respect teachers, it's important that the Mayor not cave in to demands by the teacher's union," said Adam Robinson, Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party. "The union defends shorter work days, longer vacations, higher pay, and teacher mediocrity. It's time for Chicago to move forward on school choice, so parents can choose another way."
"We hope the mayor doesn't chicken out," he added.
The Chicago Republican Party supports school choice, particularly in the form of the parent trigger, so that parents can choose to make their neighborhood school a charter school by simple majority vote.
The Chicago GOP reiterates its call for Chicago Teachers Union members to end their strike of choice and return to work immediatley while final negotiations continue.
"This is a strike of choice, making a political point at the expense of students and parents," said Chicago GOP Chairman, Adam Robinson. "Our students are too valuable to our future to be treated with such disrespect."
The Chicago GOP condemns the Chicago Teachers Union decision to strike.
"With negotiations still on-going and a deal close, there is no reason for a pre-mature walk out," said Chicago GOP chairman Adam Robinson. "The children of Chicago should always come first and never be punished because a handful of adults can't make a deal."
The Chicago GOP calls upon the CPS Board and the CTU to resume negotiations immediately.
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Mayor Emanuel failed to use his appearances on four national morning shows today to lobby for new urban policies on crime and public education. As the well-known mayor of America's third largest city, he should have used his national platform to address the crises facing his own city and advance policy solutions for all urban centers in the country.
"If he was going to skip town in the midst of a violent crime wave and a looming teacher's strike, the least Mayor Emanuel could've done was bring national attention to the serious challenges facing Chicago and other great American cities," said Chicago GOP chairman Adam Robinson.
In response to pressure mounted by the Chicago Republican Party, Mayor Emanuel has decided to cut his trip to the Democratic National Convention short to deal with the crises at home. Yesterday, the ChicagoGOP called for the Mayor to skip the convention and deal with the violence and the teacher's strike.
"We're gratified that the Mayor has seen that a looming teacher's strike is more important than attending swanky parties at the Democratic National Convention," said Chris Cleveland, spokesman for the ChicagoGOP. "We understand that he's a national figure, and that it's a sacrifice to leave all those Hollywood A-listers in Charlotte, but the little people here at home are grateful for his presence."
As reported in today's Sun Times, "Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided Monday to cut short his trip to the Democratic National Convention, as pressure mounted for him to stay home to try to avert Chicago’s first teachers strike in 25 years and stop the bloodshed on city streets."
"Apparently sensing an opportunity to muddy up the former White House chief of staff now serving as co-chairman of the Obama campaign, the Chicago Republican Party weighed in with a demand that Emanuel skip the convention altogether and stay home and put out the political bonfires burning at home."
Yesterday, the ChicagoGOP criticism made national news. Local media covered it, including a segment on CBS 2 News.
Mayor Emanuel is more focused on criticizing Mitt Romney than focusing on his constituents and two major issues impacting our city.
After the end of a violent and deadly two weeks in Chicago, during which more than 100 people were shot, the Mayor still managed to find the time to make an appearance on 'Meet the Press,' telling NBC's David Gregory that the outbreak of violence is "contained" and not a crisis.
Further, Chicago Public School teachers are preparing to strike next Monday, depriving city children of classroom learning time and potentially exacerbating this public safety crisis.
While violence rages in the streets of several Chicago neighborhoods and teachers threaten a walkout, our Mayor is paying attention to the wrong things. His actions tell all Chicagoans that he is simply too busy preparing for a speech in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention and helping President Obama get re-elected to be bothered with the job he was elected to do.
"The Chicago Republican Party calls upon Mayor Emanuel to cancel his DNC speech and provide immediate, visible and specific leadership to address the twin crises facing our city," said Adam Robinson, Chairman of the Chicago GOP. "Given the immediacy of these issues, the mayor's focus on self-promotion and partisan grandstanding is totally unacceptable."
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