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Illinois Blog

Get Back to the Table


Right now, there's a showdown in Chicago and our kids are caught in the middle. Contract negotiations between the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union broke down and the union could go on strike as early as August. If the union strikes, 400,000 kids - including my rising 2nd grader - will be shut out of their classrooms in the fall. Students could miss out on days, even weeks of valuable instruction time.  Families, scrambling to find emergency arrangements for their children could miss out on work - and income.

I'm headed to the Board of Education meeting with a coalition of parents to demand that both sides get back to the table.  But we need all the support we can get.  Will you sign our petition?

My son does well in school - we're proud of him. But if the strike goes forward, I will have to spend additional time and money to find alternative activities that could "replace" the learning hours he'll miss... just to keep him on track for next year.But it's not just about my son and me - it's also about the hundreds of thousands of parents across the Chicago area who already struggle to make ends meet. There are many families who can't afford enrichment alternatives, and these kids will be left to their own devices until the Union and the Board of Education can come to an agreement.

Let's be clear - both the Board of Education and the Teachers' Union need to focus on reaching an agreement, not scoring political points.  Our kid's education is currently an afterthought to political posturing. With all of the news buzzing about mock strike votes, negotiation breakdowns and rhetoric from both sides being thrown about as political theater, our kids are getting caught in the middle. As parents, it's our duty to speak out and ensure that our kid's best interests are at the heart of the negotiations. Can I count on your support?

The last teachers' strike, in 1987, set the record for the longest teacher's strike in city history. 432,000 students were shut out of school for more than four weeks. We can't wait until fall to see if the issue resolves itself. That's why I'm calling on every single parent in Chicago to demand that the Board of Education and the Union get back to the negotiating table to resolve this before it's too late. Parent pressure played a key role in resolving the '87 strike - and this time; I think we can do even better. At the Stand parent strategy meeting last week, we unanimously decided that we cannot stand for a work stoppage - it's unfair to students, educators, and parents. I'm not going to let history repeat itself, and neither should you.

Standing with you,

Lynn Stand Chicago Member and Bronzeville Parent

P.S  I'm a founding Chicago member of Stand for Children and I joined because I believed in the need for a parent voice in positively impacting our schools. Since then, I've helped Stand win numerous victories - from lengthening the school day, to ensuring the best educators are in front of our children. But if our children aren't in school to benefit, none of that progress matters. Will you join me in standing up for our kids?


1) CTU shares some-not all-the results of its poll,0,7244749.story

2) CTU: Poll shows members unhappy with contract proposal

3) Contract talks gear up, schools hold 'practice' strike votes

4) (1987 coverage) Parents Angry as Chicago School Strike Lingers

5) (1987 coverage) Chicago Teachers Reach Accord in 4-Week Strike