Chicago Teachers Union Demands $50 Billion Budget Increase

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has ignited controversy with its recent demand for an additional $50 billion in funding, a significant portion of which would be allocated to non-educational priorities such as abortion access and support for illegal immigrants.

According to documents leaked to Fox News, CTU President Stacy Davis Gates outlined a comprehensive set of demands, including an annual wage increase of at least 9% for CTU members until Fiscal Year 2028. This proposed salary hike would result in a substantial rise in the average Chicago teacher’s salary to $144,620, potentially exceeding twice the city’s average household income, by the 2027-2028 academic year.

In addition to financial demands, the CTU’s proposal encompasses social and healthcare initiatives, such as the provision of 100% coverage for abortion and fertility services, including embryo storage. Furthermore, the union advocates for the appointment of a “newcomer liaison” in each of the 646 schools within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system to support illegal immigrant students, along with repurposing unused school facilities to provide housing for undocumented individuals.

Critics have raised concerns about the feasibility and appropriateness of the CTU’s demands, given their significant budgetary implications. With the current CPS budget estimated at approximately $9 billion for the year, the proposed $50 billion expansion appears considerably disproportionate. Moreover, the total tax base receipts for Illinois in 2023 amounted to roughly $50.7 billion, highlighting the scale of the CTU’s financial request.

The CTU’s considerable political influence, particularly in Chicago, has been underscored by its substantial campaign contributions to local politicians, including Mayor Brandon Johnson (D). However, the union has faced criticism for its handling of education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, with concerns raised about declining educational standards in the city.

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