But the economy really stinks right now. Lots of regular people are losing their jobs, paying taxes is a hardship for many, and it's probably not a good time to whine that your average teacher earns $74,839 and go on strike. That's gonna backfire, at least perception-wise, with the public.
But they'll get much of what they're asking for in the short term because the schools can't blanket fire and start with fresh college grads who will take $15/hour. And probably do a better job if test scores are any indication. (They aren't always, with an average pay of $74,839, I'm expecting the Stand and Deliver guy in every classroom.)
Yup. The school district caved and offered a 16 percent pay increase and several other concessions. It isn't enough, though. The news is full of pictures of screaming teachers waving signs written in freaking Spanish about how they're mistreated. Really.
Meanwhile, on the insanely odd flip side, Chicago's children cannot possibly be ok if they have to skip a few weeks of classes. It's an emergency.
"The school district opened 144 of its 578 schools for part of the day to provide a safe environment and meals to children in need," CNN reports. "Dozens of churches and civic organizations stepped in to provide activities for the thousands of suddenly idle students. And police, expecting an uptick in trouble with more kids on the streets, pulled officers from desk duty to increase patrols."
Translation: it's obvious that people in the inner city are somehow different from other people and cannot possibly be expected to care for their own kids. And let kids get bored? Well, they commit arson, armed robbery, murder and other assorted crimes if you don't entertain them! It would all be the teachers' fault for not being there for the kiddies!
Crazy any way you slice it.
I know some parents have to work, but that doesn't mean it becomes the government's problem when school is not in session. And the whole thought that everyone needs these teachers this badly is just off-putting. I think my children's teachers do a good job. But while nearly $10,000/month is a bit steep, the union wants more than that? ($74,000 x 1.16 and then divide by 9 = $9,667)
The whole thing doesn't make sense. Would it make more sense if I lived in Chicago? I don't really have a dog in this fight, but the whole thing seems bewildering to me.