If striking public school teachers in Chicago aren't in a hurry to get back to work, many of their kids will nonetheless find their noses in a book.
That's because according to a 2004 study, about 39 percent of Windy City teachers send their kids to private schools. The same study found that only about 23 percent of all families in Chicago sent their kids to private schools. What do the public-school teachers know?
There's also this (both courtesy of Hot Air): Chicago high schoolers get the least amount of instruction time per year out of any major metro district.
Along with the basic compensation numbers - Chicago teachers average somewhere around $71,000-$76,000 per year in salary - and the turned-down deal (including an average 16 percent wage hike over four years), it would really take a total wilting by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago school board not to win this battle.
Hat Tip: Reason Foundation education analyst Lisa Snell, who explains why school choice is growing below:
Snell also points to this Education Week story (registration required) that lays out all sorts of major problems with the system.
- "The total number of students in CPS declined by nearly 35,000 between 2002 and 2011, yet the district's annual expenses grew during that time by more than $1.7 billion."
- "Since 2009, the number of CPS teachers who do not work in charter schools has declined by nearly 1,700....The amount of money going into charters grew eightfold between 2002 and 2011, from $47 million to nearly $380 million."
- "Since 2001, the district has seen its net assets plummet from $1.2 billion to negative $1.2 billion, a decrease of 200 percent."
- "This year, CPS reached its legal threshold for property taxes, which grew from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $1.9 billion in 2011, a 27 percent increase. For the past few years, CPS benefited from federal stimulus money that doubled its federal funding to more than $1.1 billion in 2011. But that money has now dried up."
- "Three main factors are driving the steady growth in costs: teacher compensation, the construction program and paying off debt."
Increased retirement benefits for teachers? Construction boom despite shrinking student body? No more federal stimulus dollars and upper limits reached on tax revenue? What could possibly go right?
The one upside in the story: More kids are going to charters, where they at least get to choose some aspect of their education (and at a lower cost to taxpayers).