Chicago’s teachers are striking. Starting last Thursday, teachers and their support staffs hit the streets in an attempt to get the resources children deserve, including enough nurses, psychologists, counselors and special education instructors. Democratic candidates have shown their support for the Chicago educators by posting online and appearing at rallies leading up to the work stoppage. On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a wide-ranging K-12 education plan, tackling everything from privatization to standardized testing. The next day, Sen. Warren joined Chicago’s teachers on the picket lines, bringing much needed media attention to the movement.
Standing in front of a group of teachers on a cold fall day, Sen. Warren told the crowd that everyone in America should be supporting the people striking for our children.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: I’m here to stand with Chicago’s teachers. I’m here to stand with Chicago’s nurses. I’m here to stand with Chicago’s librarians. I am here to stand with Chicago’s bus drivers. I’m here to stand with the low wage workers in the Chicago schools. I’m here to stand with every one of the people who stand for our children every day.
Feeling the pressure, Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a letter to the Chicago Teachers Union asking them to end the strike while continuing to negotiate in “good faith.” However, CTU President Jesse Sharkey explained that negotiating with people unwilling to negotiate isn’t much “good,” nor does it show much “faith” in the process. "Yesterday, negotiations took a turn for the worse after a productive weekend in which we thought we started to see where we were going to land. If we hadn't landed yet, we thought we could see how we were going to get there. The board was essentially following what the mayor was saying in public, sent a letter to this effect, and then the negotiators at the table started saying the exact same thing, which is 'we're out of money.'"