LINCOLN PARK — A pair of North Side teachers say the one-day teacher walkout scheduled for Friday is "a mistake" that helps political forces who want to make Chicago Public Schools look bad.
"If we want to be political, and we are seeking more stability and funding for education, programming, schools and staff, why engage in a protest that further destabilizes, playing right into the hands of those looking for proof that the state must take over our schools and declare bankruptcy?" say teachers Elizabeth G. Scalia and Ana L. Solis in an op-ed in Wednesday's Tribune.
The two, teachers at Oscar Mayer Magnet, 2250 N. Clifton Ave., call the strike "a mistake" that amounts to "turning our backs on students."
"In Chicago, a majority of our public-school students live in poverty. Education is their path to a future. If we walk out on April 1, as the Chicago Teachers Union has asked its members to do, whom are we hurting?" write the teachers.
Scalia is listed on the school's site as a language arts and humanities teachers who won a Golden Apple Award in 2003. Solis teaches writing and is listed as winning the educator of the year award from the Sheffield Neighbors Association and as a multiple Golden Apple nominee.
Earlier this month, members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted to walk off the job April 1 in what union leaders are calling a "day of action" to pressure the city and state to fund the school system at what they consider proper levels.
A state budget impasse and political stalemate in the General Assembly has led to unfair working conditions for teachers, they say. Teachers will have three furlough days to save $30 million. CTU president Karen Lewis has described it as "dying the death by 1,000 cuts."
CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has said that students would be better served if the union and the district formed a united front against Gov. Bruce Rauner, adding that the Friday walkout "has given Gov. Rauner more ammunition in his misguided attempt to bankrupt and take over Chicago Public Schools."
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