Chicago politics

The classroom and the government
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Chicago pays its teachers nearly twice the median income. Its voters elected a mayor who promised reform. Let them see if they, and he, meant what they said.

Chicago average wages v. teacher salaries

According to the City of Chicago, the median income for a family of four was $37,900. The remarkable thing about the median income for this city is that it is $33,336 less than the median income for Chicago teachers, which in 2011 was $71,236. What makes this remarkable is that the teachers in this City believe they are under paid and are demanding a 35% increase over the next four years, along with calling back teachers who had been laid off.

School books and an apple, common symbols of education And now hotly disputed in Chicago.

A stack of school books with an apple on top.

This situation becomes more remarkable when you consider that the general poverty rate nationwide, and in Chicago as well, are declining from already alarming percentages. Common sense should tell you that if the already high poverty level is continuing to increase, that taxpayers would be impacted by this number. But teachers’ unions seem to forget that it is the taxpayer who literally pays the teachers’ salaries.

Of course it can be argued that teachers are well-trained and spend time and money to receive an education to be eligible to teach in government as well as private schools. But is it practical to pay them 87.95% more than the median income? While we all appreciate the value of a good teacher, it would be nice if once in a while we also appreciated the value of a hard-working middle class wage earner as well.

Will the real Rahm Emmanuel please stand up?

Anyone would be hard-pressed to call former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a wimp. But the current teachers’ strike in Chicago will tell if he has the “right stuff” to stand up to the union’s unreasonable demands. It may be strange to think that Mayor Emanuel and Governor Scott Walker have anything in common, but strange things happen in this world all the time. Emanuel would be more than wise to emulate Walker and “do the right thing” by the people who chose him to represent them, than to take orders from the union bullies. Sure, the unions will do their best to throw him out of office, but hey, they didn’t succeed with Walker. Let that serve as an inspiration to Emanuel, as well as another Republican, President Ronald Reagan, who fired Air Traffickers making unreasonable demands.

In closing I want to make it clear that teachers can be heroes, but teachers’ unions – not so much!

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