Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The Chicago Teacher's Strike - Starving The Kids, Literally
As the Chicago teacher's union strike moves into high gear, one thing that gone almost unnoticed is an important effect on the city's school children. Aside from the effect of missing school on their academic progress, the hellish inconvenience for working parents and the fact that many of these children are running around with no real safe place to go in a fairly dangerous city, there's one more thing, as Charles Lane points out in today's Washington Post; a lot of them are running around hungry.
Keep the following numbers in mind for the next time a public-sector union official starts lecturing you about social justice.
In Chicago, 85 percent of the roughly 400,000 public school students are either African American or Latino. A similar percentage receives free or reduced-price meals, which means these students live at or near the poverty line: $27,214 for a family of three, in a typical case. Keep the following numbers in mind for the next time a public-sector union official starts lecturing you about social justice.
The average public-school teacher in Chicago earned almost triple that amount — $76,000 per year, according to the school district. In contract negotiations this year, Chicago Public Schools offered an average total pay increase of 16 percent over four years.
Since the schools are closed, so are the meal programs. As I have reason to know, for a lot of these children, the meals they get at school constitute a major portion of their diet. In a number of cases, the free breakfast and lunch the school hands out might be the only food they get during the day.
They are literally being starved and held as hostages by a greedy, incompetent and uncaring public employee union that is supposed to be in the profession of caring about what happens to children.
I use the term incompetant advisedly.While there are probably a number of good teachers working in Chicago's public school system, it graduates only 60 percent of its students and fewer than 8 percent of 11th-graders met all four college readiness benchmarks on 2011 state tests, according to the school system's own, almost certainly exaggerated numbers .
Of course, caring about what happens to the school children entrusted to their care has never been what the teacher's unions were about, in spite of some heroic efforts by individual teachers.
It was always about milking the public treasury and getting the right Democrat politicians elected to continue the process...along with a healthy dose of lefty indoctrination on the side in a lot of cases.
The children were always just a side issue, the 'product' the factory turned out, as if they were widgets being manufactured.
It is an indictment on us as a society that we have allowed this to continue as long as it has.