September 27 (Chicago) - Educators for Excellence-Chicago (E4E-Chicago), a teacher-led organization, expressed their support for teachers’ decision to strike.
“Voting on the strike decision was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my teaching career,” said Latasha Mallory, first-grade teacher at Ruggles Elementary and member of E4E-Chicago. “I won’t share where I landed, but as I made my decision, I thought about my students grappling with poverty who depend on their education to secure their future. I thought about my colleagues who work through their lunch so that all their students have a chance to learn. As negotiations continue, my colleagues and I want our union to keep them in mind and focus on creating an equitable education system for all students and educators.”
“Educators’ choice to strike is aligned to the issues they identified earlier this year in Ask an Educator: Priority Issues for Chicago’s Classrooms. But we also know from our conversations that educators have differing opinions on how to address these problems that are not always brought to the negotiation table,” stated Stacy Moore, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-Chicago. “As we shared with Mayor Lightfoot, there is an appetite among educators for new ideas, from innovative compensation to equitably distributing staff and resources. We now call on the union and the district to come to an agreement quickly, while ensuring they are bringing the full spectrum of educator opinions and priorities into the conversation.”
In March 2019, a team of educators examined data from over 1,200 surveys and 20 focus groups of Chicago educators to produce Ask an Educator: Priority Issues for Chicago’s Classrooms. The report identifies five issues that decision-makers and teachers should tackle together: educator voice, supports for diverse learners, wages and benefits, school funding, and educator mental health supports.