After weeks of back-and-forth about teacher pay raises, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is now offering elementary school teachers a 2 percent raise for an additional 90 minutes per day of school. The new schedule would go into effect for this school year, starting in early September.
Earlier this summer, the board of education voted unanimously to rescind a 4 percent salary increase earmarked for educators in the Chicago Teachers Union contract. CTU fought back on the decision and began salary negotiations with the board. Those talks stopped this week, prompting the CTU to release a list of demand proposals which includes accepting lower cost-of-living increases. CTU president Karen Lewis yesterday also rejected an invitation to join the Chicago Public Schools' Longer School Day Advisory Committee.
Extending the school day and year has been pushed hard by Brizard's boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Brizard said the offer is meant to get the ball rolling for an extended school day that will added 90 minutes per day and two weeks per year for all elementary and high schools starting next school year. CTU has said time and time again that any changes should be for a better school day, not just a longer one.