Education, Features, National

Chicago Teachers Union Merges With Charter Teachers

February 7, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CHICAGO, Ill.—In what may be the first time public-school and charter-school teachers have combined in the same union, Chicago Teachers Union members have voted to unite with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff. The CTU, which announced the results Jan. 29, said 70% of its voting members had endorsed the merger. ChiACTS, which was formed in 2009 and represents about 1,000 charter-school teachers, approved the amalgamation last June. “Together we can more effectively fight for more fair, more equitable funding for our students and their needs, especially for our underserved Black and Brown students and their families,” ChiACTS President Chris Baehrend said in a statement. The merger “isn’t a magic bullet, but it does mightily strengthen our hand against charter operators,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey told In These Times, and it will also make teachers “better prepared” to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has closed dozens of city public schools while promoting the expansion of charters. Both Baehrend and CTU President Karen Lewis have said they don’t have a problem with charter schools themselves, but with the private management companies that run them. Read more

February 7, 2018

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