School Choice Dies In Illinois, Congratulations Teachers As 35% Read At Grade Level

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023 - 03:05 PM

By Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

The teacher’s union and Gov. J.B. Pritzker kills scholarships for 9,600 poor children.

On November 1, the Illinois Policy Institute discussed the Last Stand for School Choice in Illinois

Illinois schoolchildren did a little better this past school year, but they are still behind where they were before the pandemic hit and put them out of their classrooms for large blocks of time.

Scores for public schools were just released and showed only 35% of students in grades 3 through 8 could read at grade level in 2023, according to the Illinois Report Card. Only 27% met proficiency in math.

That is 3 percentage points lower in reading and 5 points lower in math than before the pandemic.

High school juniors taking the SAT posted similar proficiency: 32% could read and 27% do math at grade level.

Private schools advanced as public schools struggled, with Chicago still seeing a stark difference between public and private school achievement. In Chicago Public Schools, only 20% of elementary students scored proficient in reading compared to 72% in the Archdiocese of Chicago schools on their readiness assessment.

CTU President Stacy Davis Gates picked a parochial high school for her own son so he could pursue athletics and academics unavailable at his public school. Illinois Education Association chief lobbyist Sean Denney failed to shackle private schools with the same statewide pandemic mandates public schools followed, yet sends his children to a parochial school in Springfield.

Both union leaders are working to kill the private school option for over 9,600 low-income and mostly minority families. So far, they are winning.

The Last Stand Dies

Here is today’s announcement: School Choice Dies in Illinois

The state and national teachers union made a priority of blocking an extension of the Invest in Kids program that provided a 75% state tax credit for donations to help families afford private schools. The unions claim the credit drained money from public schools, but public funding has increased nearly $2 billion since Invest in Kids began under former Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Current Gov. J.B. Pritzker refused to help save the program, even for children currently benefiting from it. 

Illinois is now the first state to kill a major school-choice program. The scandal reflects the bloody-mindedness of the unions that want to snuff out even minor competition to retain their monopoly. And it reveals how little most Democrats care about the children they imprison in these failure factories.

I Despise the Teachers’ Unions

I absolutely despise the Teachers’ Unions, especially Illinois. They hold kids hostage for unjustified wages and benefits and the union protects incompetent teachers, even child molesters.

Chicago Teachers’ Union President Stacy Davis Gates will not send her own kid to public schools. Nor will Illinois Education Association chief lobbyist Sean Denney.

Bankruptcy is the only solution for cities in Illinois to escape state mandated benefit madness. Unfortunately, the state blocks municipal bankruptcy, so there is no solution for cities like Rockford, Danville, and too many others to count. They suffer in the form of slow decay with no hope of escape.

Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

Please consider a few key snips from FDR’s Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service, August 16, 1937, emphasis mine.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”

Recommended Steps

  1. National right-to-work laws
  2. Abolishment of all prevailing wage laws
  3. Ending public unions ability to strike
  4. Ending collective bargaining by public unions

On June 30, 2008, I commented Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

Collective bargaining cannot possibly exist in such circumstances. Unions can and have shut down schools. The unions do not give a damn about the kids.

Notice I said “unions” do not give a damn. Many, if not most, teachers do care for the kids, but the union does not. The unions can, and do, protect teachers guilty of abusing kids. It is nearly impossible to get rid of a bad tenured teacher or a bad cop.

Teachers’ unions are the worst, but it is also impossible to get rid of a bad union police officer or prison guard for the same reasons.