This statement was released by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, in response to the news about the CTU strike vote, approved by 96% of voting members. FEE was founded by Jeb Bush; he stepped aside when he decided to run for the GOP nomination. Patricia Levesque was former Governor Bush’s closest associate. It is interesting that she refers to the children of Chicago as “our children.” The FEE–which strongly advocates for charters, vouchers, and virtual classes and schools– has never issued a statement about the lack of resources for the Chicago public schools, the lack of libraries, social services, or about overcrowded classrooms. Nor did it issue a statement when Mayor Emanuel closed 50 public schools in a single day, which surely hurt many children.






Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Chicago Teachers Union membership voted to authorize setting a strike date if demands are not met by the State Board of Education. Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, issued the following statement.



“The Chicago Teachers Union has used its political power to turn the city’s education system into a place where collectively bargained job protections, benefits and pensions are the priority, not the education of our children. It’s no wonder Chicago Public Schools is spiraling into insolvency.



“Rather than negotiate in good faith on permanent solutions, the union is desperately lashing out, blaming everyone else for a state of affairs it has been instrumental in creating. Under the guise of taking a stand for students, it is preparing for a strike that will abandon students in their classrooms.



“This union agenda punishes families and only will hasten the flight to charter schools, where parents can find better options and where thousands of children currently are on waiting lists. The question now becomes whether or not union leaders are interested in the education of children and the long-term survival of Chicago Public Schools, or whether they are interested in a self-serving agenda of maintaining power.”




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