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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Jul 18, 2012

School District, Teachers Quickly Do Away With Fact Finder's Report

The clock is ticking on a new contract agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools after both the CTU House of Delegates and Board of Education swiftly and unanimously rejected a third party fact finder's report this afternoon.

The report recommended an 18 percent salary increase next year for teachers largely due to implementation of a seven-hour school day. The union agreed with the raise proposal from arbitrator Edwin Benn, but rejected other parts of the report including Benn not prescribing a recall procedure for laid off teachers. In addition to the well-documented salary dispute, these reasons for rejecting the report will shape ensuing contract negotiations.

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jul 18, 2012

Illinois Should ‘Heed The Call’ Of New Report’s Warnings Against Additional Social Service Cuts

Illinois is facing major threats to its ability to provide basic public services, such as investing in children and teachers and caring for the needy, a report released Tuesday by the State Budget Crisis Task Force shows.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jul 16, 2012

CTU: Fact Finder Recommends Significant Raise For Teachers

An independent fact finder may have delivered a major victory for the Chicago Teachers Union: a recommendation that teachers get an almost 15 percent raise for the upcoming school year as compensation for a longer school day.

“We do agree with his initial recommendations that our members deserve significant pay raises,” said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said at a press conference this afternoon.

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Thu Jul 12, 2012

Maligned CPS Budget Proposal Might Not Be Final Version

What do the Chicago Teachers Union, Occupy Chicago, the Chicago Tribune editorial page, the Chicago Civic Federation, and Moody’s credit rating agency all have in common? They have each slammed the Chicago Public Schools for proposing a budget that drains the system’s entire $349 million rainy day fund.

The widespread disapproval raises the question of whether the Board of Education, which is appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and typically rubber stamps any CPS proposal, might suggest changes to the new budget at its July 26 meeting. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Op-Ed: President And Congress Deserve Credit For Freezing Student Loan Rate

The following is by Celeste Meiffren, field director for Illinois PIRG.

Last week, a divided Congress came together to deliver for the economy, as well as students and families, by extending the low 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans.

The rate was scheduled to double on Saturday, June 30th, without a new plan from Congress. With the atmosphere in Washington, DC even more partisan than usual due to the impending election, many were skeptical that both sides of the aisle could come together to freeze the low interest rate on these loans. Yet on Friday, Democrats and Republicans responded to the public by agreeing on a new law freezing the low rate for one year, and just in the nick of time.

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