In 1997, the Illinois General Assembly approved 60 state charter schools. Chicago was authorized 30. Suburban areas for 15, and downstate locations another 15. Mayor Daley bent the rules. He operated 53 charter "campuses" and planned many more.
Currently, 119 charter schools serve 52,000 students. They remain open during Chicago's teacher strike. They're not affiliated with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
Only 10 city charter schools are unionized. Each operates independently. Doing so neuters their effectiveness. Union representation effectively is toothless. Principals have almost total power. They have hiring and firing authority.
On September 10, Chicago teachers walked out. At issue is saving public education and providing futures for city kids. Emanuel has other ideas in mind.
On September 11, the Chicago Tribune headlined "Mayor's plan to close schools fuels union fears during teachers strike," saying:
Plans call for closing 80 to 120 public schools on Chicago's South and West sides. Low income areas are affected. Bronzeville, North Lawndale, Garfield Park, and Englewood will be hard hit. Poor kids will entirely lose out. Families will be cheated. Thousands of teachers will lose jobs.
Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton called the report "completely untrue." Chicago Public Schools (CPS) spokeswoman Becky Carroll said the same thing.
They lied! They want dirty scheme details suppressed. At issue is replacing public schools with charter or private ones. Doing so, of course, sacrifices effective education in the process.