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Strike in Chicago: Ignorance & arrogance

| Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Just when you thought organized labor couldn't get any more ignorant or arrogant, Chicago's 29,000 unionized teachers went on strike Monday.

The first strike in the nation's third-largest school district in 25 years kept nearly 400,000 students home — or roaming the streets. Rallying teachers blocked some of those Windy City streets.

Chicago teachers, already with the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 (not including benefits), walked off the job after rejecting a 16 percent pay raise over four years that would cost taxpayers an estimated $400 million.

And that was offered by a district facing a $1 billion deficit by year's end.

But the major sticking point is said to be changes to the teacher-evaluation system. The union says it places too much emphasis on student performance. In a district in which just more than half of students who make it to their freshman year of high school actually graduate. In a district in which a mere 15 percent of fourth-graders are proficient in reading.

Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, says the Chicago strike should be a wake-up call for fleeced taxpayers nationwide. “Demands of public-sector unions are the primary force in the rapidly growing number of state and local governments facing financial chaos,” he says.

And it won't stop until taxpayers “grow a backbone strong enough to vote out the legislators who insist on protecting public-sector unions.”

November presents the perfect opportunity to heed the clarion call.

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