Thursday, February 10, 2011
Big news on the Chicago public education front this week.
First, the Better Government Association (BGA)revealed that 14 Chicago Public School special education teachers went on an all-expense paid trip to a Las Vegas resort and spa for a conference last year. They did this on "report card day" thereby missing what one teacher called "the biggest night for teachers to talk with parents."
The BGA also reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasteful spending by Chicago School Board members including tax dollars spent on champagne costing $125 a bottle; thousands more on limousines, steak lunches and a food and liquor bill from a Soldier Field skybox event that alone cost more than $6,000.
This while the Chicago public school system labors under a $700 million budget shortfall.
While all this was coming out, Big-Labor's favorite school marm, Annice Brave, was back on the Chicago airwaves in a concentrated blitz of paid Teacher's Union ads.
They are feel-good ads designed to assure us that the disinterested, self-sacrificing members of the state's most powerful special interest lobby, are really just concerned with the well being of all the kiddies.
In the 30 second Illinois Education Association (IEA) spots, Ms. Brave cackles that teaching is "not just a job for anyone." She then spouts the standard Education unionist claptrap that "Americans are counting on us to build a great educational system," and that we "need to get teachers to the table if we want real education reform."
Brave, who pulls down almost twice the annual salary of the average family in her economically depressed Alton, Illinois district, was last omnipresent on the Chicago airwaves during the second week of January. Back then, the IEA shelled out $81k a week to put her on the air with a similar sales pitch.
The last media blitz was timed to precede the state legislative vote to hike the Illinois personal income tax.
This one is apparently timed to coincide with the further legislative deliberations on tax and fee hikes, signalled by IL House Speaker, Mike Madigan.
The educational establishment with its wildly extravagant teachers' salaries and pensions, of course, has an interest in increasing the tax burden in a state that is, for all practical purposes, broke.
Annice Brave is right. "Teaching isn't just a job for anyone."
It's a job for high-living, Vegas high-rollers.