Chicago Mayor Wants  Billion More For Schools Even Though 43% Of Teachers Are Chronically Absent
Chicago Mayor Wants $1 Billion More For Schools Even Though 43% Of Teachers Are Chronically Absent

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner of Wirepoints

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson recently traveled to Springfield with a big wish list of stuff he wants from state lawmakers. Among them, $1 billion in extra funding for Chicago Public Schools.

We have a host of reasons why his demand should be categorically rejected. Among them, CPS already spends $29,000 per student, Chicago teachers are already among the nation’s highest paid in big cities and the Chicago Teachers Union refuses to close the many empty, failing schools across the district. Not to mention that both CPS and CTU refuse to hold themselves accountable to students. Just 20% of minority CPS children can read at grade level and in math it’s even worse.

Now add to that the growing rate of teachers simply not showing up to school. The U.S. Department of Education’s definition of chronic teacher absenteeism is 10 or more absences in a school year.

In CPS, the share of teachers who are chronically absent has jumped to 43% from 28% just seven years ago. The jump can’t be blamed on the pandemic, as the rate of absenteeism was rising (from 28% to 36%) even before covid hit.

Chicago Mayor Wants  Billion More For Schools Even Though 43% Of Teachers Are Chronically Absent

Teacher attendance has a heavy impact on student outcomes. From the Illinois State Board of Education’s Report Card:

“Teacher attendance is a “leading indicator” of student achievement, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Teachers with regular attendance provide continuity of instruction and attention to individual students. The National Bureau of Economic Research has shown that when teachers are absent for 10 days or more, student outcomes decrease significantly.”

Instead of asking for more money, Mayor Johnson should make sure his CTU brethren are actually in the classroom. He should then set dramatically higher reading and math proficiency targets that both he and teachers are held accountable for. 

And then the mayor should make those targets public.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 05/11/2024 – 22:30

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