Public School Policies
Competition Heats Up in Indiana
The Indiana voucher system is getting bigger this year, and public schools across the state are feeling the heat. Fox News reports that the new voucher system first passed the Indiana legislature in 2011, and the hundreds of students that left public schools for private pastures last year could turn into thousands of students this year. Public schools are turning to advertising, as well as door-to-door campaigning, to keep kids in their neighborhood schools – and funding in the public school system.
Throughout the summer, negotiations continued between the Chicago Teachers Union and school administrators and the mayor’s office. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was pushing for longer school days, hiring autonomy for principals and a revamping of the teacher evaluation process. Teachers were looking for better pay increases, job security, smaller classroom sizes and more services for their students. As the summer negotiations wore on, some were hopeful a strike wouldn’t have to happen. Others voiced fears that a strike was exactly where the teachers union was headed.
Two Points of Contention
The Anatomy of a Teachers’ Strike
The two sides of this conflict have been working for months to try to find a resolution. A fact-finder brought in over the summer in an effort at mediation called the relationship between the two “toxic.” At the crux of the controversy is a wide range of issues, from classroom sizes to school hiring policies. While some of these issues have reached an agreement, many more still appear to be miles away from any sort of compromise.
Points of Contention
The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have met a total of 46 times in an effort to find a compromise both sides could swallow. A fact finder was also brought in over the summer to find a solution to the conflict. The fact finder told the Chicago Sun-Times that the relationship between the two sides was “toxic.” Some of the points of contention that have not been resolved include: