Saturday, May 25, 2024

As Re-Election Race Nears, Lori Lightfoot Gets Tough on Teachers Unions

'They abandoned their posts and they abandoned kids and their families... '

(Headline USA) Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took aim at the Chicago Teachers Union this week, blaming the organization for the “chaos” in the city’s public education system.

During a debate against two of her opponents in the Chicago mayoral race, Lightfoot claimed the CTU is responsible for the city’s enrollment decline and said teachers’ frequent walk-outs have harmed students.

This is not the first time Lightfoot has turned on the CTU, which normally aligns itself with Democrats. Last year, for example, Lightfoot blasted the teachers’ union for encouraging its members to go on strike after the city announced it would return to in-person learning.

“To be clear, what the Chicago Teacher’s Union did was an illegal walk-out. They abandoned their posts and they abandoned kids and their families,” the mayor said at the time. “My team has been working every single day. They’re back at it again here Sunday.” 

However, Lightfoot normally has a close relationship with the CTU. She even used her connections to the union to ask teachers to volunteer for her campaign — a request she later claimed was a “mistake.”

“There was absolutely no nefarious intent on the part of the staff person and there simply was no coercion, I’ve seen that question bubble up. There was no coercion, no intent to do that by any means by this young woman and no city resources were used,” Lightfoot said last month.

One possible explanation for Lightfoot’s pivot against the CTU is that one of the union’s organizers, Brandon Johnson, is running against her.

Johnson has bragged about using the CTU to infuse leftist ideology in the public classroom.

“Convincing our members to wear a red T-shirt on Friday was a task,” Johnson said back in 2013. “The baby Socialists would just wear the buttons. We gotta start them off gently. Eventually they started putting on red T-shirts … building that sense of consciousness.”

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