CTU members begin voting in referendum on CPS leadership

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Members of the Chicago Teachers Union begin a vote Monday on their confidence in Chicago Public Schools leadership.

CTU is pushing for a "no confidence" vote, with voting taking place Monday through Wednesday.

They have singled out CPS CEO Forrest Claypool after what they say has been years of failed leadership.

CTU said the vote will highlight the failure of district leadership to advocate for schools and students, and the refusal to take the actions needed to properly fund and protect CPS.

They said Claypool threatened layoffs, cut pay, and wants to end the school year three weeks early, and continues to change the amount of money needed to keep schools functioning adequately.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel stands by the CPS CEO and said Claypool has done an incredible job building on the academic progress of CPS students and instead, the focus should be on the fight for fair funding in Springfield.

In a statement, Emanuel said, "For nearly two years Forrest Claypool has continued to improve the academic success of our students, all while the governor has continued to fail our students. Forrest has handled a difficult job incredibly well, a job that is made even more difficult given the governor's refusal to fund our students the same way he funds students everywhere else in the state. Forrest has my complete confidence. The person who doesn't is Bruce Rauner, and when it comes to the education of our students that's where our collective energy should be focused."

In a statement released Monday morning, Claypool said, "Instead of creating a sideshow, CTU should be fighting along side us in the courts and in Springfield, where the union continues to let Gov. Rauner off the hook for his racially discriminatory funding of CPS. Unlike Karen Lewis and Bruce Rauner, I don't believe that fighting for the civil rights of 400,000 school children is 'ridiculous.'"

The teachers union plans to take the results of this week's referendum to City Hall on May 23, the day before the Chicago City Council could take up a TIF ordinance to help fund schools.
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