City Hall and Chicago Public Schools have long touted a “fulsome compensation package” of a salary nearing $100,000 for the average district teacher after five years.

There is a big part of the story, however, that the mayor and CPS aren’t telling. But Chicago Academy High School math teacher Jim Cavallero is…

CPS claims an average teacher has a bachelor’s degree and 11 years of experience. That Current FY19 salary is $78,961.

After five years, that teacher’s salary will be $97,757, according to the district’s contract proposal.

But the average CPS teacher in FY24 will not be a teacher with 16 years of experience. The average CPS teacher in five years will still be an 11th year teacher due to attrition, retirement, turnover and the fact that there are always new teachers entering the system.

That teacher is currently in their sixth year of teaching, making $60,891, and under the Board’s proposal, their salary five years from now will be $84,460.

Not quite the number the mayor and CPS have been telling you.

No educator enters the profession to become rich, but for our paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PRSPs)—mostly Black and Brown women who are the anchors of their households and communities—the situation is dire, with many of them earning so little, their children qualify for free and reduced price meals under federal guidelines.

But instead of ensuring that these women receive adequate pay to support their families by putting a fair proposal in writing, the district tells half-truths and uses the average Chicago citizen’s lack of knowledge about the CPS salary scale to create confusion and play games with numbers to deceive the public.

Stop the games, CPS. The mayor has made promises. Her handpicked Board of Education president agrees with our proposals. There is $1 billion in additional revenue from the state. Aramark has a deal in writing, despite leaving our schools filthy. Lincoln Yards has a $2.4 billion deal in writing, and so does the new $90 million police training facility. Chicago’s teachers, PSRPs, clinicians, counselors, nurses, librarians and social workers deserve the same.