CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union today endorsed incumbent Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in his re-election bid against school privatization proponent Bruce Rauner. The endorsement came after the governor met with leaders of the union’s Political-Legislative Committee (PAC/LEG) and where he fielded tough questions about collective bargaining, charter schools, teacher evaluations, the city’s under-resourced schools, school closings, job creation, among a myriad of other topics.
In making the announcement, CTU President Karen Lewis said, “I am proud CTU’s rank-and-file has made Governor Quinn their choice to lead Illinois. He is a consensus builder, will support public school educators and will continue his work to strengthen public education in Illinois and protect working families. Governor Quinn believes in public schools and I know he will fight to make sure every child has a great education.”
Lewis blasted Rauner as an “out-of-touch” privatizer who will lay off one out of every six teachers across the state. “A Rauner vote is a vote for more school closings, more than 27,000 teacher lay-offs, statewide charter proliferation and an erosion of our collective bargaining rights,” she said. “Rauner’s Tea Party-type policies have no place in Illinois.”
It is no secret Rauner considers teachers’ unions a hurdle to privatization. The multimillionaire has publicly stated that he wants to dismantle unions, and if elected, he will seek to create in Illinois a type of Wisconsin vs. Scott Walker dangerous scenario. Rauner has privately bragged that he will “shut down” state government and his tax plan would result in extreme and radical cuts to education that will lay off one out of every six teachers. The corporate broker was also the mastermind behind bringing Stand for Children to Illinois.
Governor Quinn has a strong record of fighting to improve education in Illinois. Since taking office, he has increased education funding by $2.2 billion, securing revenue in 2011 to protect the classroom from cuts sought by Republicans. Under his leadership, Illinois has increased students taking AP exams and dual credit enrollment, allowing more high school students opportunities to gain college credits, making higher education more accessible and affordable. The governor also has mobilized the state’s education system behind the “60 by 2025” goal—60% of our adult workforce with a degree or career certificate by the year 2025—and has been hitting the targets each year.
Governor Quinn laid out a 5-year blueprint for economic growth that focuses on delivering stronger education to all students, including the largest increase in classroom funding in Illinois history and a game-changing investment in early childhood.
“Governor Quinn will fight for a living wage in Illinois, will stand with organized labor and will champion the voice of everyday citizens who want safe neighborhoods, affordable and safe housing and quality neighborhood schools,” added Gloria Higgins, co-chair of CTU’s PAC/LEG. “Our members agreed we want our state to continue moving forward. Illinois can’t afford to become Bruce Rauner’s financial playpen and some egotistical political experiment. We’re going to encourage every CTU member to turn out for Governor Quinn in November.”
The governor will protect the classroom from cuts sought by Republicans, and proposed the largest increase in classroom funding in Illinois history. Under his leadership, Illinois has increased students taking AP exam and dual credit enrollment, allowing more high school students opportunities to gain college credits, making higher education more accessible and affordable. Gov. Quinn also has mobilized the state’s education system behind the “60 by 2025” goal—60 percent of our adult workforce with a degree or career certificate by the year 2025.