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Schools’ CEO raise not the point

Esther J. Cepeda’s piece “Bashing Brizard won’t fix Chicago’s schools” [June 27] either intentionally or unintentionally misses the point about CPS executive salaries.

The issue is not whether CPS executives make too much money. The question is why the board voted to give them a big raise a week after they denied raises promised to the 30,000 teachers who work 50 to 60 hours a week to ensure a brighter future for Chicago’s children — and a few days before announcing they will lay off 1,000 educators.

It’s not Mr. Brizard’s $250,000 salary that’s the problem. It’s the hundreds of millions taken out of the classroom each year, causing ballooning class sizes and cuts to crucial student programs.

Instead of balancing the CPS budget on the backs of children, Brizard and the board ought to challenge the business community to do what’s right for students. They should stand up to developers who siphon $250 million a year from schools through TIFs and renegotiate the deals that allow banks to take in $35 million a year that otherwise could have gone to our schools’ classrooms.

We look forward to sitting down with Mr. Brizard and the CPS Board to ensure that all of Chicago’s students receive an excellent education, with a well-trained teacher in every classroom, full-day kindergarten in every school and a broad, rich curriculum.

Karen G.J. Lewis

President

Chicago Teachers Union