Willie Wilson and Ken Griffin know exactly what they’re getting when they back Paul Vallas, another Republican who will side always with millionaires and billionaires over Chicago’s working families.

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in wake of the announcement that perennial losing candidate Willie Wilson and billionaire Ken Griffin have endorsed Paul Vallas for mayor:

Republicans believe that Paul Vallas is a republican and voters in Chicago should, too. Ken Griffin, a right-wing Ron DeSantis-loving billionaire who once chastised Rahm Emanuel for closing 50 Black schools instead of 125 schools, is backing Paul Vallas. That makes sense considering that Vallas believes like Ron DeSantis that American History should exclude the explicit teaching of Black history. As CEO of CPS, Vallas singled out a book by an award-winning Black author to be banned and, in New Orleans, he closed over one third of the schools mostly in Black neighborhoods.

Willie Wilson, another conservative, who wants to hunt “criminals down like rabbits” and alleges 350,000 Chicago public schools students don’t know how to tie their shoes, is throwing his weight behind Paul Vallas. While it is no surprise that these two lack the respect and empathy to run our city, it is still deeply offensive to the families who depend on Chicago Public Schools. Paul Vallas, along with his friends, have demonstrated contempt for our young people, promised more school closings and an expansion of privately run and publicly funded charter schools.

These policies have destabilized our public schools and cut our Black teaching force in half. They closed schools in Black and Brown communities and shuttered our mental health clinics. They razed public housing, sold off land to wealthy developers and weakened our public pension system.

These folks know exactly what they’re getting when they back Paul Vallas. They are getting someone who shares their world view, someone like DeSantis who thinks teaching real American history that includes Black history can turn children into criminals. Someone who won’t blink when toxic polluting corporations spew their poison into our communities. They are getting another suburbanite, business aligned Republican who will side always with millionaires and billionaires over working families.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.