Chicago Public Schools Receive $2.8 Billion While Kids Still Stay Home

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

On Tuesday, January 4, 2022 the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike, inciting safety concerns regarding Covid. Chicago Public School students have often been involved in the power struggle between Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Public School and Chicago Public School.

In early 2021, CPS demanded that teachers return to classrooms to resume in person instruction, and teachers refused. Now, students’ education is once again in jeopardy.

Teachers claim classrooms still aren’t safe, but the Chicago Public School system received a projected $2.79 billion from the federal government to increase safety in schools, according to projections from Fox Business.

In 2020, Chicago had 20,927 full-time teachers at a total payroll cost of $2.3 billion, according to a response to a Freedom of Information Act request by our organization, Our auditors found that the average Chicago teacher earned $108,730 last year—$81,422 in salary and another $27,307 in benefits. Teachers can accumulate 244 sick days to be used or credited towards their pension. The school year lasts only 175 days.

RELATED: Chicago Teachers Union Votes to Return To Remote Education

Congress created a funding program known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding (ESSER) in the March 2020 CARES Act. There have since been three rounds of ESSER funding, and it’s intended to be used on safety measures like masks, personal protective equipment, testing, and classroom modifications to allow for social distancing.

Some money was also given to children who have suffered from a severe pandemic. Fox Business estimates that $2.79 Billion in funding will be available based upon the CPS system’s size.

The City of Chicago, for its part has invested this money in public school safety. For example, they spent $8.5 million on 20,000 surgical quality HEPA air purifiers in every classroom. Additionally, they evaluated every school’s ventilation systems and implemented new cleaning and disinfection techniques.

However, all of this hasn’t been enough for the teachers’ union, even after demanding to be first in line to receive the Covid vaccine. After two years of remote learning and millions of dollars, many students still suffer from the effects. Teachers continue to be paid even though they don’t have to come to work.

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