ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
MEDIA ALERT – DAY 3 CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE
MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Rickert
firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 607-4977
Chicago teachers enter third day of strike, and new data begs the question: Are average Chicago teachers overpaid?
CHICAGO (Sept. 12, 2012) – Today marks the third strike day for Chicago teachers. The Chicago teacher salary average of $71,000 has been an eye-opener across the nation, and now new data prompts the question: Are Chicago teachers overpaid?
Not only are Chicago teachers the highest-paid in the nation when compared to the 10 largest districts in the U.S., a new analysis by the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute suggests that Chicago teachers are overpaid by as much as 31 percent when compared to teachers in other states.
"In light of this new data showing Chicago teachers are overpaid by 31 percent, Mayor Emanuel has grounds to press the reset button on negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union," said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. "Mayor Emanuel should rescind the 16% raise offer that the teachers rejected, and instead rightsize teacher pay by implementing a merit pay system that rewards excellent teachers instead of protecting bad teachers."
HOW THE ANALYSIS WAS CONDUCTED: The analysis was conducted by Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan, chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute. Chicago students currently receive 5 hours and 45 minutes per day of teacher instruction – the least of any major city in the nation. To examine the issue, Dr. McQuillan compared the "pay per hour of instruction" for Chicago teachers to public school teachers in the following cities: Charlotte, N.C., Richmond, Va., Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Atlanta. These cities were selected because they are major cities in states that do not allow public school teachers to collectively bargain. In these states, teacher salaries are determined more by individual merit and competition than forced collective bargaining. After taking into account Chicago's higher cost of living, Dr. McQuillan determined that Chicago teachers are overpaid by 31 percent.
WHY THE ANALYSIS IS IMPORTANT: Much of the strike debate has centered on wages. Chicago Teachers Union initially sought a 30 percent pay increase over two years. Chicago Public Schools has offered a 16 percent raise over four years, which the CTU has turned down.
The fiscal reality is that Chicago Public Schools cannot afford to hand out any raises. The school district is draining reserve funds during the 2012-13 school year just to stay afloat, and is planning to run a $1 billion deficit the following school year. More importantly, when compared to teachers in other public schools Chicago teachers are relatively overpaid.
To bring Chicago teacher pay in line with market value, Mayor Emanuel should consider bringing Chicago teacher pay in line with rates in other cities. If Chicago keeps its daily instructional time at 5 hours and 45 minutes, then Chicago teacher pay should be decreased by 31 percent. If Chicago pursues a school day that is increased by one hour to 6 hours 45 minutes, then Chicago teacher pay should be decreased by 13 percent.
John Tillman, CEO of Illinois Policy Institute
Kristina Rasmussen, Executive Vice President
Click here for more details about the analysis.
To book interviews, contact: Diana Rickert (312) 607-4977.
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to making our state a beacon for liberty and prosperity for all citizens. As a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability, the Institute engages policy makers, opinion leaders and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois. To learn more about the Institute or review our policy work, please visit: illinoispolicy.org.