Chicago Teachers Union's 'Read In' counters Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's slander against Chicago teachers being 'illiterate'....

One group of Chicago teachers doing their "read in" after learning about the slanders from Illinois billionaire Bruce Rauner. Chicago Teachers Union photo. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner certainly couldn't have expected that one of his private sharings with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about how Chicago principals were poor managers and Chicago teachers were "illiterate" would become pubic -- ever. But thanks to the Chicago Tribune and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Rauner's racism was again exposed for the world to see -- as was Rahm's ditto.

The response of Chicago's teachers, led by the Chicago Teachers Union, was to challenge Rauner to a "read in." Of course, neither Rauner nor his former protege, Rahm Emanuel, showed up at the Read In. But the event underlined the ways in which the Illinois ruling class has been brainwashing itself as it forges ahead with its massively financed campaigns to break the unions and privatize as many public services as possible before democracy catches us to them.


Governor Rauner challenged by CPS educators today to a ‘read-off’ with literature about the importance of civil rights, public education


July 22, 2016 312/329-6235 (office)

CHICAGO—Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members challenged Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to a “read-off” this morning at his office in the James R. Thompson Center following the release of emails in which the governor claimed that half of Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) teachers are “virtually illiterate" and half of Chicago’s public school principals are “incompetent.” Educators demonstrated their literacy in sharing with the governor the ways in which he and his administration are destroying the state of Illinois and the collective outrage over how he and his millionaire friends are primarily responsible for Illinois’ budget woes, criminally negligent denial of resources for social services and inadequate school funding.

“Contrary to the governor’s rude and inflammatory [Donald] Trump-like comments, I don’t know any illiterate teachers,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “If he thinks we’re illiterate and schools are crumbling prisons, imagine what he and his elitist buddies say about our students behind closed doors.”

CTU educators today demonstrated their literacy by presenting to the governor the ways he has undermined schools and social services in Chicago and downstate Illinois for the entirety of his tenure:

· From 2009 to 2012, the top 1 percent in Illinois—people like Rauner—captured a whopping 97.2 percent of all income growth, far surpassing the overall Midwest average of 72 percent.

· This past year, Governor Rauner has pursued his Turnaround Agenda at the expense of working families. Across the state, families have been denied basic human needs, institutions vital to our public life such as universities and municipal governments have started to collapse, and our state infrastructure is being put at risk.

· If Illinois had kept up with funding education, healthcare and human services at 2002 levels, the budget for the 2015 fiscal year would have seen more than $6.6 billion for funding to services and programs that every family in Illinois depends on.

· Illinois ranks No. 5 in the nation for the least fair tax system.

· In 2013, Illinois spent $1,150 per person on core public services, while Minnesota, a state only slightly wealthier than Illinois, spent $2,742 per person—almost 2 ½ times as much as Illinois.

· The poorest 20 percent of Illinois residents pay 13.2 percent of their income in taxes—the third highest amount in the country. In comparison, the middle 60 percent pays 10.9 percent, while the top 1 percent pays 4.6 percent.

· Governor Rauner has supported charter school expansion that has jeopardized the fiscal integrity of Chicago Public Schools. Charter schools expel and suspend Black students at 11 times the rate of traditional, neighborhood schools.

The governor has been in cahoots with Mayor Rahm Emanuel in closing the most schools in American history in minority communities and putting the most resources in the schools that need them the least. His comments reveal who he truly is, and are also outright and cruel lies with no evidentiary basis, created to suit his false narrative that scapegoats hardworking Chicago public school teachers.


The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 27,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 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 and the largest local union in Illinois. For more information please visit CTU’s website at


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