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Blue city teachers union yanking kids from class to attend get out the vote event for cause it supports


Daily Caller News Foundation

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced it would be holding an event Friday with a pro-tax hike group that will pull kids out of class to hear from candidates endorsing a referendum the union supports.

CTU Vice President Jackson Potter made an announcement about the event that said it aims to “fill CTU HQ with Chicago’s newest voters” for a “Student Power Forum,” according to the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI). The union is hosting the event alongside Chicago Votes, Bring Chicago Home, Chicago Votes and La Casa Norte, which are pushing to pass a real estate tax increase referendum in order to address homelessness and low-income housing, according to Chalkbeat Chicago.

“What if instead of standing in a long line and feeling overwhelmed by a mountain of conflicting information, you were able to get voting support from the candidates themselves and vote for the first time alongside your friends and classmates? That’s exactly what we want to offer voting age students from CPS schools across the city at the Students Power Forum,” Potter wrote in the email, according to the IPI.

High school students drafted by school staff will hear from “candidates/political organizers” and then join them on a “Parade to the Polls, where students will march to an early voting site,” the email reads, according to the IPI.

The real estate tax hike on property sales worth more than $1 million, which is estimated to bring in $100 million annually for homeless and affordable housing projects in the city, is being pushed by Democratic Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, according to Chalkbeat Chicago. A draft ordinance for the change to the tax would create a 15-member panel appointed by Johnson and approved by City Council, which would make recommendations yearly on the “most pressing needs.”

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) employees are prohibited from engaging in political campaigns during work hours when they’re being paid by taxpayers, according to the IPI. The IPI filed a complaint with the CPS inspector general and the CPS ethics advisor, arguing that the event is likely in violation of school district rules.

“This is an unethical use of taxpayer resources and inappropriate indoctrination of high school students. Our team is exploring legal challenges,” Mailee Smith, senior director of labor policy and staff attorney at the IPI, said in a press release. “Mayor Brandon Johnson should denounce it in the strongest terms.”

In 55 CPS schools, not a single student met grade level expectations in either math or reading during the 2021-2022 academic year. CTU President Stacy Davis Gates sends her son to a private Catholic school in the Chicago area, but has advocated against school vouchers for needy families.

CTU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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