Tonight on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly and I discuss the current strike by public school teachers in Chicago.
Researching the topic, I am amazed by the data.
Chicago teachers already make an average $75,000. That's more than other big city teachers earn, AND much more than Chicago's private school teachers get ($50,000). Because the teachers only work part of the year, they make more per hour than architects, nurses and accountants. When they do work, they don't work long hours. Even though most bring work home, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average public school teacher works only 36.5 hours a week. Chicago kids even get less instruction than kids in other big cities.
The Chicago union doesn't want its teachers judged by their students' performance. I understand why. Ninety-three percent of the teachers are rated either "Superior" or Excellent". The kids don't do as well: 80% of eighth graders are "not proficient" in math.
Union teachers know that many of their colleagues aren't great teachers. Only 12% of American students attend private schools, but, 39% of Chicago public school teachers send their children to private schools. Anti school-choice politicians are no less hypocritical: President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore (to name just a few) all send or sent their children to private schools.
Now thousands of Chicago children are kept out of school. Your supermarkets and movie theaters aren't closed because of strikes. That's because private companies have competition. Government monopolies don't.
I've been called "anti-teacher". I'm not anti-teacher. I'm anti-government monopoly, and anti-government union.