For the first time since March 2020, 20,927 full-time teachers in the Chicago Public Schools system may be headed into Chicago classrooms, after approximately 13,000 Chicago Teachers Union members voted to go back.

In 2020, Chicago taxpayers spent $2.3 billion on teacher payroll, while 347,476 enrolled Chicago Public Schools schoolchildren logged on from home.

That’s an average annual teacher compensation package of $108,729 ($81,422 in salary, $27,307 in benefits), according to records obtained by through a Freedom of Information Act request. Chicago Public Schools teachers also can accrue 244 days of sick leave (more than an entire 175-day school year) or apply it to their pensions.

We found Janice K. Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, made $322,839—a $260,000 salary and $62,839 in benefits. The 522 Chicago principals averaged $194,000 in pay and benefits, with the highest earners making up to $219,000.

Another 304 acting, interim, assistant, and resident principals averaged $171,315 in pay and perks. Even custodians had compensation packages as high as $101,177 in 2020, with 22 earning up to $75,066 in base pay.

Last year Maurice Swinney, Chicago Public Schools’ “chief equity officer,” made $214,000 managing a group of six employees. The pay vastly exceeded the $177,412 salary of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

While many Chicago parochial and private school students sat in classrooms with full-time teachers, when Chicago Public Schools teachers were asked to report in person on Jan. 4, only 49% did, and some no-shows were locked out of online classrooms. When it was announced, Chicago Public Schools would reopen on Feb. 1, 71% of the Chicago Teachers Union voted to defy the order.

Now that they are headed in, Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey wrote to his membership, “No-one [sic] sacrificed more in this struggle than our rank and file members who were locked out, docked pay or faced discipline, and we owe them our most profound thanks for making the impossible possible.”


Originally published by RealClearPolicy

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