Does Chicago's mayor value hot dogs over education?
- Last month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recommended that Vienna Beef be given $5 million in funding to move its hot dog factory from the city's north side to Bridgeport, celebrating the move as an investment that would keep 250 jobs in the Windy City for the next 15 years.
- In a Chicago Reader op/ed, Ben Joravsky points out that the move came right as Emanuel closed 50 of the city's public schools, resulting in the firing of 850 Chicago Public Schools Employees--a move that stuffs more low-income students into fewer classrooms, does away with middle-class teaching jobs and puts the mayor down about 600 on the job retention count.
- The money for the Vienna Beef investment also comes from the tax increment financing (TIF) program, which is arguably better spent on things like improving Chicago's schools since the city's teachers are required to live in the city and make up the backbone of the middle class on the city's south and west sides.
From the article:
... Firing teachers is a good way to imperil already vulnerable neighborhoods.
Easter says she'll be looking for jobs at other schools in the system. "But there's not a lot of jobs out there, with all the cuts," she says. In the meantime, she still has about $20,000 in student loans to pay off.
Under the current teacher contract, she'll get paid for up to a year. But if she doesn't get a job within five months, her salary will be cut by about 20 percent and she'll lose her health benefits. After a year, she's on her own. ...
- Chicago Reader Read More
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