If you were hoping that some presidential leadership would help end the Chicago teachers union strike, prepare to be hopeless. Asked for comment on the strike, President Obama’s press secretary Ben Labolt told The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: “Playing political games with local disputes won’t help educate our kids, nor will fewer teachers.”
The strike is the first for Chicago’s teachers since 1987, when kids missed a full month of school. “Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet,” Mitt Romney said earlier today.
Student’s of Chicago’s growing charter school movement, however, are in class today. But the Chicago Teachers Union is trying to make life as difficult as possible for those students as well. CBS Chicago reports that striking teachers are also picketing charter schools that share facilities with traditional public schools. In fact, the growth of Chicago’s charter schools, which are not subject to union collective bargaining agreements, is a major reason why Chicago teachers went on strike.