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CPS Lobbyists Working in Springfield to Block Pay Equity for Chicago Principals

A bill that would bring equity to Chicago principals’ salaries and help CPS recruit and retain quality leadership for students has been blocked in the Illinois House of Representatives after misleading pressure from CPS lobbyists.

House Bill 5405, which was set to be called in committee today, was pulled from the agenda at the last minute after CPS lobbyists convinced leadership that the legislation would “preempt ongoing negotiations” with the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association.

“There are no ongoing negotiations, and there never were. That’s exactly why we need this state law to make sure that CPS gives school leaders fair compensation, and doesn’t undercut us behind closed doors,” said Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. “Today’s maneuver makes it clear just how vulnerable Illinois and its leadership is to anti-union tactics from CPS, and ultimately students are hurt the most as CPS continues to lose school leaders year after year.”

“CPS Principals and assistant principals are vastly underpaid compared to the teachers they supervise,” state Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood) said. “One out of every two teachers is paid a higher hourly rate than their school principal. I can’t think of any other industry where this is the case, which is why I’m working hard to carry this bill that will ensure competitive salaries to attract and retain the best people to the principal pipeline.”

CPS’s own data shows that one out of every two teachers is paid at a higher hourly rate than the principals who supervise them. This means that teachers who are interested in becoming assistant principals and later principals have to take a pay cut to do so while also giving up the 12 weeks off teachers have over the summer.

The result of the unfair conditions school leaders face at CPS is that at least 500 principals and assistant principals have quit in the past five years. At least 150 of them left their positions to return to teaching posts and other jobs covered by the salary schedules in the Chicago Teachers Union Collective Bargaining Agreement. Others left the district entirely.

“CPS is doing a disservice to students by quashing legislation that can help retain quality principals and build a bench of outstanding leadership to guide our schools,” LaRaviere said.


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