This Friday, representatives of the Chicago Teachers Union and Stand for Children Illinois will be present at New Birth Christian Center, 5335 W. Lemoyne, to discuss competing legislative proposals concerning teacher evaluation.

Stand for Children, a Portland-based education group, has proposed legislation that will effectively gut teacher unions statewide. The Chicago Teachers Union and its’ Illinois teachers union affiliates are proposing competing legislation for the General Assembly to consider in Springfield.

Before I go further, please understand that I am a Kool-Aid drinking supporter of unions. But, those that know me know that I will support policies and legislation which makes sense for educating African-American children-unions be damned, if need be. But billionaires and corporations are again vilifying unions through its’ front organization, Stand for Children.

Stand for Children Illinois, like its national parent organization, claims that it is fighting to reform the education of children. But on further examination of its website (www.stand.org/il) it is no more than a tool for corporations and billionaire supporters to wage class warfare against working class and poor families, and poor children.

Stand for Children’s national board of directors is made up of charter school advocates and venture capitalists. Go to stand.org and stand.org/il, or Google Stand for Children. Within their websites you will find the truth about the billionaires and corporations bankrolling this organization.

The billionaires and corporations who support Stand for Children Illinois are the same architects of the failed Renaissance 2010 Plan, which has only led to the privatization of schools, not school reform or improved education for kids.

Stand for Illinois’ Political Action Committee (PAC) raised a staggering $3 million by the month of December 2010 before a new Illinois law capping campaign contributions took effect. It is effectively using its money to sway the elected officials who are supposed to work for working families.

The wealthy Chicagoans who gave generously to Stand for Children’s Illinois PAC include the famed billionaire Pritzker family ($250,000 total). Ken Griffin, the CEO of the Citadel Group, contributed $500,000. Griffin also contributed thousand of dollars to the campaign of Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady. That’s the same Bill Brady who wanted to slash 10 percent from education and give tax cuts to big businesses.

Neither Stand for Children Illinois or the Chicago Teachers Union has any parental involvement or development component in their competing legislation. Parental involvement is the crucial component of any child receiving a quality education.

I have to stand up against Stand for Child because it is a tool to conduct a stealth Wisconsin-style gutting of unions. I ask that you do the same. In this situation, it is major Democrats who are pushing the agenda of the billionaires and corporations.

Please email me your comments to austin_youth@sbcglobal.net.

If you go

  • New Birth Christian Center, 5335 W. Lemoyne
  • 6 p.m., Friday April 1
  • Discussion of legislative proposals concerning teacher evaluation
  • Participants: representatives of the Chicago Teacher's Union and Stand for Children Illinois