Our house has been empty of small children for a long time now. My own children are grown and are gone with only short visits home during the summer.
I am about to start the fifth year of my retirement and so my contact with little kids is limited to my volunteer ukulele time at a local public school.
But kid logic? I hear it every day coming from Rahm and the CPS board.
My grandkids are visiting this week. Like any good parents their parents have them on a routine and schedule at home. But routines and schedules fall all apart when families are on the road. Last night my grandson tried to argue that he was entitled to his 45 minutes of the TV time that he gets after dinner even though we had just come home from a larger family gathering and it was very late and way past his bed time.
He’s eight and his sense of fairness doesn’t extend to the larger picture. Since he always get that 45 minutes, it wasn’t fair.
Listening to Rahm, Claypool and the CPS board explain why they are demanding a 7% pay cut from the Chicago Teachers Union is like listening to an eight-year old explain why it isn’t fair that he has to go to bed.
It doesn’t matter that they have cut thousands of jobs over the past five years.
That they have closed 50 schools.
That they have lengthened the school day and teachers now work longer and harder.
It doesn’t matter that they laid off a thousand CPS employees just weeks before the start of the school year totally disrupting schools, family plans and programs.
It doesn’t matter that the money that they claimed to pick-up as a share of teacher contributions to the Chicago Teachers Pension Retirement Fund never found its way into the fund.
It doesn’t matter that teachers spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to make up for CPS budget cuts.
It doesn’t matter that working conditions suck and classrooms are filthy since the board has outsourced custodial work to Aramark.
It doesn’t matter that all CPS teachers are required to live in the City of Chicago and that they too are victimized by major increases in property taxes, garbage taxes, water taxes and every other regressive tax-the-working-class tax that the Mayor can conjure up.
How is that fair?
The logic of an eight-year old?
My eight-year old grandson has a way clearer sense of fairness and justice than that.