CHICAGO – Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis apparently doesn’t care very much for the Obama Presidential Library.

Karen Lewis 7Preserving the jobs of educational support personnel and others the city doesn’t need should be the top priority, Lewis said in a rambling union statement issued yesterday.

In her screed against layoffs, school turnaround plans, and charter schools that are outperforming the city’s unionized public schools, Lewis implied the presidential library is an unnecessary waste, and the money would be much better spent on public school librarians.

“With this latest round of layoffs— the fourth time in the past five years in which we have seen summer layoffs in excess of 1,000—and the hundreds of positions lost at the three schools slated for turnaround this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Board continue their war on our educators by doing nothing to salvage school budgets other than forcing principals to terminate valued teachers and staff,” Lewis said.

“This decision further demonstrates the disdain for public education and the lack of leadership and vision for the city from our mayor and his handpicked Board. Do we want ‘Star Wars’ museums or public, neighborhood schools? Do we want presidential libraries or librarians for every child?”

The CTU boss, of course, conveniently ignores the fact that the city’s charter schools are providing an excellent education for thousands of students at a fraction of the cost of chronically failing traditional public schools.

She doesn’t address the fact that layoffs are a critical component of the city’s plan to revive public schools at which teachers, administrators and other staff have fallen into complacency and are no longer truly helping students succeed as they should.

No, for Lewis and her ilk, education is about money and prioritizing that money. And she obviously doesn’t believe that honoring the president the CTU worked so hard to elect is nearly as important as preserving union dues revenue.

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