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Chicago Teachers Strike: Victimizing My Generation

By Alex Schriver
National Chairman
College Republican National Committee

The eyes of the nation have been drawn to the President’s hometown of Chicago this week as a massive teacher’s strike has left 400,000 young people shut out of school. 

Surely, one would think, these teachers must be vastly underpaid to make them disregard the well-being of almost half a million young students. The facts say otherwise. The average Chicago public school teacher makes $76,0000 a year — the highest average teacher salary in the nation and far more than the $48,866 the average college graduate living in Chicago earns. 

While the media wants to make this a story about teacher’s rights, the real victims of this strike continue to suffer: the students. In Chicago, 4 in 10 freshman will not graduate. The city’s students perform well below the national average on standardized test. And Chicago has the shortest school days and longest summers in the country. Does this paint the picture of a workforce deserving of a 16 percent raise? The teachers didn’t think so…they’re asking for more. 

President Obama has stayed noticeably silent on the issue, a clear attempt not to anger teachers unions–one of his biggest donors and most important constituencies. It’s sad that money and political clout is more important to Obama than the students involved. But this stance isn’t exactly new. Despite his promises in 2008, students and young people have not been a priority for this administration, which has stood idly by as youth unemployment soared, college tuition spiked and student debt levels skyrocketed. 

There are many excellent teachers out there, but it’s time for Obama and other Democrats to stand up for K-12 students in a way that he hasn’t for college students.

Alex Schriver is the National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). The CRNC is the elected governing body representing more than 250,000 members on over 1,800 campuses nationwide. 

Schriver served as Deputy Political Director for Alabama Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bradley Byrne & on the Alabama Republican Party’s Steering Committee in 2010.

Most recently, Schriver worked at The Gula Graham Group, a Washington D.C. based political fundraising and consulting firm. 

Schriver has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO, ABC News, & Roll Call. He has also appeared on television for Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC News, PBS, & GBTV. 

Schriver serves on the Board of Directors for Crossroads Generation, a SuperPAC formed by the CRNC, American Crossroads, Republican State Leadership Committee, and the Young Republican National Federation. Schriver also sits on the Board of Directors for Reform Alabama, a 501(c)4 working to support, promote and sustain sound government reform policies in Alabama.

Schriver now sits in the same chair that Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Morton Blackwell, and Grover Norquist once sat. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University. He currently resides in Washington D.C.

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