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Teachers union to fight school closings with video, coloring book

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Updated: January 12, 2013 6:13AM



Gearing up for a contentious round of school closings, the Chicago Teachers Union is rallying with satire and a coloring book.

A five-minute video of a scary bedtime story, “Stand Up to the Fat Cats,” was released Monday accusing “The Rahminator” and cronies such as “Rowdy Rauner” and “Penny Pincher” of privatizing public education.

Coming next week in the CTU’s campaign targeting communities at risk of losing a neighborhood school: a coloring book.

The union wants to “rally the public against corporate infiltration in public education and encourage them to join the fight to provide resources and support for neighborhood schools,” with the video made public at MoveChicagoSchoolsForward.com, a CTU website set up to oppose school closings.

The Chicago Public Schools system has not yet announced which schools it plans to close at the end of the year. An independent commission established by schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is holding public hearings, including one Monday evening, to hear community concerns. A list of the schools to be closed is due March 31.

The union video mocks Mayor Rahm Emanuel as “The Rahminator,” plus venture capitalist and charter school advocate Bruce Rauner, school board member Penny Pritzker, director of Advance Illinois Robin Steans, and the school reform organizations Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform and the Broad Foundation.

“To be lectured by a leader of a failed union who protects a failed school system would be laughable if it were not so sad,” Rauner said in an email. “These union leaders are a joke, just not a funny one.”

“These kind of mean-spirited tactics have no place in our school system as they do absolutely nothing to help kids or support their learning,” said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll. Spokeswomen for Steans and Stand for Children declined to comment.



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