Just outside of Chicago in a small Elgin church, Chicago Teachers Union officials held a gathering of the faithful—but this was no prayer service.

EAG News reported, “This whole state should be shut down by all the teachers!” That’s what retired teacher Doug Donnan told attendees. The CTU and other labor organizations met to plan how best to “create a crisis” that will result in more money for public schools. Donnan’s game plan was simple: “First of all you have got to get organized and unify yourselves. The second thing you got to do is take some power. And the only way I know how to do that is to organize a strike, legal or not!

Retired Northern Illinois University psychology professor Jean Pierce also recommended higher taxes targeting “the rich.” But Pierce warned attendees, “please do not call it a progressive income tax, that’s a dirty word, it’s liberal…Call it a graduated rate income tax.” 

Never mind that average Illinois teacher salaries are the fifth highest in the country at nearly $59,000. Or that the current starting annual teacher pension is around $60,000. Or that the Illinois Teachers Retirement System is careening toward insolvency (it’s more than $40 billion short already) because thus far many teachers have not had to contribute toward their own retirement. State and local taxpayers have been footing the bill.

Also not covered in the CTU meeting was the topic of more education options for students, or how shutting the state and classrooms translates into more money.