The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) pays union president Stacy Davis Gates more than $289,000 a year. The union leader manages to send her son to a private school, but she owes the city over $5,500 for three years of water, sewer and garbage service bills she neglected to pay. She also owes back taxes on a second home in Indiana that she falsely claimed as her primary residence.

The union leader instructed CTU members to support “union brother” Brandon Johnson’s mayoral campaign in part because he had a plan to make the “wealthy” (like Davis Gates) pay their “fair share.” Perhaps after spending $6.5 million on city officials’ campaigns, teachers unions assumed Chicago’s new leaders would exempt union members from city taxes and fees.

Davis Gates embarrassed herself on CNN earlier this year trying to justify sending her son to private school while viciously opposing an Illinois scholarship program that provides similar opportunities to lower-income students. She should be deeply ashamed of the union-controlled Chicago public school system, which is failing to educate the city’s students:

  • Only 18% of all Chicago students and 8% of black students met math standards in 2023. 
  • Chronic absenteeism, a significant problem nationwide, is particularly alarming in Chicago with 40% of all students and 46% of black students missing more than 10% of school days.

In addition to not paying her “fair share” to the city, driving poor public school student outcomes, and trapping low-income students in failing public schools, Davis Gates is hiding the union’s financial information from her own members. The CTU has ignored numerous requests from Chicago teachers to see an audit for the last four years.

“Something’s off,” according to the Illinois Policy Institute. We agree. 

To learn more about how teachers unions advocate for money and power while ignoring students’ academic needs, read Chicago Teachers’ Union Head: Education Freedom For Me But Not For Thee and Does Portland Teachers Union Care About Learning Loss?, and watch Derrell Bradford: Should We Be Hostile To Teachers Unions?.

For more information about teachers unions, visit www.iwf.org/issues/education/