Our Win Demonstrates Our Power

Two months ago, CPS’s Talent Office announced there was no money in the district’s budget for principal and assistant principal raises. This morning, however, they announced a four-year $15,000 raise for principals and assistant principals.

What happened to change their minds?

CPAA Happened

By “CPAA” I mean all of us. Our most significant source of power is not our President or our Governing Board. Our greatest source of power is our membership. CPS’s shift toward a salary increase started with a tactical change in our public messaging to highlight the racial inequity of current administrator compensation. This compelled CPS to reopen the conversation about your raises and create “roundtables” where they proposed a minimal four-year $10,000 raise and not much else. Then met with nearly 100 members scheduled to participate in those roundtables to prepare them to advocate effectively with hard data and strong arguments. CPAA members then went into those conversations and gave strong pushback and resistance to the CPS proposal. So while CPAA’s leadership compelled CPS to reopen the conversation, it was the collective work of our members that compelled CPS to improve the package.

What’s Next?

What happened today shows that a CPAA membership literally pays for itself. We’ve shown that CPAA’s leadership and membership can work well together for the good of us all. Let this be just one of many collective accomplishments to come. This morning, my message to the Chicago Board of Education was as follows:

“Just a couple of months ago, the talent office announced that there would be no raises for principals and APs. Then I came before this board and made you aware of the fact that your administrators, who are majority nonwhite--are making less than the majority white teaching force they supervise and that this is an extreme danger to the principal pipeline. By reversing course and deciding to give administrators raises similar to ones you’ll give teachers over the next four years, you have ensured that this picture doesn’t get worse. Still, you’ve done absolutely nothing to change that picture. That is an objective fact. In four years, assistant principals--who are majority people of color--will still be earning less per hour and--in many cases, less in total earnings--than the majority white teaching force they supervise. This is a time bomb for the principal pipeline. So while what you did today was appreciated, the time bomb is still going to go off if there isn’t an across-the-board salary adjustment at some point in the next couple of years. We look forward to working with you to address this impending crisis.”

Yesterday I shared two of our primary compensation goals with the more than 150 members who joined me in a series of virtual meetings.

  1. Develop--and get CPS to Adopt--a Comprehensive Compensation and Working Conditions Proposal

  2. Lobby the State for Collective Bargaining Rights

You can see a full draft of our compensation goals and strategies on slides 48 - 52 of this deck. I look forward to working with all of you to accomplish these goals.

Our full year-long effort for fair administrator compensation is illustrated on the timeline below.