Chicago Teachers Union gives nearly $1.3M to sitting Illinois lawmakers

Chicago Teachers Union gives nearly $1.3M to sitting Illinois lawmakers

Since 2010, CTU has funded the political committees of 84 of 177 lawmakers currently in the Illinois General Assembly. When you look at just Democrats, it is 72% – nearly half from outside Chicago.

Nearly half of current Illinois state lawmakers have received money from the Chicago Teachers Union – with nearly half of them from outside Chicago. When you look at just Democrats, it’s nearly 3 of 4 sitting lawmakers who’ve received CTU cash.

The campaign cash total is $1.3 million since 2010, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. That is when Karen Lewis and her Caucus of Rank and File Educators took over CTU, launching it into years of activism, strikes and political wrangling.

CTU funds nearly half of current lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly

CTU’s contributions include:

  • $620,071 to current Illinois state senators.
  • $662,200 to current Illinois state representatives.
  • Donations to 84 out of 117 Democrats, or 72%.
  • Donations to none of the 59 Republicans.

CTU’s political donations go beyond Chicago to lawmakers all over the state

CTU doesn’t just try to influence Chicago lawmakers. It has donated to 40 current Illinois lawmakers whose districts are outside the city and school district, showing its interests go well beyond the school district’s boundaries.

Why it matters

Political contributions buy political clout – and CTU isn’t going to let that go to waste. CTU logged support or opposition over 1,360 times on at least 480 bills between 2011-2022, according to Illinois General Assembly data. In the first part of the General Assembly’s current session, CTU supported 33 bills, and nearly 2 in 3 were enacted. CTU started touting its legislative wins as soon as the recent session ended.

Political contributions and lobbying give CTU a one-two political punch and an advantage over parents and other Illinoisans. Polling and test scores show other Illinoisans have very different ideas about what’s best for kids than the CTU.

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