Sarah Sachen

Sarah Sachen

“One of the big reasons that I joined the lawsuit is because the Chicago Teachers Union has way too much power. And it’s important for me as a taxpayer, a private citizen and a mom of CPS students to show the parents: We do have a voice. We do have a say. And we are not servants to the union. We don’t have to do what they tell us to do.”

“The pandemic strikes were kind of a wake-up call about how much power the unions have. My children have special needs and union strikes to keep us out of school were detrimental to my children and their learning. I have an 18-year-old, so my family has suffered six work stoppages since 2012. Enough is enough.”

“I’m concerned the amendment voters are being asked to consider this fall will only expand union power to strike and make demands that have nothing to do with traditional union concerns. That means higher taxes and more disruption for our city and state.”

“When the union calls a strike, it impacts families financially, educationally, socially. When you have children with autism who need to be around their peers, to learn how to blend in with a typical society, all that time they’re away from the classroom, away from their peers, away from their teachers they’re missing out on so much more than just education. It’s how to act in society.”

“And financially, it’s hard to maintain employment because of the instability. Are teachers going to show up? Are they not? Am I going to have to pay an astronomical cost for day care? Not that teachers are babysitters, but when we live in a society where teachers are going to school to do their job and our children have a safe place to go off to, we can empower ourselves to work a job instead of being home with them all day. It takes your earning power away. And that hurts struggling families most.”

“My sister works full-time as a teacher in the suburbs and she wasn’t on strike but her kids were CPS students. So she had to scramble to find help while she had to go to work at her school and CPS closed for a strike. She had to pay for day care, an added cost and stress on the family.”

“CTU wants to keep pushing and striking for demands not even related to education and I don’t want the CTU to have any more power to do that. Learning should not be impeded or stopped for the union’s political games.”

“There has to be a reason behind it. My children shouldn’t miss school because teachers are striking about social issues, housing affordability or climate change. Those issues have nothing to do with the education of my children. Why should they suffer?”

“Teachers work for us, and our children belong in school.”

“In my community, I know that there are teachers leaving their union in droves because they’ve just had enough of the special interest and the people at the top aren’t for the teachers, just their own political games. With this amendment that behavior will continue and become worse.”

“CTU doesn’t need any more permission to continue to interrupt my children’s education.”

“Chicago Public School teachers are some of the highest paid, yet we have very low literacy rates in the city. And unions are striking for money. Throwing more money at a problem isn’t going to get the children reading. There’s just so many reasons to bring this lawsuit. It’s hard to think of a negative.”

“It is so frustrating that a union can refuse to go to work. It sends a bad message to kids, the future workforce of America that they can just not go to work because you don’t feel like it that day. It’s just mind-boggling what we went through during the pandemic, what we’ve had to endure with the teachers striking during such a difficult time.”

“And the unions drive up costs. It’s very expensive to live in Chicago, in part because taxpayers fund all the luxurious benefits teachers are fighting for and our tax dollars aren’t even going to the classrooms. I’m learning that the billions that we received for CPS or other school districts for COVID relief instead went to union special interests and their groups. Those are our tax dollars, and we are going to have a say. We do have the say and there are avenues to have your voice heard.”

“Parents need to be united and stand up for their children’s education. The focus should be on learning and literacy. This is about standing up for parents and families and stopping the harm that would come to them if this amendment passes.”

Sarah Sachen
Mother of four
Chicago, Illinois

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!
Keep scrolling for more inspiring stories

Have a story to share?

Tell us how a state or local policy affects your life.
If we decide to feature your story, one of our writers will reach out to you directly.