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CTU president won’t answer questions about enrolling her son in private prep school

Wednesday, Sep 6, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I have been trying to reach CTU President Stacy Davis-Gates since yesterday about this story and have received no response. I asked the CTU for comment as well. Crickets. I’ve even tried back and side channels. Nada. I’ve waited long enough. ILGOP…

The spotlight is firmly on Stacy Davis-Gates, President of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU), and her hypocritical stance on school choice. Davis-Gates, a vocal opponent of school choice programs, is championing the teachers union campaign to terminate Illinois’ Invest in Kids Act, a program that provides scholarships to nearly 9,000 underprivileged students for private school education. Her mantra: “I can’t advocate on behalf of public education and the children of this city and educators in this city without it taking root in my own household.”

But let’s take a closer look at her hypocrisy. While Davis-Gates advocates against school choice, she sends one of her own children to [school name redacted at Stacy Davis-Gates’ request], a private, Catholic high school in Chicago. Yes, you read that right - private school education for her own, while advocating for something entirely different for other children. Rules for thee, but not for me.

Now, let’s revisit some of Davis-Gates’ past statements on social media. She’s not one to mince words. According to her, “School choice was actually the choice of racists. It was created to avoid integrating schools with Black children.” She’s even gone as far as labeling private schools as “Segregation Academies,” and now she acts to provide her own child the benefits of a private education.

Stacy, if Illinois private schools are racist, why are you sending your child to one?

Davis-Gates’ actions speak louder than her words. They highlight the absurdity of the situation - advocating against something you choose to personally benefit from and can personally afford- unlike many other parents who cannot afford a private school without the Invest in Kids Act.

Davis-Gates’ actions, not her words, is proof positive that public education might not be the best fit for every student, and that parents should have the freedom to choose the education that best suits their children’s needs and aspirations.

To me, the Chicago Magazine quote, “I can’t advocate on behalf of public education and the children of this city and educators in this city without it taking root in my own household” really leaves her open to this.

* Receipts…


Thoughts?

       

69 Comments
  1. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    More unforced errors than watching a week of White Sox games. Yikes. You go hard with the rhetoric, you’d best be ready to back it up with deeds or face the blowback. Silence is only going to invite more questions and digging.


  2. - anoni - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    There’s no evidence her kid is receiving public funds to attend the school, right? The school choice movement is specifically about siphoning public dollars to private institutions.


  3. - James - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    Yikes. not good.


  4. - The Truth - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:33 pm:

    There’s no evidence her kid is receiving public funds to attend the school, right?

    Pretty clearly not the point here.


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:34 pm:

    ===The school choice movement is specifically about siphoning public dollars to private institutions. ===

    Yeah, which helps subsidize everyone else’s private tuition.


  6. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:34 pm:

    =More unforced errors than watching a week of White Sox games. Yikes.=

    This gives a walk-off-balk a run for its money.


  7. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:35 pm:

    In the other hand, if her child was admitted to Payton College Prep they would be screaming about nepotism.


  8. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:35 pm:

    The debate is about providing public funds for private schools…but she’s backed herself into a corner by aggressively being against private schools completely. The CTU Comms team has probably been busy trying to spin a way that this is a racist attack.

    CTU’s policy stance leaves little room for nuance. The blowback that she is getting from this is well-deserved.


  9. - twowaystreet - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    ==There’s no evidence her kid is receiving public funds to attend the school, right? The school choice movement is specifically about siphoning public dollars to private institutions.==

    You’re missing the point of the argument. Whether you agree with it or not one of the points that they are raising is that she is making an opportunity she has the privilege to give to her child unavailable to others who might not be able to afford it by advocating against tax credits.


  10. - Southsider - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:41 pm:

    Nothing wrong with a parent choosing what’s best for their kids, just stop calling school choice supporters and parents who send their kids to private school racists. Some parents, like Stacy Davis-Gates, can afford private schools. How about helping the poor Black and Brown kids who can’t and are stuck in failing public schools, no thanks to the likes of her and her union.


  11. - Mr. Jimmy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    She’s a hypocrite to the worst degree.


  12. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:46 pm:

    There aer two school choice movements - the *public* school choice movement just wants parents to have the right to enroll their kids in other districts (including, for some of us at least, suburban districts), especially when those districts aren’t at capacity.

    Nothing I can add to those pointing out Gates’ hypocrisy.


  13. - Shytown - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:46 pm:

    A new spin on do as I say, not as I do. But seriously, if you want to be in the forefront of executing or advising on policy then you have to be responsive and accountable as anyone else - elected or not. Same applies to SDG.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    Well deserving of the heat, the imagery and thought to it? Awful.

    There’s no really good exit here or off ramp that helps her.


  15. - very old soil - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    Perhaps she just wants her child to receive a Catholic education.


  16. - Formerly Unemployed - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    The reality is that in some places, the private schools have more diversity than the public schools. For example, Loyola Academy versus New Trier. There’s far more segregation in our schools than simply public versus private. But that’s not her point, and Karen Lewis is spinning in her grave.


  17. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    Seriously…Cripes
    Yeah…this is so disappointing.
    I don’t know how she can stay at the head of CTU with this.
    She should do the honorable thing and resign.


  18. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:53 pm:

    Like others said, the hypocrisy is what stings. Catholic schools in Chicago are very strong and scholarship programs like Invest in Kids have done so much to level the playing field.


  19. - Mark D - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’ve defended SDG against some ridiculous attacks, but in this instance I agree with Rich et al that this is a bad look and severely undermines her credibility as a serious person in policy discussions around school choice


  20. - So_Ill - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    Yikes. I can’t wait to see how it is even possible to spin this one.

    Not a good look.


  21. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    If this is true, then yes it’s problematic for her to hold such an office. In the business world we call it “eating your own dog food”. If you have to use your own product, you are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

    If true, she should step down from that position. Or be replaced if she refuses to.

    But also, the Invest in Kids Act is still terrible and should be terminated/allowed to fully sunset.


  22. - Socially DIstant watcher - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    Never a good look to have a public school exec send their own kids elsewhere, and the same goes for union leaders.

    But the Republican rhetoric here is, as per usual, over the top. She’s not using public funds for this, she isn’t even asking for public funds.

    There’s no hypocrisy here, except for the false value shaming from the “pro-family” Republican Party.


  23. - the 647 - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:02 pm:

    Meh. I’m not a big fan of bringing someone’s kids into a policy discussion.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:04 pm:

    ===someone’s kids===

    Unless the child is the one paying for their education and making decisions on their education, it’s not about the child… it’s about the actions of the parent


  25. - Hypocrisy Enjoyer - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    ==She’s not using public funds for this, she isn’t even asking for public funds.==

    Her salary is public funds.


  26. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    Hard to fault a parent for wanting the best for her children.
    She is a good example of why school choice should be publicly funded as public schools are really harming the future for our children.
    In this case we have a lady that is completely aware of the kind of education available to her child in public schools and is making a choice that she believes is in the best interests of her child. Unfortunately many children are stuck in a public school system she choose to avoid.


  27. - Jocko - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    As others have said, silence isn’t going to cut it. Either own it or blame your child/spouse.


  28. - Teve Demotte - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    Stacy David Gates has a right to send her children where she wants. Advocating for CPS teachers does not exclude her right to send her children where she wants. The children are not elected officials and therefore should not be subject to this.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===Her salary===

    Isn’t anyone free to spend their earned money as *they* like.

    What, now the public gets to determine the spending habits of anyone getting a public paycheck?

    Try again.


  30. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    ==Her salary is public funds. ==

    Pretty sure she is paid by the union.


  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===I’m not a big fan of bringing someone’s kids into a policy discussion===

    She already did that.


  32. - spoon - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    Another day, another example of hypocrisy coming from Illinois Democrats. Yesterday was the “union loving” Chris Welch, now this. I wonder what tomorrow will bring??


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===hypocrisy coming from Illinois Democrats.===

    Everyday Illinois Republicans want an unfiltered choice to own guns with as little to no restriction as possible, and still advocate for women to have no choice in their own health choices.., every day.

    How about we focus on the post and loom at the glaring hypocrisy without making it about an “in-law uncle silly”


  34. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:24 pm:

    “Not a good look.”

    Agree, this rank hypocrisy should be called out and opposed. It’s really easy to do. Woe to a society where people are so tribal they turn a blind eye to the wrongs of their friends or allies.


  35. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:25 pm:

    Parents choose catholic schools for many reasons, academics, the high level of parental involvement, and of course most importantly the religious aspects, as Catholic Schools have a mission of embracing faith formation in their students. Who are we to judge her religious beliefs and convictions?


  36. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    “School choice was actually the choice of racists. It was created to avoid integrating schools with Black children.” “Segregation Academies”

    While this may not be true in Chicago, in large swaths of the US it is (former slave states). Remember, what got the “Moral Majority” into politics was not abortion but Bob Jones University losing tax exempt status due to racially discriminatory policies. Many private religious schools in the former slave states were created when Brown v. Board of Education was locally enforced.


  37. - DTownResident - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    When silly statements like “why school choice should be publicly funded as public schools are really harming the future for our children” there can be no good discussion in schools. That is just nonsense and is not helpful. So all we have to do is drop 10 kids per grade from the public school my kids attended and we should here how a school has gone downhill and you should not send your kids there. Plus easy to say things are struggling when o ly one of the two publishes scores tied to Naep benchmarks which are hard to hit.


  38. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    This is a slap in the face to public education and the labor movement. She needs to step down.


  39. - Suburban Mom - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===Perhaps she just wants her child to receive a Catholic education. ===

    In which case she could say, “Look, a lot of parents choose private schools because it’s best for their families, because of their religious beliefs or because their child has a disability that isn’t being well-served in their local public district. But the school voucher movement isn’t about helping kids who aren’t being served in the public schools; it’s about defunding public schools and redirecting that money to far-right organizations. Every child should be able to attend the school their family chooses, and when there is a money issue, that needs to be covered by scholarships and by raising wages statewide so working parents can afford a middle-class life. It’s not solved by removing funding from public schools, which serve the majority of families in Illinois, including nearly all of the neediest children, whether that’s in terms of socioeconomic status or disabilities.”

    Or she could, like, not run for president of the CTU. Also a valid option.


  40. - ElTacoBandito - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:48 pm:

    There are two types of hypocrisy she is practicing here. You can’t be against giving money to catholic schools for scholarship programs when your kid gets to attend those schools. Lower-income kids have to wait for their schools to improve while yours don’t? Second, you can’t call them segregation academies and then send your kids to one. Like, what?

    Yeah, it is her and her daughter’s right to choose where to send her daughter to school for her best interest. But then don’t be such an extremist to others who make the same decision. Reap what you sow.


  41. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    I don’t fault her for sending her child to a private school.

    I fault her for the ugly rhetoric she’s used to demonize political opponents over this issue. We can have an honest debate about whether public funds should be used for non-public education without the inflammatory rhetoric.

    She opened the door to her critics, and they are pouncing on her for it. I’ve long thought that CTU should have dropped her from leadership long before this, but maybe now some CTU members will see that she has tarnished CTU’s reputation and her personal choice reflects badly on them.

    That might lead to change. When she was lobbing rhetorical bombs at the opposition, her colleagues cheered her on. Now that she’s stated quite publicly that public schools are not an option for her children, she’s dropping a bomb on CTU. I hope it leaves a mark.


  42. - Just Another Anon - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    This is the greatest advertisement for school choice one could hope for. Despite advocating for more and more money for public schools, she chose to spend her money to send her children to private school. Other less fortunate children aren’t able to scrape together the funds to escape the underperforming school system she props up, but she makes sure her children get the opportunity for a quality education.

    Its at best tone deaf, at worst it completely undermines any legitimacy she may have in the arena on this issue. To paraphrase Hoffa, she knows the words, but she don’t know the music.


  43. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:05 pm:

    So Rich…SDG, or a rep of hers, contacted you to redact the kid’s school’s name, but then didn’t provide any comment? That’s, uh, rich

    To the post: SDG isn’t wrong with her statements. Once SCOTUS said schools had to integrate, private schools multiplied like bunnies across the south. Wanna guess who they didn’t admit?

    Likewise, the whole choice/voucher movement has been a very long-term evangelical play with the goal of eliminating or severely hampering public education. No one should underestimate these folks. They’ve essentially mainstreamed their arguments with very attractive talking points over the course of decades, such that barely anyone knows the origin story today. Somewhat ironically considering the rhetoric of the day, their goal actually is indoctrination. And you should look around, because they’ve been pretty successful.

    As for how SDG squares her previous comments with her choice for her child, I have no idea. I can only assume the cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.


  44. - Amalia - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:08 pm:

    yeah, she has said things that make her choice for her child look bad. but bottom line, she can make the choice with her own money. and that’s the point. want your kids to learn from a religious institution? don’t use my tax dollars to do it.


  45. - Ed for All - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===I’m not a big fan of bringing someone’s kids into a policy discussion===

    ===She already did that.===

    Agree with The 647 here, Rich. And I’m a big proponent of the Invest in Kids program. Even if she did it, two wrongs don’t make a right. To those who say the program diverts funds from public education, that’s simply false. It’s not a zero sum game. It’s not about the money, it’s about politics and unfortunately, too many elected officials are putting politics ahead of what’s best for kids. We care about all kids, including those that attend public, charter or private schools. And if we care about all kids, that includes SDG’s kids. Kids should be off limits even for an admirable cause.


  46. - Ed for All - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    =I’m not a big fan of bringing someone’s kids into a policy discussion=

    ===She already did that.===

    Agree with The 647 here, Rich. And I’m a big proponent of the Invest in Kids program. Even if she did it, two wrongs don’t make a right. To those who say the program diverts funds from public education, that’s simply false. It’s not a zero sum game. It’s not about the money, it’s about politics and unfortunately, too many elected officials are putting politics ahead of what’s best for kids. We care about all kids, including those that attend public, charter or private schools. And if we care about all kids, that includes SDG’s kids. Kids should be off limits even for an admirable cause.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===It’s not about the money===

    A lifelong rule.

    When anyone tells you “it’s not about the money”…. It’s always about the money.

    The child is not the issue.

    The adult’s choices and hypocrisy is the issue.


  48. - School redacted - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:39 pm:

    Anyone’s point can be made without using the name of the school. That level of privacy is highly appropriate.


  49. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:39 pm:

    “It’s always about the money”

    So cavalier about a program for low-income families seeking options for education for their kids. The program is capped at $75 million annually – not much money to fight about – so must be the politics

    “The average scholarship size is about $8,340, which is nearly half of the average expenditure per student at Illinois’ district schools, though the cap on scholarship values is slightly higher (the state’s operating expense per pupil, which was almost $15,000 in 2019–20, and up to twice that for students with special needs). Tax credits are worth 75 percent of the value of the contributions to scholarship organizations. Only $75 million in tax credits are available annually, which is equivalent to just 0.20 percent of Illinois’ total K–12 revenue”

    https://www.edchoice.org/school-choice/programs/illinois-invest-kids-program/


  50. - ChrisB - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    I’d be interested to know when the kid was enrolled in the Catholic school. As in, was the child enrolled during the 2020-21 school year when the CTU (and their spokesperson, SDG) was saying that returning to in-person teaching was too dangerous for the teachers, but the Catholic schools were all in-person?

    Because if so, woof, what a bad look.


  51. - City Zen - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==Pretty sure she is paid by the union.==

    But she’s still a participant in the CTPF, so tax dollars are included in her compensation.

    I’m surprised Stacy didn’t get ahead of this early. She must’ve suspected this news would get out at some point. How she or CTU do not have a prepared statement is either an expression of their hubris or incompetence.


  52. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:53 pm:

    I am going to badmouth private schools for various reasons, but I will send my kid to one that is not a great look.

    Kind of surprised she hasn’t made her X account private at this point.


  53. - Etown - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:53 pm:

    Hello Pot meet my friend kettle


  54. - Bannockburn Toad - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    Can someone ask the great Jesse Sharkey for comment?


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    ===tax dollars are included in her compensation.===

    And? So?

    How one decides to spend their earnings should be up to them.

    Not a soul should have to answer how they spend their money, and she is also a taxpayer too

    Sincerely, honestly, the same folks with the same ridiculous takes, fed by angry trolls that make in law uncles seem sane.


  56. - Old IL Dude - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    CTU’s leadership is SDG, Sarah “Mofongo” Chambers, Jackson “$4 Million Mom” Potter and Brandon Johnson. None of these people give a hot dropped deuce about Chicago Public School kids.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===So cavalier ===

    Hmm

    ===$75 million annually – not much money===

    Physician heal thyself

    If it’s not that much money, go raise it without the tax breaks.

    Go on. It’s not “that much money”

    Love of Pete… “so cavalier”… you get that money, should be easy enough.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===So cavalier===

    … says the person that calls deaths by guns “regrettable”

    The money is important to the schools first. It’s why some of the greater advocates of the program, you guessed it, run those schools.

    “So cavalier”, I mean…


  59. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===Kids should be off limits even for an admirable cause. ===

    1) This isn’t about the kid, it’s about her choice;

    2) How many stories have we seen over the years about Chicago mayors and other politicos sending their kids to private schools? Lots, and often with negative comments from CTU types. This is no different.


  60. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    Oy.


  61. - Nothing New Here - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:45 pm:

    This is the same rhetoric spewed by CTU types on school choice. But, who cares that Chicago low-income kids are trapped in failing Chicago Public Schools? I gotta believe that all parents want the best life chances for their children.


  62. - Sue - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:46 pm:

    The problem is simple- she actively advocates prohibiting parents a school choice while sending her own kid to a private school no matter who is paying for it. Worse- she along with her fellow union leaders threaten Dem political leaders with funding cutoffs if they don’t fall in on the charter school issue- think Obama- Gov Shapiro- Sen Warren etc etc. they all reversed positions on school choice after the NEA and AFT insisted. It’s the absolute worst hypocracy on Gates part


  63. - JDuc - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 4:50 pm:

    Does this surprise anyone ?


  64. - SammyG - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 5:28 pm:

    Davis-Gates has been more than happy to talk about her kids whenever it was a convenient talking point.

    Now that it’s inconvenient, she has no comment whatsoever? She must have known this was going to blow up, why didn’t she have something prepared?


  65. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 5:48 pm:

    ==a program for low-income families==

    It’s interesting that the right cares about low-income families solely on the issue of vouchers. Concern trolling at its finest.


  66. - Papak - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 6:06 pm:

    Bad look all around. Do as I say not as I do. School choice for me but not for thee.


  67. - It's always Sunny in Illinois - Wednesday, Sep 6, 23 @ 6:40 pm:

    The perfect example of Union/Politics in the Land of Lincoln


  68. - Eire17 - Thursday, Sep 7, 23 @ 7:40 am:

    Why is her employer fighting Urban Prep so hard? The parents of those students have made a choice. But the union wants to shut it down. Why? Those kids are doing great. It’s not faith based so no church/state issues there.
    Did the students in private schools that stayed open have worse medical outcomes than CPS students during covid? The answer is no.
    She can send her child anywhere she wants but don’t then limit the choices of others and use that kind of rhetoric in doing so


  69. - pro bono - Thursday, Sep 7, 23 @ 1:07 pm:

    Many groups, including the League of Women Voters, are opposed to Invest in Kids, as well as the teachers unions.
    https://e-edition.dailyherald.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=9ebf952d-8b58-4820-ae6f-1c8c8af3ea81


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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