Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued this statement following Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey's announcement not seeking re-election.
"Being the head of Chicago’s Teachers Union (CTU) is a tremendously difficult job. From the moment Jesse Sharkey came into CTU leadership with Karen Lewis, he showed his true abilities as an educator and unionist—whip smart, driven, analytical, and completely devoted to building strong schools for Chicago’s children by building a stronger union.
"Jesse has guided the CTU through tough fights with two mayors in hard-fought battles over how to best educate kids, how to get resources into the most under-resourced communities serving Black and Brown children, and how to fairly treat educators. From school closures driven by corporatist education “reformers” to the COVID crises, Jesse has led with vision and a gusto for getting in the trenches to make the argument for the schools all children deserve and teacher and staff contracts that treat educators as the professionals they are.
"Congratulations to my brother and fellow teacher. And on behalf of our 103,000 IFT members, thank you."