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Chicago Teachers Union Boss Finds Brizard ‘Charming’

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Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Teachers’ Union president says she has met Jean Claude Brizard, Mayor Emanuel’s choice to head the Chicago Public School system, and describes him as “charming.”

The new seven member Chicago Public School Board takes over on Wednesday, and teachers’ union President Karen Lewis says she is hoping to continue her discussions with the outgoing board.

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“They have a wealth of information and knowledge,” she said.

Mayor Emanuel has appointed David Vitale as the new board president and Brizard as CEO.

Lewis admits challenges are ahead but after meeting with Brizard believes it’s a new beginning.

“He’s very charming,” Lewis said. “I think he has a good skill set. So, we’ll see how that works.”

The CPS faces a more than $700 million budget deficit and lagging achievement scores. Emanuel also wants to increase teachers’ workday.

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