Teachers in Chicago are once more on the streets in their hundreds to defend public education. Teachers and community leaders, protested in red yesterday against the latest decisions of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), under the slogan 'CPS: Broke on Purpose'. Teachers point out that there is a huge amount of money in corporate Chicago and yet the city keeps crying poverty when it comes to public schools. To make matters worse the administration is seeking to blame teachers' pension entitlements for what they say is a $1.1 billion deficit.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is demanding limits to class sizes, more school counsellors and nurses as well as more time for teachers to prepare, and a reduction in paperwork. They are also looking for a modest 3% pay rise in line with their previous contract, won in 2012.

The teachers and their supporters wore the distinctive red T shirts to yesterday's protests and rallies, which became known globally during their long and partially successful strike in . This  term they have been using the same tactic to build solidarity in the schools, encouraging teachers to take part in Wear Red Wednesdays. If the city administration does not get its priorities right and put the interests of children ahead of those of business, it may be that teachers will once again be forced to take action in the autumn. To do that they need 75% of their membership voting in favour - a far higher bar than for example in the 2012 US presidential elections where only 57.5% of eligible voters turned out at all. The CTU successfully jumped the hurdle in 2012, and teachers all over the world will be willing them on this time too, if and when it becomes necessary.

Chicago University with its school of economists under Milton Friedman has been the seed bed for neoliberal school reform, which has spread globally, with dreadful consequences for public education. It is in part for this reason that their struggle against privatisation, cuts, school closures, testing and top down accountability measures has had such a universal resonance.