In the first ever Chicago Board of Education virtual meeting, CORE members threw down. Check out remarks from Dennis Kosuth, School Nurse; Jackson Potter, High School Teacher; Jesse Sharkey, CTU President; and Katie Osgood, Special Education Teacher...
Dennis Kosuth .. school nurse
I’ve been a registered nurse for 13 years, a certified school nurse for the past 4 years, and have been doing my best to continue to provide services despite school being out of session.
Dear Board members,
Thank you for the courage to rename Columbus day, now bold leadership is needed more than ever. While social isolation is tough, the real crisis will happen later when parents have double mortgage payments and utility bills. For that reason the CTU and our Housing committee asks that you support a bill to lift the ban on rent control in the state legislature… my grandparents are only able to stay in Queens because of rent control, we desperately need it in Illinois.
No evictions of our students, ever… not just during a covid-19 crisis, evictions will spike in the aftermath of this, we need a lasting solution to the devastating impacts of evictions and foreclosures on students lives … asking CBOE to halt business with financial institutions that will not adopt a no-eviction and no foreclosure of CPS students /families policy.
Support the CBA for the Obama library … adopt a policy of no school closures or displacements in and around the proposed library.
Support Rep Ramirez proposal to double homeless prevention funds for the state
Mortgage and rent freeze --- delay don’t double payments
Lastly, we need a more robust public sector in a time of crisis not a weakened foundation. Deputize under and unemployed parents to become STLS coordinators to ramp up services to our housing insecure students, unionized custodians … the public sector must become a place to expand opportunities not a casualty of calamity.
Esp our homeless but all students also need free internet and chromebooks, unfortunately this is not the last we are going to see of Covid … we need better means and policies to allow internet communication and videoconferencing with them if school is out again. Also, you should provide cash payments to undocumented families to stay afloat, they trust schools and should be able to access economic support in our buildings.
On our CTU housing committee and CTU leadership would like to schedule a meeting ASAP, it can be zoom, along with the City Dept of Housing, to pull together a package of enhanced protections for our most vulnerable students. Please let us know when we can do this in the next week.
Jesse Sharkey, President of the CTU Remarks to Chicago Board of Education 3-25-20
Thank all our educators, parents, students an everyone who makes public schools go—it’s a
The schools that yesterday provided learning, support and solace are still going support you
tomorrow. Know that the members of the CTU--teachers, clinicians and Paraprofessionals--are
committed to that.
I know CPS administration has been working non-stop to respond to this crisis. I know because
I’ve been on the phone with your leadership… at all hours, 7 days a week. It hasn’t been
perfect—there’s been a surprise or two. But I appreciate not only your work, but also your
willingness to work together.
We intend to support our students now and after this pandemic has subsided
We must confront equity needs head on for our school communities and our city, as CPS
grapples with the consequences of the coronavirus. Our school communities must have the
right to recover, and CPS’ proposed $75 million in COVID-19-related expenditures must speak
to those needs and the broad equity demands we won for students and families in our contract.
CTU has put together a package of legislation called the “Right to Recovery” that is being
advanced by local and state legislators. We ask that CPS and the Board join us in urging state
legislators and ISBE to advance these goals not just in Chicago but across the state for every
public school student.
Our demands include issues that are not directly related to CPS but are critical to students and
Immediate housing for all students in temporary living situations—homeless
students—and CPS/BOE support for the 'Right to Recovery' coronavirus package
being advanced by local and state legislators.
Health care supports for all students
And Pushing companies to fast track the manufacture and provision of computer
devices for every student in every school.
Closer to home, our students’ linchpin issues—the desperate need for school nurses, trauma
supports, smaller class sizes, the expansion of supports for special education students and
homeless students, and more—will only intensify in the wake of fallout from the pandemic.
As we segue out of remote learning back into our school communities, work
together to provide the infrastructure for more supports for students—including
new funding for those supports.
Staff up for nurses in every school community now, rather than staffing up
incrementally under the terms of the five-year contract;
Expand the number of professionals in school communities who provide
Expand support for special education students;
Work with the CTU to afford rank and file members the opportunity to volunteer to
support needs within school communities and within the larger city.
We want everyone to know that students and the public can count on members of the
CTU—public school teachers, clinicians, and paraprofessionals—to help, and that together
we will overcome this crisis.
Katie Osgood -- Special Education Teacher