As we headed into spring break, we got the news that CPS intends to make $42M in cuts to our budgets next year. For my school, this means losing at least one teacher and some paraprofessionals. Some schools are slated to see as much as an 11% cut to their budget. All while CPS sits on $370M in unspent relief money. At the time when our students need it the most, the school district is hoarding the funds meant to help our schools recover.
We have to fight this.
Over spring break, I organized meetings between Alders in the 20th, 33rd, and 35th wards and delegates and teachers from the schools slated to have cuts. I listened as delegates, teachers, and librarians talked about about having PreK positions cut before the enrollment even opened for the fall, the concerns over losing our techcos, several schools losing Special Education positions where many of our schools have a backlog of initial eligibility meetings, and so many other stories.
After hearing about the cuts, our movement champions Ald. Jeanette Taylor, Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, and State Senator Christina Pacione-Zayas all committed to fighting with us. They plan to call in the Board of Education to stop the cuts and hold hearings in Springfield and Chicago council.
As Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said, "This is a sea change for our work, where we have real partners in the fight for our schools."
In the meetings, we talked about the deep sadness and frustration of ending one of the hardest schools with yet another insult from the Mayor and her school board. I felt this so deeply, yet I left the meetings feeling hopeful that we can come together with the our allies and champions to get the resources our students need.
- Read the Budget Cuts Resolution that Norma Noriega and I presented at the CORE meeting on Monday
- Join us for a rally at the Board of Education at 9 am on Wednesday, April 27th
- Plan a meeting with your alderman and delegates. I am happy to help!
Finally, our ability to lead our union with a clear voice on the fights for justice on our schools and with our champions behind us depends on strong and visionary leadership. So please, join me in voting for CORE on Friday, May 20th