Make Your Voice Heard May 19
Chicago Public Schools has failed to offer teachers a contract extension and instead is looking for a 7 percent pay cut—setting the stage for another round of contentious contract talks and the potential for a strike next spring. The Chicago Teachers Union has already publicly presented its demands—for smaller classes, less testing and more teaching, and more wrap around services among other things—but the district has not publicly responded.
We’ve asked both parties, the CTU and CPS, to attend three public forums to discuss the issues at stake in the new contract for our children and our schools. The union has confirmed but CPS has not, so we need to pressure the district to publicly engage with parents, teachers and the community. The first forum will be held May 19.
Be at the Table: Make Your Voice Heard for the Education Our Children Deserve
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Luther Memorial Church
2500 W. Wilson, Chicago
Download flyer in English | Spanish
In the meantime, call the new Interim CPS CEO, Jesse Ruiz, at (773) 553-1500, and demand that he engage with the public about the critical issues at stake in the contract talks.
And read our summary about what’s at stake in the negotiations.
Two additional contract forums will be held on the South and West Sides:
Thursday, June 4, 2015, 6:00pm
Mt. Carmel MB Church, 2978 S. Wabash
Sponsored by Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO)
Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 6:00pm
Kelly Hall YMCA, 824 N. Hamlin
Sponsored by Blocks Together
Please spread the word!
Opt Out Bill Stalls-For Now
HB 306, the parental opt-out bill sponsored by State Rep. Will Guzzardi, stalled in the house last week thanks to legislative maneuvers by Gov. Rauner, who opposes the bill. But there may still be time to pass the bill. Please continue to call your state reps and senators. Find their contact info here.
But Limits on Charter Commission Passes House
Time to call your state senators and ask them to support HB 3097, which passed the house and now needs to be voted on in the state senate. This bill would weaken the undemocratic charter commission which can overturn local district decisions about charters. Find your senators here.
Time to Clean House at CPS BOE
P4T joined with Raise Your Hand, Blocks Together and parents from across the city to renew our call for an elected representative school board in the wake of the SUPES scandal. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is on paid leave as a result of the federal investigation into a no-bid contract CPS awarded to her former employer. Check out the the Sun-Times coverage of the press conference.
New Charter Proposals
At the same time it's complaining of a $1 billion budget hole and demanding pay cuts from teachers, 32 new charter proposals are under consideration. CPS is taking applications for Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs), which will review the charter plans. These bodies need public education advocates on them so please apply. Get the application here. The application deadline has been extended to May 20.
Journey for Justice National Organizing Conference
P4T was proud to join the Chicago contingent of the first organizing conference of the Journey for Justice in Newark from May 1-3. J4J is an alliance of grassroots community, youth, and parent-led organizations in 21 cities across the country, including Chicago, pushing back and demanding community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public school systems. You can support J4J with your active participation in its campaigns or member organizations and through your generous donations.