Enough of the blame game

Enough of the blame game

P4T is joining with community groups and the CTU to push the mayor to tap city revenues to keep schools open through June. Read the testimony of P4T parent Catherine Henchek. 

Good Morning. My name is Catherine Henchek. I’m here as a member of Parents 4 Teachers, and the mother of a freshman at Vaughn Occupational High School.

But I shouldn’t be here. You know who should be here? CPS. CPS should be here, demanding that Chicago funds its public schools. But instead they blame Springfield, furlough our teachers, and threaten to end the school year early.

Do they understand how ending the school year early will affect working families? Maybe they just don’t care. And do they understand how it will affect our children’s learning? Again, maybe they don’t care. And do they understand how this will affect the violence on Chicago’s streets? I think we can conclude that they don’t care. But parents and teachers do care. And that’s why I’m here today.

We can’t wait for Springfield. We need to act as a city, to fund our schools. And we need to do it now.

We need to pass the TIF Surplus Ordinance, which has been stuck in the Finance Committee for months. TIF funds could give CPS an estimated $100 million per year.

And we need to pass the Corporate Head Tax, which could bring in an estimated $94 million a year.

I know the Mayor and his Appointed School Board would prefer to spend TIF money on wealthy donors. And I know they don’t want to ask their rich friends to pay their fair share. But this has got to stop. We have to put our children first. That’s what parents and teachers do every day. And that’s what the City of Chicago and CPS need to do now.

Mayor Emanuel and the City Council, we demand that you pass these measures to keep our schools open, and to provide ongoing, sustainable funding for our schools.

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