Statement by Sarah Simmons, P4T member
My name is Sarah Simmons, and I work with Parents 4 Teachers and I'm a parent at Northside College Prep. I've been a CPS parent for 22 years and a resident of the 6th district for 22 years.
Senator Cullerton: You are out of touch with the people of Chicago. In 2012, 87% of voters in 327 precincts voted yes for an elected representative school board. Last year, the elected school board referendum passed by 90% in 35 wards. Most recently, the IL House showed overwhelming support for an elected school board with a vote of 110 to 4. This bill has massive support across the political spectrum.
People are tired of the mismanagement, stolen pensions, corruption, and the stony faces and disrespect which this appointed board shows to teachers and parents. They are tired of the money wasted on failing charters while record numbers of neighborhood schools were closed.
The appointed school board has no skin in the game. They are neither CPS parents nor educators. They have repeatedly demonstrated how little regard they have for the children of Chicago. Their top down decisions have increased class size, exacerbated the inequitable allocation of resources, increased standardized testing, and created unreasonable demands on teachers. These conditions do not exist at the elite, private schools where the mayor and his school board send their children.
Senator Cullerton, at one time there may have been a political advantage to aligning with Rahm Emanuel, but that time is past. If you let this bill die, you will be leaving a legacy as the senator who doesn't believe in democracy. Don't think that folks that care about education justice can't oust an unresponsive incumbent...look around the city! November 2018 will be here before you know it, and you will feel the pain of the people if you ignore their needs.