Chicago Public Schools Students Deserve Progressive City Revenue, Not More Cuts
The new school budgets released by CPS last week continue the trend of balancing the budget on the backs of school children and teachers.
Contrary to CPS’ claims that classrooms have been protected, the new budgets will result in increased class sizes, teacher layoffs, and cuts in services to special education students in hundreds of CPS schools.
Rather than seeking progressive city revenue sources, CPS is trying to pressure teachers to accept a contract that slashes pay, in spite of the impact those cuts will have on the long-term quality of our schools. Teacher compensation is not responsible for our budget crisis. Parents will stand with teachers and their union as they negotiate a fair contract because we know that good working conditions for teachers means good learning conditions for our kids.
Thanks to the persistent work of parents, students, teachers, and principals fighting for increased state funding for public schools, the Illinois legislature and the governor made a down payment on proper and fair funding. We will not let CPS and the Mayor, in the wake of that victory, punish teachers, kids and parents with this latest round of budget cuts. We will continue to fight for the funding our schools need and deserve.
It’s an abomination that families are being asked to accept these cuts when just three weeks ago the Chicago Council approved $16 million in TIF funds for a development in Uptown that the community opposes—just one of many dubious TIF projects costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Ordinary property tax payers foot the bill for that corporate welfare while Rahm and his hand-picked school board undermine our schools. This has to stop.
Parents 4 Teachers calls on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to immediately release the hundreds of millions of dollars in TIF accounts to prevent these cuts from ever taking place. Additionally, the Mayor and City Council should enact other progressive revenue measures, such as reinstating a corporate head tax, and cancel Obama College Prep to fill the remainder of this year’s budget gap.