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Education as a Human Right Day-Boycott CPS August 28!

August 25, 2013 0 comments

News Coverage of the Education as a Human Right Rally at CPS Headquarters on
Wednesday, Aug. 28th

Rally at CPS HQ, 125 S. Clark St
10 AM, Wed, Aug. 28th
50th anniversary of the March on Washington

This is the NEXT STEP in the campaign for an Elected Representative School Board.

With the closing of 49 schools and massive budget cuts, parents, students, and community members and organizations around the city are joining a NATIONAL CALL and here in Chicago, are calling for a ONE-DAY boycott of CPS.

Our program is:
  • An Elected Representative School Board.
  • A moratorium on all school closings, turnarounds, phase-outs and charter expansion.
  • TIF Funds back to CPS and a financial transaction taxfor education.
  •  The proposal for sustainable school transformation to replace corporate, top-down interventions for struggling schools!!


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CPS has demolished Whittier Elementary's "La Casita" parent center and library

August 17, 2013 0 comments

La Casita at Whittier school was demolished today around 9:30 am without notice or previous meeting with the community, as Alderman Solis and CPS promised. The construction crew with police support broke a side fence to avoid dozens of protesters who were blocking the main entrances, and they started to demolish our children's library so that a private high school near by can build a soccer field. PLEASE come at a vigil today at 4:30 pm (1900 W. 23rd) to demand that Alderman Solis honors his word to build another library for our children, and more importantly, to demand CPS and the mayor to stop giving public funds and/or subsidies to private institutions at the expense of our communities. If you can't come, please call Alderman Solis at 312-952-0581 or 773-523-4100 and demand that at least have the decency to come and explain what is happening.

More photos of today's demolition are at http://m.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/17/1231888/-PICS-La-Casita-Demolished-Saturday-Morning-By-Rahm  

Sun-Times Story about the demolition: 

“We were told that we could have a meeting with Danny Solis and CPS this morning,” activist Carolina Gaete said. “But when we came for the meeting this morning, this is what was waiting for us,” she added, pointing to the worksite and demolished building.”A group of angry parents marched to nearby Benito Juarez high school, where a summer fair was being held, in the hopes of confronting Solis. But Solis is “out of town, on vacation,” staff manning a stall at the fair for Solis said.
Gaete vowed that protestors would fight on despite the demolition of the building, saying they’ll try to stop CPS from laying a soccer field at the site of the field house, and try to find a new home for the volunteer-run library, English language and Dance classes that the field house hosted.
“We’re not defeated,” she said. “We just have to work out our next move.”

Read more at:  http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/21984396-418/whittier-fieldhouse-razed-protesters-arrested.html 

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Help restore the CPS budget cuts. Two things you can do this week to get Mayor Emanuel to return money to CPS Schools.

August 13, 2013 0 comments

Call the Mayor and Demand TIF Restoration-Rally Sunday, Logan Square

  • Call Mayor Emanuel's office to demand restoration of our tax dollars taken from public schools!

  • Rally to Support Public Schools, this Sunday, August 18th in Logan Square-Centennial Monument, Kedzie & Logan. 4:00 PM!!!


Please call the Mayor's Office--
312-744-3300--and tell him to put our kids first by declaring a TIF surplus and moving at least 100 million dollars back to CPS classrooms to restore the cuts!

Don't know about TIFs?
They're tax dollars taken from CPS for private development.

Want to know more?
Check out Ben Joravsky' Chicago Reader stories on the TIFs
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ALEC Protest, City Council Education Committee Meeting and Bud Billiken Parade

August 7, 2013 1 comments

Join CTU & GEM Members This Week 

Thursday, August 8 at 12 pm     
Students, Teachers, Clergy, Workers opened a week
of ALEC protests - Photo @phillipcantor

17 E Monroe (at Wabash & Monroe)
Protest the ALEC conference from 12 pm to 1 pm outside of the Palmer House (17 E Monroe)!  There will be a picket line, press conference, and banner drops from the L tracks.            

RSVP to Rebecca Martínez

Friday, August 9 at 10 am
121 N LaSalle
The City Council Committee on Education (led by Latasha Thomas) is holding a hearing on the CPS budget cuts and layoffs.  We are organizing a presence at this hearing.

RSVP to Marty Ritter

Saturday, August 10 at 10:30 am
35th and King Dr.
Join CTU for the Bud Billiken Parade!  This is a fantastic annual event, and we will have a big contingent, including marching band.  Please join us!  We will meet at 35th and King Dr. and walk over to join the parade.  After the parade, join us for a picnic behind Dyett School on the Midway at 51st St, one block east of King Dr.  We will serve complimentary hamburgers, hotdogs, and drinks.

RSVP to Brandon Johnson or 773-456-3191. 
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CPS budget cuts are another attack on schools, but communities are fighting back.

August 4, 2013 0 comments

Chicago Public School leaders got an earful Thursday night at a public hearing about next years budget.

Chicago Public School leaders got an earful Thursday night at a public hearing about next year's budget. - Photo via ABC Chicago 

The Chicago Sun Times covered the budget hearing in Englewood where TSJ member Byron Sigcho called out CPS for de-humanizing students and doing absurd things such as shifting art and physical education to online classes: 

“When you yourself refer to our children as seats, it’s hard to believe that you think of our children more than seats and of our communities more than spreadsheets,” he said. Sigcho, a grad student at University of Illinois at Chicago, continued to vent. "You’re really proposing that our children take P.E. and art classes online? To me that’s a joke. That’s not investing in our youth. . . . Why does CPS keep funding corrupt charter networks?” he said, referring to the UNO Charter Schools." 

WBEZ reports that "A top school official at the North Side hearing said at the start of the meeting he didn’t just want to hear complaints about cuts. He wanted solutions for closing the district’s $643 million gap between revenue and expenses."

“Tell us the things you think we’re spending money on, that you think we ought to cut,” said Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley. “You can’t just say, ‘Give us more.’  Tell us what you think we should cut.”Speakers were happy to comply.“Ask the 20 charter schools that are opening after 50 public schools have closed—ask them to do more with less,” said Dan Phelan, who worked as a teacher in the writing center at Schurz High School until he was laid off last month."
According to this Chicago Tribune Article, CPS claims that they are "only" cutting $68 million from classrooms, but other estimates are much higher - closer to $162 million causing massive cuts to art, music, physical education, libraries and core teaching positions. 

Parents at the budget hearing at Truman College on the city's north side "railed at CPS": "I'm angry that the mayor sold the idea of a longer school day and only funded it for a year," said Janet Meegan, a parent at Mitchell Elementary in the West Town neighborhood...Meegan said her school has lost a specialized reading teacher [one of the 500 positions Rahm promised as part of the longer day] and a librarian. Parents, she said, will be pitching in with increased student fees to help pay for art and music programs. This was not what we were promised," Meegan said at a hearing at Truman College in Uptown attended by about 200 people.

Progress Illinois reports that at the north side hearing CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley (who lives in a north-shore suburb on a waiver of CPS's residency policy) "...really struck a nerve while discussing various investments the district is making for next year, including a $7.7 million expansion of its Safe Passage program. The program is being ramped up with 600 additional Safe Passage workers to cover routes for the 51 welcoming schools.

“You probably don’t have to worry about Safe Passage up in these neighborhoods,” Cawley said, which caused an uproar.
“How would you know,” one person at the meeting asked Cawley. Others said: “How insulting!” “How dare you?” “Oh my God!” and “Where are you from?”
“My son was shot and murdered near here. Don’t even go there,” said local resident Carol Keating-Johnson. “You don’t know what’s going on in these communities.” 
Via Bob Simpson "Action Now led a walkout of the Chicago Public Schools budget hearings at Malcolm X College tonight (Friday Aug. 2). Decrying the undemocratic CPS public hearings that have so far not been attended by Barbara Byrd Bennett or Mayor Emanuel, they led about 2/3 of the audience out of the auditorium." - This walkout was not covered by any media outlets. 

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