CPS budget cuts are another attack on schools, but communities are fighting back.
August 4, 2013 Leave a Comment
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."
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.