Legislative Action

The CTU’s legislative agenda would improve the day-to-day operations in Chicago’s schools, ensure broad and inclusive representation in school governance, and provide stability and predictability to school communities.

Legislative Updates

Rank-and-file member action helped CTU post impressive wins in state legislature, but the fight for full funding must continue

CTU members pose on the steps of the state capitol.

As this legislative session unfolded, we focused on ensuring our members, students, and school communities received the support and resources they need and deserve. More than 300 members went to Springfield with us on three separate exciting lobby days, meeting with lawmakers. 

The sea of red shirts flooding the capitol was strong and lawmakers took notice. CTU members could be found staking out both legislative chambers, waiting for opportunities to speak with lawmakers. Several members and CTU Financial Secretary Maria Moreno even cornered Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the capitol, explaining their students’ vital needs and demanding more funds for all Illinois schools. 

Members also generated hundreds of calls, letters and emails to legislators, demanding the resources our schools and communities need. Your impact was felt far and wide in the capitol, allowing us to post several important wins this session.

While the Illinois General Assembly and governor failed to fully fund the state’s own Evidence-Based Funding Formula for Illinois schools, the dedication and action of our members allowed us to pass critical legislation and block harmful measures that appeared steamrolling to passage. 

Our wins this legislative session include: 

  • Elective Representative School Board implementation bill signed into law.
  • Passed an extension of retiree return–to-work provisions.
  • Sent Illinois Worker Freedom of Speech law to the governor, an especially important protection for workers in the charter sector.
  • Private school vouchers stopped, twice.
  • Efforts by opponents to override the removal of SROs and provide more wrap around supports (HB 5008) failed.
  • Efforts by opponents to pit CPS schools against each other by privileging selective enrollment schools (HB 303), also failed.
  • Secured an increase of $50 million to support after school programming.

However, we have more work to do. CPS is $1 billion short of what the state says the district needs to just provide an “adequate” education to our students. While the state budget does approve Gov. Pritzker’s recommended minimum increase in education funding, it is woefully inadequate for CPS and for all Illinois schools. Moreover, the budget omits vital funding for mentoring programs, like the CTU’s We Care program. 

The path forward to more arts programing, dual language programs, libraries and librarians, and appropriate class sizes with support from teacher assistants is clear: the state needs to make up the $1 billion shortfall to CPS. Our path also is clear: we must do what we always do, organize and fight for the schools Chicago children deserve.

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