- Press conference: 10AM Wed., Feb. 27
CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison St., Chicago
Massive overcrowding and under-resourcing in neighborhood public schools to bring out parents and South Side alderman in push for equity for neglected public schools.
CHICAGO—41 students in a kindergarten classroom at Grissom Elementary in South Chicago. Classrooms that are literally falling apart around students at Washington Elementary in Hegwisch. A desperate and chronic lack of student services, including special education services, at Smyth Elementary, an IB school on the near West Side that does not have an IB coordinator—or adequate books, computers, trauma services or access to the school playground. And a chronic lack of accountability from CPS despite months of complaints from parents and LSC members at these and dozens of other neighborhood public schools.
Parents, LSC members and community residents from these school communities will join CTU officers and South Chicago alderwoman Sue Garza at a press conference at 10AM on Wednesday, February 27 at CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison. Participants will outline these schools chronic issues—then take their concerns directly to CPS’ unelected board of education at their monthly meeting.
Garza was infamously accused by former CPS CEO Forrest Claypool in 2017 of lying about packed classrooms at Grissom, where overcrowding has only worsened and whose parents and community residents are coming by bus to Wednesday’s press conference and board meeting. Smyth parents and neighborhood residents have been raising the alarm about a host of issues that range from lack of substitute teachers to no recess, while the principal has leased out school land to a nearby private school. And parents at Washington, whose students are overwhelmingly Latinx and low-income, have struggled for years to get relief for desperate and dangerous facilities issues at the neighborhood public school.
Class size, under-resourcing and chronic neglect of neighborhood public schools are linchpin issues for the Chicago Teachers Union as the union bargains for a new contract with CPS. The current contract expires in June, and the CTU is building to be strike-ready if relief for students on these issues does not come from the mayor’s unelected school board.
The press conference will be followed by a brief question and answer session.