The right wing has a way of stoking hysteria in ways that create false choices. It has a way of making us think we have to choose winners and losers. Our pathetic version of the right wing, the Illinois Policy Institute, is actively stoking fears about the future of selective enrollment schools in CPS.

These forces want to slash education budgets and close neighborhood public schools that serve Black and Brown students and their families!

This week, Rep. Margaret Croke filed a bill – that is moving quickly through Springfield – to only protect CPS selective enrollment schools from budget cuts and school closures, even though none of those schools are, and never have been, on the chopping block.

While we appreciate Rep. Croke’s efforts to protect and save approximately 75 of our city’s 600 plus schools, we need more from her!

TAKE ACTION

In an analysis of the 2023-2024 school year, CPS data show a deep inequity for Black students, who now make up just 10% of the enrollment at the top five selective enrollment schools, while white students make up 30%. This is alarming when white students make up less than 10% of students enrolled in the district.

As educators and community members, we believe that all of our schools should be supported and protected. That’s why we need you to contact Rep. Croke today and urge her to amend HB 5766 so that it protects all CPS students, no matter their race, ZIP code or where they attend school.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell Rep. Croke to amend HB 5766 to expand a moratorium on school closings and budget cuts for all CPS schools, until a fully elected school board is in place in 2027.

We appreciate Gov. Pritzker’s support for selective enrollment schools and his signing of the Elected School Board bill earlier today. But we also need the Governor to commit to protecting and supporting all of Chicago’s public schools, in all 77 neighborhoods, whether they are north or south of Roosevelt Road or east or west of Western Avenue.

Just 10 years ago, 50 of our public schools were shuttered at the hands of former Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. These closures, seeped in anti-Blackness, traumatized our communities and disrupted learning for our students and their families. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked billionaire board of education supported the plan to close those 50 schools. Black educators lost their jobs and Black students and families lost their school communities.

Why is this so urgent? We know that former Mayor Lightfoot and CPS concocted a preliminary plan to close and consolidate more schools on the West and Southwest Sides of the city, schools serving over 97% black and brown students, but a school closing moratorium blocked them. The moratorium expires in Jan. 2025 and, after that, more closures could be on the table again.

We know who these harmful policies impact most: our Black and Brown families and our Black and Brown educators and school staff who live in the same communities in which they work.

Please click here to send a message to Rep. Croke asking her to protect and support ALL CPS students until 2027, when the fully elected CPS school board takes effect. Say NO to school closings or program cuts at ANY CPS school.

Thanks for all you do to support our students and our school communities.

And don’t forget to vote today or tomorrow. Elections still matter and moments like this are why we have worked so hard to build our political power. Find our CTU endorsed candidates here.