• 5:00 a.m. Tues., Sept. 3: Press conference
    Juarez high school, 1450 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago

High school loses $840,000 and nine teaching positions among hundreds of schools confronting budget cuts in new $7.7 billion CPS budget.

CHICAGO—As students return for the first day of a new school year, CTU President Jesse Sharkey and fellow officers will hold a press availability at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday at Juarez High School, 1450 W. Cermak, to call on Mayor Lightfoot to settle a contract with educators that provides real equity for students and families.

Like hundreds of other district-run public schools, Juarez high school is confronting a huge budget cut and slashed staffing for the new school year. The budget passed by the mayor’s hand-picked school board last week cuts nine positions and $840,000 from the school budget. Staff have struggled mightily in recent years to bolster both academic and support programs for the school’s immigrant students. Over 90% of Juarez’ overwhelmingly Latinx student population live in poverty.

The deep cuts at Juarez mirror those across the district. As schools struggle with the largest average class sizes in the state and desperate shortages teachers and support staff, CPS is cutting funding to over 200 schools by at least $100,000 per school. Almost 10 percent of the district’s schools—more than 40—are confronting cuts of over half a million dollars each.

CPS has the funds to avoid deep budget cuts to schools. On average, the district has been raking in over a billion dollars in additional annual revenues over the last two years, a number that will continue to grow going forward.

The CTU is calling on the mayor to invest that revenue windfall in schools that have suffered from years of austerity and deep budget cuts. They’re demanding that Lightfoot put her campaign promises for equity and educational justice in writing—in an enforceable contract with the district’s teachers, paraprofessionals, clinicians and support staff.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.