News and Notes

CTU, AFT presidents host roundtable to discuss the migrant crisis

Photo of CTU President Stacy Davis Gates, AFT President Randi Weingarted and others who spoke at a panel on the migrant crisis.

Photo of CTU President Stacy Davis Gates speaking at roundtable on migrant crisis.Cameron Elementary hosted a roundtable this morning featuring President Stacy Davis Gates and AFT President Randi Weingarten to discuss the migrant crisis that has been manufactured by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Cameron serves a largely Latine population and has been on the frontlines supporting new students arriving to our schools. Read more.

Interfaith breakfast, Mayor Johnson honor our own Romel Ferguson

Photo of CTU Operations Manager Romel Ferguson being honored at the Interfaith Breakfast on Martin Luther King Day.

We are so proud of our very own Romel Ferguson, CTU Operations Manager, for receiving the Champion of Freedom Award at Chicago’s Annual Interfaith Breakfast, held on Martin Luther King Day. Read the Sun-Times coverage of the event and watch Romel’s acceptance speech. Congratulations, Romel!

Response to inclement weather

Since last week, our union has been working non-stop to support members working in freezing buildings with no power and to ensure our students and staff are safe during this week’s extreme cold weather. We also are working to ensure that our 20,000 unhoused students have what they need by passing the Bring Chicago Home ordinance. Read our statement on last week’s snowstorm and this week’s statement on the need to close schools during this frigid cold snap.

Hefferan Elementary honors its fallen educators

Beloved delegate Clinetta Clark recently lost her brave fight with cancer. Last week, CTU Vice President Jackson Potter and Recording Secretary Christel Williams joined the Hefferan school community to celebrate the lives and mourn the loss of Clinetta Clark and beloved educator and CTU member Victor Jackson. Clark was a veteran teacher and resident of the Austin neighborhood. She fought the 2013 CPS school closings and was active in the campaigns of Mayor Johnson and Commissioner Tara Stamps. Jackson taught upper grade math and recently had been named a math specialist at the school. Colleagues, students and parents launched balloons outside and joined in a brief ceremony in the school lobby. Our condolences go out to their families and the Hefferan school community.

HOD report: endorsements, support Black Lives Matter at School week, freedom to read

Our House of Delegates met last week for its first meeting of the new year. Delegates approved additional endorsements for the March primary, a resolution approving our participation in Black Lives Matter at School week, and a resolution supporting the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement. Read the full HOD report to members.

Photo of Martin Luther King and Chicago educator and civil rights activist Al Raby.

CTU lifts up Al Raby to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday

This year, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honored Albert Raby in a new series exploring our union’s history. As a teacher in an all Black school, Raby served as delegate then became the head of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO). There, he helped organize the 1963 CPS boycott, which saw 300,000 students stay home from school to demand integrated public education.

The boycott was so successful it inspired Reverend King to come to Chicago, where he said he experienced more hate and hostility than he did in the south. Today, East Garfield Park’s Al Raby High School for Community and Environment is named in his honor.

CPS Facilities Planning Round Tables

CPS’ Educational Facilities Master Plan Round Tables continue this month. This is your chance to let CPS know about the critical needs in your school. Learn more and register at the CPS EFMP community engagement page.


Greeting his students brightens every day for Marquette teacher Rogelio Aguilar

Photo of Marquette School of Excellence teacher Rogelio Aguilar.Marquette School of Excellence teacher Rogelio Aguilar sees a lot of himself and his family reflected in the mostly Latine students he serves. He is the son of Mexican immigrants, parents who worked hard to provide a better life for their family. Aguilar switched careers to become a teacher and has never looked back. Teaching is the best job ever. Read more about Rogelio.

Call to Action

Jan. 20: Let’s Bring Chicago Home

Join CTU Organizer and Illinois Senate candidate Graciela Guzman this Saturday and Sunday to help Bring Chicago Home. Find details and sign up to help.

Update your member information

As we embark on our contract campaign, we need to be able to reach you. Please make sure you update your membership info so we have your correct non-CPS email, phone and address. Update your information in the MemberLink portal or send an email to


Jan. 19: Interpreter stipend deadline

If you are a CTU member who has completed all components of the IEP interpreter training and have interpreted three or more IEPs during the first and second semester of this school year, ask your principal to submit your name on the IEP interpreter stipend form. The deadline for name submissions is Jan. 19.

Jan. 23: Contract Action Team webinar

Have you set up your Contract Action Team yet? Join us Jan. 23 to learn about these important school committees and get your questions answered. Register for the webinar.

Jan. 23: CTPF webinar on Tier 2 pensions

The CTU Pension/Insurance Committee is partnering with the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund to present an educational workshop for members, focusing on Tier 2 benefits. Corebridge Financial will be in attendance to provide further information on retirement plan options and answer member’s questions. Register for the webinar.

For your science-loving students: Northwestern University CounterAct Summer Research Fellowship

Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine is offering high school juniors and seniors an eight-week paid internship at the univesity with the new NIH-funded CounterACT Center. Tell your science-loving students to apply. Learn more and encourage applications before Feb. 1.

Feb. 1: Blood Drive for Sickle Cell Anemia and Maternal Health

In collaboration with the American Red Cross, the CTU Foundation and CTU Human Rights Committee are hosting a blood drive and a panel discussion on sickle cell anemia and maternal health. The blood drive runs from 2 – 7 p.m., with the panel discussion from 5 to 6 p.m. at the CTU Center, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. Register here for the blood drive and here for the panel discussion.

Feb. 2: Black Educators Greek Night

Come out for a night of socializing and community with your Black Greek union siblings, 5 – 7 p.m. at CTU. More info coming soon!

Feb. 8: Deadline to run for your Local School Council

Looking to get more involved with your school? Consider running in your school’s upcoming LSC election. The application window for the 2024 LSC elections is open now, with applications due Feb. 8. Learn more.

Multicolored graphic announcing a writing contents for students.

Feb. 17: Future Black Educators’ Scholarship Gala

Please join the AFT Black Caucus Chicago for its Future Black Educators’ Scholarship Gala, Feb. 17, 5:30 – 8 p.m., at CTU. Tickets will be available at the next HOD meeting for the early bird price of $55. Stop by the Black Caucus table to purchase your ticket or talk to any Black Caucus member.

Feb. 22 and March 2: Delegates and school leaders training

Save the date for our next delegates and school leaders training, where we’ll be mobilizing for our 2024 contract campaign. Stay tuned for details.

Members Corner

Celebrate your siblings

Do you know a CTU member who’s achieved a special milestone or accomplishment that you want to acknowledge? Have they made something cool you want to share with the union? Send your blurb (1 to 4 sentences) to for consideration in an upcoming Members Corner.


In the News

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Modern Classroom Project
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