News and Notes
CTU President speaks at UAW National Conference
At the United Auto Workers national political conference in Washington, D.C., today, CTU President Stacy Davis Gates joined a panel of “badass, militant women” whom UAW President Shawn Fain said inspire him. Speaking alongside Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, President of the AFA-CWA Sara Nelson, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, and UAW Region 1 Director LaShawn English, Davis Gates said: “It is an honor to be in front of the people who are going to save this country!”
Black Lives Matter at School Week
This year, the CTU will take part in Black Lives Matter at School for two weeks of action. The first week, Feb. 5 – 9, will be educator focused, with planning workshops, educational events and curriculum showcases to support educators in every school across the district. The second week, Feb. 12 – 16, we intend for every grade in every CPS district and charter school to teach truth about the history of Black excellence and Black oppression.
Let’s make this a week in which all of our educators of all races teach all of our students of all races to support love and liberation for Black people. Here’s what’s in store:
- Feb. 1: Blood Drive for Sickle Cell Anemia and Maternal Health panel.
- Feb. 5: Black Lives Matter at School curriculum sharing webinar, members can earn three PD hours for attending.
- Feb. 12: Film showing, “Stamped: From the Beginning,” at CTU.
- Feb. 17: Future Black Educators’ Scholarship Gala.
- Feb. 23: Black Educators Greek Night at CTU.
Members at Instituto ready to strike for their students, rally this Thursday
Join Instituto members for a rally this Thursday, Jan. 25, from 3 – 4:30 p.m., at IHSCA, 2520 S. Western, to demand a fair contract and full resources for our students.
After two years of negotiations, members at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA) and Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy (IJLA) are nearing a strike. Members voted unanimously in December to authorize a strike if needed and, since then, Instituto management has failed to put the needs of students first. While the charter operator claims it doesn’t have enough money to serve student needs and fairly compensate educators, it is hoarding 23 cents out of every dollar marked for the schools. The schools continue to suffer chronic staff shortages, with only one special ed teacher in the entire Instituto system. Read more about Instituto union members.
CTU staffer and CTU Foundation spring into action to help CPS family in need
When Alicia Edwards’ son, Jared, told her of a family in need at Curtis School of Excellence, where he works, she and the CTU Foundation sprang into action. Edwards, Assistant to the CTU Chief of Staff and Political Department, donated her own money to the family but also reached out to Charise Bennett at the CTU Foundation. Activating the foundation’s Student Special Assistance Fund — made possible by donations from CTU members — Bennett and Edwards provided personal items, clothes and school uniforms for the family. Members at the school were impressed by the foundation’s rapid response. If you know families at your school who need help, reach out to the foundation. And please consider making a donation to CTUF so it can continue to help students and families in need.
CTU Teacher Leaders Policy Fellows host legislative Q&A
This weekend, fellows from our Teacher Leader Policy Fellowship, in partnership with AFT, had the honor of hearing from elected officials, including Congresswoman Delia Ramirez and Illinois State Senators Robert Peters, Celina Villanueva and Lakesia Collins. Fellows participated in a productive dialogue and Q&A about the legislative process and their research. Thank you to our Springfield allies for taking time out of their busy schedules to help our fellows understand what makes the state capitol tick. Learn more about the Teacher Leader Policy Fellowship.
Guidance for ACCESS testing of newcomer students
During our CTU/CPS Joint Committee meetings, we have repeatedly expressed concern with the increased needs for ACCESS testing, especially in schools with an influx of newcomers. We want to make sure that all members know that per ISBE, newcomers that arrive to CPS after the Jan. 17 ACCESS testing window has started do not have to be tested. Check out Question 3 in the 2024 ACCESS FAQs sent out by CPS. Please reach out to LindaPerales@ctulocal1.org with questions.
LSCs can be a powerful tool for school improvement, but only if we use them
As union members, we hold power when we organize and work together in solidarity. Running for your school’s Local School Council this spring is an important way we can organize and use that tool to improve our schools. This April’s election also provides an opportunity to bring proactive parents and community members into the LSC, but applications must be submitted by February 8. Read more about how to build power through the LSC.
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.
Call to Action
Jan. 27: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
My favorite teacher
With the support of the AFT, a New Jersey social studies teacher has launched a new video series interviewing influential public figures about the amazing educators who inspired them. The first video features actor Matthew McConaughey talking about his favorite teacher: his mom. Watch the My Favorite Teacher videos.
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 university 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., Feb. 1, at the CTU Center, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. Register here for the blood drive and here for the panel discussion.
Feb. 5: Black Lives Matter at School curriculum sharing webinar
Sponsored by the CTU Human Rights Committee, this webinar will explore some of the free resources collected and vetted by the committee for use across grade levels during Black Lives Matter at School Week. Join us virtually Feb. 5, 4:30 – 6 p.m. Register for the webinar.
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.
$250 Prize for Young Writers, Feb. 16 deadline
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. Purchase tickets before Sunday, Jan. 28, for the discounted price of $55. Advance tickets after that date are $65 and $75 at the door. Buy your tickets today.
Feb. 21: NBCT Information Session
Recruitment is underway for the 2024–2026 Nurturing Teacher Leadership National Board Certification cohort. CTUF will host a virtual information meeting on Feb. 21, 5 to 8:30 p.m. There is now an annual state stipend for NBCTs who remain in hard-to-staff schools for at least two years (in addition to our CPS annual, pensionable stipend, opportunity to move to Lane 5 on the Salary Scale, optional master’s degree, and paid leadership opportunities). For more information, contact LynnCherkasky-Davis@ctuf.org or register for the NTL information session here.
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.
Feb. 23: Black Educators Greek Night at CTU
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!
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 email@example.com for consideration in an upcoming Members Corner.
- Jan. 26 | Paycheck at 50% gross pay
- Feb. 1 | CTUF Blood drive and
panel on sickle cell anemia and maternal health
- Feb. 5 | Black Lives Matter at School curriculum sharing webinar
- Feb. 12 | Stamped: From the Beginning screening
- Feb. 17 | Future Black Educators Scholarship Gala
- Feb. 22 & Mar. 2 | Delegates and school leaders trainings
- Feb. 23: Black Educators Greek Night at CTU
In the News
- CPS roundtable calls for more bilingual teachers, services for migrant students | Sun-Times
- Chicago Public Schools asks for more resources for 5K newly enrolled migrant students | ABC-7
- Many of Chicago’s migrant students may be entitled to bus service. But are schools telling them? | Chalkbeat
- Student Loan Forgiveness: Biden Approves Another Nearly $5 Billion In Debt Relief For 74,000 Borrowers | Forbes
- Two suburban Catholic schools to close months after scholarship tax credit program expires, archdiocese says | Tribune