9 a.m, Wednesday, June 28: Press conference outlining the importance of Chicago Public Schools developing a Facilities Master Plan that is environmentally sound and centered around the voices of parents, students, educators and the community.

Location: 42 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60602

CHICAGO — On Wednesday, CTU members, students and community members will hold a press conference demanding that the mayoral-controlled CPS comply with the law and ensure that all the city public schools are healthy, climate-resilient and well resourced to prepare students for the 21st century.

Coming on the heels of CTU’s first annual Environmental Justice (EJ) Freedom School, a program designed to equip students with the means to become agents of environmental change in their communities, the press conference will incorporate the voices of students and their campaign to make sure that their school buildings are safe, welcoming, thriving, green and sustainable for the next generation, which is especially important given the current state of unhealthy air quality throughout Chicago.

Wednesday morning’s press conference comes just months before CPS’ 10-Year Facilities Master Plan is due to city leaders and residents, as mandated under the state facilities law (SB630).

To uplift our city’s public schools, students and educators urge the mayor and his team at CPS to follow the regulations and guidelines in SB630 and make sound investments in green school buildings deeply rooted in the Sustainable Community School model. With far too many public schools located in polluted sections of the city and serving the most vulnerable students and families, now is the time for city leaders to work collectively to secure federal investments and ensure our school district is one that parents, students, educators and community alike can trust and believe in.

With lead pipes and paint, asbestos, PCBs, and outdated HVAC systems pervasive in spaces where CPS students learn, grow and play, the 10-Year Facilities Master Plan needs to be robust and actionable. It should create a roadmap for our city’s schools, including revolutionizing our school buildings with proper Career Technical Education facilities, solar panels, heat pumps and other necessary renovations.

With more funding opportunities available for Green Schools through federal investments from the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Inflation Reduction Act and additional dollars from Springfield, now is the time for the CPS Board to double down and become laser-focused on increasing investments in our classrooms and school buildings.

After the news conference, CTU members and students will testify at the monthly CPS Board meeting.

WHAT: Press Conference demanding CPS create a community-centered 10-Year Facilities Master Plan

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28, 9 a.m.

WHERE: Chicago Board of Education, 42 West Madison St., Chicago, IL 60602

WHO: CTU educators; Environmental Justice Freedom School students; Community Members