Happy Mother’s Day to mothers and all caregivers!

Today, as we prepare for this week’s Lobby Day, I remember when I was a teacher at Englewood Tech Prep High School. My school’s delegate Jackson Potter told me about CTU’s Lobby Day, when CTU members would head to Springfield and tell legislators what our students and schools really need.

That was 20 years ago. Now, we have a real chance to transform our schools through our contract negotiations — but that is only possible with the full funding our students are promised by the State of Illinois.

CPS is more than $1 billion underfunded, according to Gov. Pritzker’s State Board of Education (ISBE) under their Evidence-Based Funding, Illinois’ school funding model. Federal funding during the pandemic covered for the state where it fell short of fully funding our school district. We know what is possible when our schools are fully funded: Chicago was recognized for having some of the highest recovered reading scores of any city in the country post-pandemic. That is because of your hard work and unyielding commitment to our students and school communities. But now that progress is at risk.

This is why hundreds of our union members, parents, students, and community partners will be in Springfield this Wednesday, to demand the full funding we need in this contract for our students and our classrooms.

Read WBEZ’s story about our Lobby Day here.

Let’s be clear: This is not a “wish list” or a request for new money. It is to hold lawmakers accountable for the full funding that the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Pritzker have already committed to our students and communities.

Our students need full funding for paraprofessionals and librarians in every school, green schools, dual language programs, and every other part of our transformative contract proposals. Lawmakers in Springfield must honor their commitment to fully fund Chicago Public Schools.

CPS feels the urgency too. Under our urging, CPS has agreed to release teachers for this Wednesday’s CTU Lobby Day and stand with us to advocate for the full funding of our schools. Join us in Springfield to hold our lawmakers accountable and press them to fully fund our students and schools.

 

Sign up for our Wednesday Lobby Day here.