- 9:30 a.m. Wed., August 28: Press conference
CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison, Chicago
$7.7 billion budget cuts funds to over 200 schools, fails to address acute staffing shortages, overcrowding, students’ educational and support needs.
CHICAGO—CTU members will join officers and allies at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison, to call on Mayor Lightfoot’s appointed board to delay a vote on CPS’ proposed 2020 budget.
The union is also demanding that CPS reallocate funds over the next month in the proposed budget to explicitly address dire staffing shortages of social workers, certified school nurses, school psychologists, counselors and other critical frontline staff. Revisions must also address shortages of teachers and paraprofessionals that drive some of the highest class sizes in the state, and pump more resources into classrooms and wrap-around supports for impoverished Black and Brown students who confront high levels of trauma.
CPS has the funds: on average, the district has been raking in over a billion dollars in additional revenues over the last two years, a number that will continue to grow in the coming years.
Yet CPS’ proposed budget cuts funding to over 200 schools by at least $100,000 per school, and cuts funding to over 40 schools by over half a million dollars each. This week CPS suddenly parked additional open—and unfunded—positions in its latest round of position files. But there is no funding directed specifically to those positions in the budget, which actually CUTS the number of funded social worker positions and CUTS funding for librarians and certified school nurses by more than 12% each.
The union has called on CPS to fund more social workers not just for special education students, where there is a dire shortage, but for general education students, as well. In CPS’ proposed FY2020 budget, social workers are budgeted for only nine individual schools, out of more than 500 district-run schools. And the proposed budget actually spends less on classroom supports this year over last, even as the district is receiving more than a billion addtional dollars a year in additional public funds.
The CTU is also pushing for the mayor to 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.