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Lightfoot forcing CPS to assume $6 billion in grossly underfunded City pension liabilities in district with backlog of at least $2 billion in urgent facilities needs and desperate shortages of supports for students.

CHICAGO, November 3, 2022 — CTU President Stacy Davis Gates issued the statement below in response to CPS’ public release today of its report, Analysis of District Finances and Entanglements Between the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools.

“This entanglement report clearly shows that Mayor Lightfoot, like Rahm Emanuel before her, continues to choose to use funds that should be supporting our children’s future instead as a piggy bank to balance her City budget.”

“This mayor runs a city and a school district that over the last three years have received more direct support from the federal government than at any time in history. Yet she’s spent little on real needs, from affordable housing to trauma supports for our students – and is instead moving to force $6 billion in pension liabilities that Chicago mayors have failed to pay over the decades onto CPS, while the school district also confronts a backlog of at least $2 billion in urgent facilities needs.

“This mayor has chosen to ignore the needs of students at George Washington High School on the Southeast Side, who worry about the ceiling collapsing on their heads again, while their school’s massive facilities needs go unanswered. This mayor has refused to invest in robust and ongoing trauma supports for our students, while kids in schools from Carson to Marshall continue to confront trauma and violence in and outside of our school communities. Today some of our special education students spend hours on the bus traveling to and from school, simply because this mayor does not care about their transportation needs. That’s a failure of leadership our children and families simply cannot afford.

“Today’s entanglement report lays out the challenges. We know the responsible path forward: a mayor that is committed to real partnership with stakeholders to address the common good needs of our city’s schoolchildren and families – not a mayor who balances her own City budget on the backs of our students for her own political gain.”

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Check out “The School Chicago Students Deserve 3.0”, bringing our groundbreaking 2012 CTU report into the 21st century, with a focus on COVID-19 pandemic recovery and real equity for hundreds of thousands of neglected working class, Black and Latinx students, families and school communities.  

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.