CHICAGO, June 14, 2021 — The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement regarding today’s appointment of Dr. Jose Torres as interim Chicago Public Schools CEO — the district’s seventh in the past 10 years:
The position of Chicago Public Schools CEO will be tasked with working in partnership with all stakeholders, in a dignified and respectful manner, toward bringing stability to our district. This tone must be set by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for all of her appointees to follow, so it is not just important to have a working relationship with educators, but also a courteous and cohesive partnership with the mayor and her staff. In addition, democracy has to be at the forefront of everything our district does in providing services for hundreds of thousands of CPS children and families, so support for an elected representative school board is essential to providing Chicagoans a long sought-after voice in district policy and decision-making.
Trauma support, special education and bilingual education resources, and equitable spending of federal funding remain high priorities for families and educators. As president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Math and Science Academy in west suburban Aurora, Dr. Torres sought to increase revenue and ensured that school community had a broad curriculum with opportunities for experiential learning, smaller class sizes and wraparound supports — all of which are vital for a safe return to school buildings in the fall.
Chicago public school students, families and educators deserve no less.
CPS needs leaders who are true proponents of equity and labor, and we hope that Dr. Torres respects and embraces the hard work and sacrifice that teachers, clinicians, paraprofessionals, counselors and librarians bring to their school communities. We invite him to meet with educators, hear their concerns, and make CPS families and school communities public and active participants in securing a permanent district CEO.
We look forward to a collegial and collaborative relationship with Dr. Torres in enforcing our agreements with CPS, and returning safely to school buildings in the fall.