Tuesday day of action across CPS will flag chronic issues of school safety, staffing, cleanliness, with no relief from $2.6 billion in federal COVID funds.
- 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16: Press conference with CTU rank and file, officers. B-roll opportunity: parent flyering at conclusion. Frazier Prospective IB Magnet ES, 4027 W Grenshaw St, Lawndale.
- 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17: Press conference on chronic lack of cleanliness, staffing, supports. CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison. B-roll visuals will showcase what schools have (mice, roaches, filthy bathrooms) versus what they continue to ‘have-not’ — from a social worker to a school nurse.
CHICAGO — For years, Frazier Prospective IB Magnet Elementary School has struggled with growing staff shortages, lack of resources and failure to address the needs of students with disabilities. Administrators routinely teach unstaffed subjects for students and today the school has no nurse, no case manager, no tech coordinator, and the librarian is being used as a substitute teacher. Frazier’s low-income Black students bear the burden of this manufactured instability and orchestrated lack of resources.
On Tuesday, Frazier’s CTU educators are stepping up about CPS’ failure to adequately support the school — and demand better for every neighborhood school in communities like Lawndale. They’ll hold a press conference with CTU officers and school community members at 7:00 a.m. at the school, at 4027 W. Grenshaw St. on the West Side, then flyer parents about the need to address the resources needed at a school that should be seeing and feeling the impact of over $2 billion in federal recovery funds to help address COVID and its devastating impact on the community.
Public schools across the city are participating in a district-wide day of action on Tuesday to highlight chronic and alarming issues related to lack of safety, cleanliness and staffing in public schools. Shortages of substitute teachers have left students without educators when a teacher is exposed to COVID. CPS’ chronic lack of janitors has left school washrooms filthy, trash unemptied and classrooms unclean. Schoolchildren traumatized by almost two years of COVID and the hardships and inequities that the pandemic has intensified are crying out for social-emotional supports that simply do not exist in schools.
Those issues persist despite $2.6 billion in federal COVID relief that the mayor’s CPS team has received to support students — even as students and educators are seeing little of those supports on the ground.
Frazier’s struggles mirror the challenges of schools across the South and West Sides. The mayor’s CPS team has been lowballing resources at schools across neighborhoods like Lawndale for years, even trying to close three beloved neighborhood schools last year — instead of investing in those long-neglected schools — in a community already hammered by school closures driven by decades of racist disinvestment and civic neglect. At the same time, schools across the district are struggling with the same desperate staff shortages, lack of student supports and uneven safety protocols — from ongoing problems with COVID testing and contact tracing to CPS’ critical shortage of substitute teachers, nurses, social workers and more.
On Wednesday, CTU rank and file educators will take their concerns directly to Mayor Lightfoot’s hand-picked board of education, at a 9:00 a.m. press conference at CPS headquarters, before the board begins its monthly meeting. Educators are joining parents and students to demand that CPS address ongoing issues of cleanliness, safety and staffing. Participants will lift up the distorted dynamic of ‘haves vs. have-nots’ in neighborhood schools, which may have filthy bathrooms and classrooms — but have no school nurse, social worker or substitute teacher for their math class.