8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 22: Press conference at CPS Headquarters to demand great attention be paid by CPS, City Hall, and Charter operators to the classroom resources and wraparound services necessary to meet the needs of newly placed migrants in Chicago.
CHICAGO–On Wednesday, educators, school support personnel, and community members will host a press conference laying out many of the dismal conditions faced in Chicago’s public schools by existing and new immigrant students. This press conference comes on the heels of increased mental trauma seen in our city’s public schools due to the harms worsened by the covid-19 and violence and caused by a lack of community investment by CPS and city hall.
With the increased number of migrant students arriving in Chicago due to immoral policies by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, many of these young asylum seekers have been placed in Chicago public schools that already lacked the necessary resources to meet the basic educational need of their current student population. And with the many deep-seated social and emotional needs connected with the migration process, these schools are more overstretched now than ever.
At the same time, Chicago charter operators have not been asked to step up and do their part to help the district provide for the current wave of migrant students.
For educators and school support personnel working directly with these students and their families daily, the acute lack of resources in already underinvested school buildings has created a crisis that jeopardizes entire school communities. Unionized charter operators have added to the crisis by continuing to reject CTU proposals for sanctuary schools—measures designed to provide protection and support for students, families and educators– even when Chicago Public Schools has adopted these protections for migrant communities in their agreement with the union.
Educators in Chicago appreciate when Mayor Lightfoot states that we are a welcoming city. Regrettably, City Hall and CPS are unwilling to invest and ensure that the “welcome” extends to our city’s classrooms and school buildings. Beyond just that, it seems clear by the lack of migrant enrollment City Hall is unwilling to hold charter school operators accountable to their mission of educating all the students of this city.
With numerous charter schools failing to meet city standards for bilingual education as part of their charter renewal process, charter educators call upon the Board of Education to protect migrant students, their families, and the entire education community by demanding that charter operators negotiate over these critical issues.
To improve conditions for migrants students, their families, and our city’s most underresourced public and charter schools, now is the time to allocate more resources to schools accepting large numbers of migrant students, enhance our school nursing pipeline and increase resources to the Students in Transitional Living Situations including allot more staffing to schools that need that support.
CTU Educators Press Conference on Refugee Students
Chicago Public Schools Headquarters
42 W. Madison St
Chicago, IL 60602
- Maria Moreno, CTU Financial Secretary
- Jen Conant, CTU Charter Division Chair
- Kee Taylor, Clark High School music teacher
- Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez
- Ald. Rossana Rodriguez
- And other union and community leaders.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023