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Thanks to members’ advocacy during the 2019 strike, our union won an additional $25 million in sports funding across the term of the 2019-24 Agreement. The contract creates a joint CTU-CPS Sports Committee that is charged with allocating that money to increase coaches’ pay and make it more equitable, and provide additional resources for CPS student-athletes.

CPS was forced, due to the work of our rank-and-file, and CTU staff and leadership, to provide the unspent $5 million in sports funding from 2019-20 that it claimed had been “swept up” into general operating funds and no longer available for sports. This money will now go entirely to the purchase of equipment, uniforms, supplies and transportation for CPS student-athletes, and be distributed amongst schools as provided in the agreement reached by the committee:

  1. For the 2020-21 school year, and in recognition of past service, high school athletic directors and elementary school sports liaisons will receive a one-time payment of $4,496.
  2. For the 2020-21 school year, all CPS elementary and high school sports coaches will receive a one-time payment of $2,246.
  3. For FY22, FY23 and FY24, $1.5 million per year will be devoted to additional payments to elementary and high school coaches, (If the number of coaches across the school district remains the same as it is now, those additional payments will be $835 per coach.)
  4. For the 2020-21 school year, elementary school sports liaisons will receive a $1,200 stipend per season. For FY22, FY23 and FY24, $1.1 million per year will be devoted to elementary school sports liaison stipends. (If the number of liaisons remains the same as it is now, those stipends will be $1,145 per season.)
  5. For the 2020-21 school year, high school athletic directors will receive an additional $4,000 payment. For FY22, FY23 and FY24, $372,000 per year will be devoted to additional payments to high school athletic directors. (If the number of liaisons remains the same as it is now, those stipends will be $3,835 per year.)
  6. For FY22, FY23 and FY24, CPS will allocate $1.5 million per year to providing athletic training services for CPS high school athletic programs. For FY23 and FY24, CPS will provide additional funding beyond the $1.5M per year to ensure that all CPS high schools have athletic training service coverage.
  7. $5 million, and all other unspent additional sports funds under the agreement, will be devoted to the purchase of sports equipment, uniforms, supplies and transportation for CPS student-athletes. Schools will spend their portion of these funds as determined by their athletic director or sports liaison in consultation with their school’s coaches.

Our staff, officers and rank-and-file sports committee members — Wendy Weingarten, Linda Peete and Lynn Gerbec — did fantastic work on this across several months of contentious meetings with CPS. And we will need more advocacy like this from educators throughout the city as we demand that Mayor Lightfoot and CPS use $2 billion in federal recovery dollars to significantly invest in providing basic resources in all of our schools.

Please be sure to sign our petition and answer a few questions about your own school community. How would you like to see the $2 billion for our schools spent? How important are vaccinations against COVID-19 in ensuring students safely returning to Chicago public schools in the fall? What are your priorities for the upcoming year?

And remember, when we fight we win. And when we win, so do our students and their families.