• 3:45 p.m. TODAY, Tues, Aug. 20: Press conference, CPS/BOE budget hearings
    CPS central offices, 42 W. Madison, Chicago

CTU officers, rank and file to testify against proposed budget cuts to schools, frontline staff

Proposed FY 2020 CPS budget cuts funding to hundreds of schools, cuts frontline positions that include school nurses, social workers, librarians—in defiance of promises for equity, educational justice.

CHICAGO—Rank-and-file CTU members will join union officers at a press conference at 3:45 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, August 20 at CPS headquarters at 42 W. Madison to lay out their opposition to CPS’ proposed FY2020 budget. Members will then deliver testimony at the Board of Education’s 4:00 p.m. budget hearing at CPS headquarters.

The proposed budget cuts at least $100,000 from the budgets of over 200 schools and cuts budgeted positions for frontline workers—including school nurses, social workers and librarians. Those cuts are in direct contradiction to promises by candidate Lightfoot during her race for mayor, who promised more support for those frontline positions—and real equity for neighborhood public schools.

Officers and rank and file leaders will also answer questions about the status of bargaining between the CTU and CPS for a new contract. Those talks have dragged on for over six months, with very little progress at the table on CTU proposals to create smaller classes, better wages and working conditions to address years of austerity, and acute shortages of teachers, substitutes, paraprofessionals and clinicians.

For eight years, the mayor’s office burdened the district’s overwhelmingly low-income Black and Brown schoolchildren and their school communities with broken promises, chronic austerity and CPS policies driven by the mayor’s political fortunes rather than the needs of students. Candidate Lightfoot promised to end those practices and bring real educational justice and equity to Chicago’s public schools — and the union is depending on her to put those promises in writing.

But CPS has rejected every CTU proposal to put her promises for true educational equity in writing in an enforceable contract. The proposed budget, instead, replicates the bad practices of the past, even as CPS is receiving upwards of a billion dollars a year in additional funding from the State of Illinois and additional public revenue sources.

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.