Increase in evidence-based funding recognizes need to drive more resources to students whose schools have suffered from decades of separate and unequal funding.

CHICAGO, February 20, 2019—CTU President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today in response to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s budget address and a proposed increase this year over funding mandated in the 2017 school funding reform legislation.

“The CTU is very encouraged by the governor’s proposed education budget. The increase in evidence-based funding over the statutory minimum recognizes that Illinois’ challenges with education funding equity are fundamentally rooted in the need to drive more resources to students, like those in CPS, who have suffered from decades of insufficient and unequal school funding. Likewise, increased funding for early childhood education means that the governor recognizes that early education investments are vital for improving students’ outcomes throughout the rest of their schooling. Combined, these supports will mean predictable and increased revenue for CPS.

“CPS must use increased funding not for more pointless experiments but instead programs we know work: lower class sizes, an expansion of sustainable community schools, an increase in social workers and school nurses, and appropriate staffing for special education. CPS must also ensure that charter operators use their additional funds appropriately. Rather than expand administrative bloat and exorbitant management fees for private operators—as was the case at both Acero and CICS, forcing educators to strike to ensure that resources go to students’ classrooms—charter operators need to provide lower class sizes, appropriate student supports and wraparound services, and equal pay for equal work.

“The CTU looks forward to working with an administration that doesn’t view state government as a disease and is instead committed to making the schools Chicago’s students deserve a reality.”

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.