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The following resolution was adopted at the May 4, 2022 House of Delegates meeting.

In a school district that was already underfunding its schools, the COVID-19 pandemic has further stretched insufficient resources to a breaking point. The pandemic is far from over and our students and schools need increased support in the form of overall school staff, but particularly in areas that impact social emotional development such as nurses, psychologists, social workers, youth intervention specialists, STLS Advocates, sport coaches, restorative justice coordinators and counselors.

WHEREAS teachers are leaving the profession in droves after years of being treated as disposable rather than professionals. We have experienced the pandemic both with great personal loss and with loss within our school communities. Teachers have had to “reinvent” the wheel and be measured under outdated systems designed under pre-covid conditions. We know that good teaching conditions, such as small class sizes, enough resources, proper staffing, are essential to creating safe and stimulating learning environments, and

WHEREAS our students and their families have had to adjust to new ways of learning, while their teachers were adjusting to new ways of teaching. Prior opportunities to socialize and learn have been transformed and our students deserve more than ever fully staffed and fully resourced schools, and

WHEREAS we recognize that Student Based Budgeting (SBB) has harmed our schools for the last several years, and with declining enrollment on the rise, we must urgently act to dismantle our current funding formula and create a new formula that helps elevate our schools and communities with declining enrollment, and

WHEREAS the pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx families in Chicago with COVID deaths at 42% and 30% respectively, doubling down on years of disinvestment caused by school closures and gentrification, and

WHEREAS CPS has announced a plan to cut $42 million dollars, resulting in cuts in over 40% of our schools for the 2023 school year. Some of the areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 are also most affected by budget cuts, and

WHEREAS CTU members invested in their communities fought hard as supporters of the Right to Recovery Coalition to win relief money for rental assistance and distribution of American Recovery Relief Act (ARRA) funds into the hands of working families, and

WHEREAS thanks to hard fought organizing victories, Chicago Public Schools now has a pot of $370M in unspent rescue funds that must be spent in the next year, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the CTU call for an increase in funding for our schools and students next year to provide the resources our students need; and be it further

RESOLVED that the CTU call for access to recovery funds and resources for all of our students, and especially those in Black and Latinx communities; and be it further

RESOLVED that the CTU demands from CPS that school budgets to be held harmless, and more money be allocated to our schools to ensure we have all of the tools to provide a safe and robust school year; and be it further

RESOLVED that the CTU demand that Chicago Public Schools commit to use the unspent rescue money for next year’s budget and commit to a policy of no cuts to school budgets for school year 2023, as schools and families continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic; and be it finally

RESOLVED that Chicago Teachers Union encourages members to fight these budget cuts by:

  • Supporting and amplifying the work of our allies at the #FreeOurFunds campaign, including supporting their community canvasses, where possible
  • Scheduling meetings with elected officials, school delegates, leadership, and community members to talk about the impacts of the proposed cuts on communities and call on elected officials to pressure Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her appointed school board to serve schools and communities
  • Flyering outside schools that are most impacted by the proposed cuts in order to recruit parents and teachers to the campaign
  • Attending the rally at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, April 27th at 9:00 a.m. in your CTU gear to call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her appointed school board to spend the recovery money and commit to not cutting school budgets.

FAQ / Resources

Raise Your Hand campaign

Budget cuts by ward

Sign up link for BOE (must register by April 25th at 10am)

http://publish.illinois.edu/projectformiddleclassrenewal/files/2019/09/Student-Based-Budgeting-report.pdf