Need for greater investment in neighborhood classrooms, after-school programs and sustainable community schools

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) issued the following statement on the need for continued investment in the Chicago Public Schools to provide students the schools they deserve:

In a press conference hosted at Dyett High School—a sustainable community school with an innovative arts curriculum, community partnerships and a wealth of extracurricular activities won after a dozen community members staged a month-long hunger strike—district leaders highlighted some of the common metrics that provide a limited view of schools. Graduation rates and scholarship offers matter. But so, too, do programs like Career and Technical Education (CTE) that allow students to enter the workforce with real skills without taking on college debt and arts programs that encourage children to nourish their creativity and expression that don’t show up on state-mandated tests.

For far too long, we have measured our success by standardized tests and data points that don’t center our students, their learning or lived-experiences. Now more than ever, CPS must embark on a strategy that uplifts classroom learning, invests in extracurricular programming and values an engaging curriculum that inspires students to think critically about the world around them.

For current students and the ones who will follow them, we as a city must redouble our efforts to provide broad and engaging curriculum, opportunities for play and curiosity and expression, a library with a librarian, having a nurse and a social worker in every school to heal the physical and mental traumas our students face, and budget and financial stability and predictability for every school so that the real progress made can be sustained.

Here is the truth, people love their public schools and value public education. Now is the time to ensure that those values are met with adequate investments in our students, working families and their communities.”

The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 300,000 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