“Our members are resolved to continue working, teaching their students and doing so safely,” President Sharkey said. “Only the mayor can force a strike, and if it comes to that, that’s her choice. We choose safety.”
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General CTU Announcement
“Grade-In” brings light to toxic deals between CPS and banks.
On Saturday, June 4th, over 50 Chicago teachers armed with papers to grade and lessons to plan descended upon three Bank of America locations in the Belmont-Cragin, Pilsen, and South Shore neighborhoods to bring light to the fact that these banks are bleeding Chicago Public Schools $36 million each year in deals called “swaps.” Teachers demanded that the swaps be renegotiated, which could help fix the CPS budget, providing around $120 million for the children of Chicago.
The banks that hold swaps for Chicago Public Schools are Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Royal Bank of Canada and Loop Capital LLC. Some banks received public dollars when “bailed out,” but aren’t extending that understanding to a school system that serves the community from which it reaps its profits. They did so by simply doing what they always do with their free time: prepare lessons and grade papers.
In Pilsen, teachers started working inside the bank, but were quickly asked to leave. They continued their grading outside and talked to the community about the issues.
“Residents offered to pull their accounts out of Bank of America after learning about the swaps,” recounted Norine Gutekanst, CTU Organizing Director.
The scene was similar in Belmont-Cragin and South Shore. Teachers were delighted to have a common space for to work with fellow CTU members and reach out to the community. More grade-ins are being planned.
CTU is encouraging members to bring this idea to their school communities. If you are interested in participating, contact Gutekanst at [email protected].