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Since 2010, the Chicago Teachers Union has recognized that our path forward—while not easy—is clear. Our school communities must have a different governing structure, progressive revenue for a new funding formula and a stronger voice for educators in order to secure the schools Chicago children deserve.

We are working to unwind harmful legislative actions that have created a second-tier school district, and resulted in declining revenue and corrupt governance. Over the past month, several CTU-backed bills have passed out committee and need your support to pass out of the House chamber.

  1. We need an elected representative school board. HB1774 (Martwick) passed out of committee with an 18-1 vote and is currently on the House floor.

  2. We need to cap the runaway and unwieldy expansion of privately managed charter operators. HB3567 (Guzzardi) passed out of committee. The bill establishes a cap on charters in financially strapped districts. Once again, the bill to decommission the unelected and unaccountable Illinois State Charter School Commission—HB768 (Welch)—is out of committee and on the House floor.

  3. We need revenue. HB3393 (Welch) recently passed out of the House Revenue Committee. This bill establishes a “privilege tax.” Private equity and hedge funds earn $4.8 billion per year in under-taxed income. This privilege tax captures the revenue lost through this loophole and provides an estimated $500,000,000 in revenue to the state per year. HB3720 (Harper) is a tax increment finance (TIF) reform bill that will bring true transparency to TIFs and provide funds for special education and trauma services in our schools.

  4. We must restore the full collective bargaining rights of Chicago educators. In 1995, a Republican-controlled Illinois General Assembly along with a Republican governor enacted legislation that was designed to undermine collective bargaining rights for teachers only in the city of Chicago. This legislation contributed greatly to oversized classrooms; the loss of experienced teachers; the decline of Black and Latino teachers through runaway privatization; and created the basis for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” and the Senate’s so-called “Grand Bargain.” HB1253 (Tabares) will repeal this madness. This bill passed out of committee on a partisan roll call and is on the House floor.

Use the form below to automatically address a letter to your state representative about a number of important bills that the Chicago Teachers Union supports. The CTU has drafted language that outlines the importance of these bills, but you should feel free to add details about how lack of adequate funding, lack of democracy, and lack of voice in key issues affect you personally. Please be mindful to leave the bill numbers and the word “support” in the subject line of your letter.

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Chicago Teachers Union