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Professional Educator License Renewal Summary of Changes

by ctu communications  |  July 31, 2015

Public Act 98-0610
Professional Educator License Renewal
Summary of Changes
Updated July 28, 2015


In the fall of 2013 the General Assembly passed SB 0578 which became Public Act 98-0610 when it was signed into law on December 27, 2013. This new law has made several important  changes to  the requirements  for the renewal of the Professional Educator License. In the new system of professional development renewal requirements, CPDUs will no longer be counted; instead, actual hours of engagement in the approved professional activity will be counted.

Please click here to download the complete list of changes as a PDF

Marshall H.S. teacher and coach, paralyzed saving daughter's life, needs your help

by ctu communications  |  July 29, 2015

ILLUSTRATION: Shawn HarringtonOn January 31 of 2014, Shawn Harrington was driving his oldest daughter to school, part of his morning routine, when he stopped at a red light in Chicago.

What happened next was captured on video by security cameras at a grocery store. 

Two gunmen, mistaking Shawn for a rival gang member, ran to his car and opened fire. He dove on top of his daughter and pushed her down. A bullet penetrated Shawn’s upper back, bounced off his vertebrae, pierced his lung, and exited through his back. One bullet grazed his shoulder.

The next bullet hit her headrest.

Still piled on top of his daughter, Shawn calmed the girl – whose life, Chicago police say now, he’d undoubtedly saved – and called 911. He never lost consciousness, but he had no feeling in his legs.

Anyone living in Chicago these days knows how common gunplay has become, especially amongst teenagers. This time it was a clumsy case of mistaken identity, and the shooters – recent dropouts – were quickly caught.

But this story was very different.

Please click here to continue reading at

Street theater protest to demand the mayor and city council stop cuts to classroom

July 28, 2015


In reaction to the announcement of yet another year of budget cuts for district-run schools, parents will bring a reminder to city council that multiple years of cuts have already left students with a skeletal school system. With bare-bones budgets, children are getting a bare-bones education.  There is nothing more to cut.  Instead of more cuts to classrooms, parents are demanding that city leaders stop handing over scarce public dollars to private contractors, charters operators, and the mayor’s TIF slush fund.

WHAT: Street theater protest to demand the mayor and city council stop cuts to classroom

WHERE: Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Press conference at 9am followed by march to City Council chambers

WHO: Mothers of public school students from across the city
Our schools have been starved of resources. Budgets have been cut to the bone again and again.

Students around the city have already been going without art, music, sports, world languages, after-school programming and field trips. Class sizes continue to grow---with 30, 40 or even 50 children, even in kindergarten classes. Every year there are not only fewer teachers, but fewer nurses, librarians, guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, cafeteria workers and janitors.  Schools lack library books, art supplies, musical instruments—even copy paper, hand soap and toilet paper.

Schools with peeling paint, leaking roofs, crumbling schoolyards will now have only half-time building engineers—and this is on top of the slashing of janitorial staff after CPS privatized cleaning through multi-million dollar contract for Aramark.

With the most recent cuts, losses to district-run schools since 2013 will total $300 million, not including the closure of 50 neighborhood schools. In addition to the $60 million in school-level budget cuts for 2015, there will also be district-wide cuts for building engineers, special ed assistants, bussing and coaches.

We demand that the mayor and city council do everything in their power to end public school austerity:

  • Shut down the corrupt TIF program where companies — including Grossinger Toyota, UPS, Vienna Beef, Wrigley, Marriott, Village Green Developers — receive tax dollars that should be going to schools, and millions are buried in accounts with no transparency.

  • Open ZERO new charter schools. Every side of the city has protested charter expansion in recent months, North, South and West.  Cannibalizing existing schools to feed new ones is unacceptable.

  • Lay off central office personnel before school employees. No school-level employees should be fired unless more central office departments are eliminated.

  • Cancel CPS contracts with testing and software companies and expensive outside consultants.


DePaul Stadium Naming Rights

by erika wozniak  |  July 28, 2015

In light of the budget crisis in Chicago, we feel it is reasonable to ask for a portion of the money made on this stadium deal to be given back to Chicago Public Schools to help fund our students' education so that someday they will be able to get into a wonderful university such as DePaul.

We ask that DePaul University donate the proceeds of the naming rights of its future stadium back to Chicago Public Schools. As Chicago taxpayers are helping to fund this stadium, we ask, in the spirit of St. Vincent DePaul, that the university steps up and gives back to the deserving students of Chicago Public Schools.
ILLUSTRATION: Sign the Petition

NW Side United for Neighborhood Schools

by ctu communications  |  July 27, 2015

Logan Square neighborhood elementary and high schools lost $4 million in the latest round of budget cuts. Many of these cuts affect our most vulnerable students such as diverse learners and English Language Learners.

The Chicago Teachers Union is partnering with parents, students, local elected officials and our community partners Illinois Raise Your Hand the Logan Square Neighborhood Association to call on Chicago Public Schools leadership to restore cuts to staff and programs. We will call for progressive revenue solutions that will provide working families with fully funded neighborhood schools.

ILLUSTRATION: Illinois Centennial Monument

Join us for an important neighborhood rally on Tuesday, July 28 at 9:30 a.m., at the historic Illinois Centennial Monument ("the Eagle") intersection of North Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard.

Let's stand together with parents and students for the schools our children deserve!

Tuesday, July 28
9:30 a.m.
Illinois Centennial Monument  

I will be there!

WBEZ: Why are there fewer black teachers in CPS?

by Natalie Moore - wbez  |  July 27, 2015

A few weeks before the school year ends, Taree Porter leads word drills with her second graders and reads a Judy Blume classic amid the din of giggles.

Porter, a teacher for 14 years, is black and comes from a family of Chicago Public Schools educators.

Just 15 years go, 40 percent teachers in CPS schools were black. Today, it’s 23 percent. Many black students are segregated into majority black schools—like National Teachers Academy in the South Loop, where Porter teaches.

The fact that she's among a dwindling demographic isn't lost on Porter. And all this change didn’t occur in a vacuum. Modern education reform in Chicago started in 1995 and ramped up in the following years.

Please click here to continue reading at

Judge rules against the unconstitutionality of Emanuel’s pension ‘reform’

by jesse sharkey - ctu vice president  |  July 24, 2015

CHICAGO—Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey released the following statement in wake of today’s ruling on city pensions:

Today, Judge Rita Novak ruled that the pension promises made to our city’s dedicated servants cannot—and should not—be broken. Just as the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in May, the pension clause of the Illinois Constitution ‘is a statement by the people of Illinois, made in the clearest possible terms, that the authority of the legislature does not include the power to diminish or impair the benefits of membership in a public retirement system.’

This ruling ensures that Chicago’s budget woes won’t be balanced on the backs of those who have provided decades of dedicated service to this city, and we are happy that those who have made great sacrifices in contributing to the fabric of public services will not have their retirement benefits taken away from them. 

In light of today’s ruling, as well as the Illinois Supreme Court ruling concerning attempts to diminish the benefits of members of the state pension systems, we urge the City to forgo appeal and, instead, to focus its efforts on implementing a fair and constitutional solution to its funding obligations and seeking revenue options such as supporting a LaSalle Street tax and a progressive income tax, suing big banks for toxic swap agreements, and declaring the maximum tax increment financing surplus possible.

CTU VP Sharkey talks 'broke on purpose' with WGN Radio

by brian jones - wgn radio  |  July 24, 2015

The Chicago School Board voted unanimously to borrow $1.2 billion through bonds that the Chicago Teachers Union Vice President, Jesse Sharkey, says makes little financial sense. Click here to listen.

Chicago Teachers Union VP, Jesse Sharkey
(Antonion Perez; Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Teachers Union VP, Jesse Sharkey (Antonion Perez; Chicago Tribune)

IL Raise Your Hand: Special ed cuts and resources if you need assistance

by illinois raise your hand  |  July 23, 2015

CPS has announced numerous cuts to special ed positions, and today we learned from Access Living that CPS is consolidating some self-contained classrooms and informing parents via letter that their children will start at a new school in the fall.

If you are a parent who needs assistance in this area, below are some resources:

Non-Profit Organizations

Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (Attorney) (must be referred by medical source) 180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 2110 Chicago, IL 60601 Phone: 312.605.1974 Website:

Equip for Equality (Attorney) (must meet eligibility requirements) 20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60602 Phone: 312-341-0022

JCFS Legal Advocacy Center (Attorney) 216 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: 312.673.2740 Website:

Legal Assistance Foundation (Attorney) (must meet eligibility requirements unless student is a foster child through DCFS) 120 S. LaSalle, Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: 312.341.1070 Website:


Educational Advocacy and Consulting (Advocate) 50 S. Main Street, Suite 200 Naperville, IL 60540 Phone: 630 624-3784 Website:

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (Advocate) 20 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 300 Chicago, IL 60604 Phone: 312.939.3513

Jean Kulczyk (Advocate) 102 Willow Dr. Waukegan, IL 60087 Phone: 224.730.0303 Email:

North Shore Pediatric Therapy (Advocate) 950 Lee Street Des Plaines, IL 60017 Phone: 877.486.4140 Website:

Pam Labellarte (Advocate) From Advocacy to Action 231 Bingham Circle Mundelein, IL 60060 Phone: 847.401.5053 Email: Website:

Attorneys (some do low bono and sliding scale)

Law Offices of Charles P. Fox (Attorney) 355 West Dundee, Suite 209 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 Phone: 847.205.9897 Website:

Children’s Law Group (Attorney) 142 E Ontario St, Ste 525 Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-265-1055 Email: Website: Christine 

K. Wee, Esq. (Attorney) 1155 W Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL 60614 Phone: 617.869.2983 Email:

Matt Cohen & Associates (Attorney) 155 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 715 Chicago, IL 60601 Phone: 866.787.9270 Website:

Mauk & O’Connor (Attorney) 1427 W. Howard Chicago, IL 60626 Phone: 773.262.2377 Website: 

Law Office of Maureen Graves (Attorney) Phone: 714.378.5100 Email:

Sabrina Shafer, Esq. (Attorney) Breaking Autism, Inc. Phone: 847.849.7917 Email: Website: Law 

Office of Sandra E. StrassmanAlperstein (Attorney) 113 N. McHenry Rd. #134 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 Phone: 847.293.9311 Website: Whitted,

Takiff & Hansen 3000 Dundee Rd. Northbrook, IL 60062 Phone: 847.564.8662 Website:

Boycott Bank of America

by ctu communications  |  July 22, 2015

ILLUSTRATION: Boycott Bank of America

Chicago Teachers Union