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Parent, teacher protest today in push for classroom funding, against budget cuts

Educators holding financial district protest today in continued push for classroom funding, against year-end cuts

CHICAGO—Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) parents and special education activists will gather today in the heart of the Chicago Loop financial district to protest budget cuts to Chicago’s public schools, and continue their push for classroom funding and against any year-end cuts planned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and handpicked CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. The protest will culminate in direct action against a recipient of the mayor’s corporate tax breaks.

Tax increment financing (TIF) and a corporate head tax are real options to raise revenue for schools, but educators and families remain concerned that the mayor will provide just the minimum for children and make up the difference through another round of school-level budget cuts. Yesterday, the CTU issued findings that showed that $400 million has been cut from classrooms by Emanuel and Claypool over the past two years.

“If the mayor’s ‘hard choices’ of the past were to slash school budgets and lay off hardworking teachers and staff, then today’s ‘difficult decisions’ should be to demand that the wealthy pay their fair share,“ CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. “The big banks and corporations in this city are who he and his City Council allies are choosing to protect if they choose not to fully fund CPS.”

WHO:

 

Chicago Teachers Union officers and members, Chicago Public Schools parents and special education activists

WHAT:

 

Financial district protest and direct action for Chicago public school funding

WHEN:

 

Thursday, May 18 at 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:

 

Board of Trade Plaza near Jackson Blvd. and LaSalle St. (pedestrian plaza immediately east of the Chicago Board of Trade Building—141 W. Jackson)

WHY:

 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to avoid any responsibility for funding schools by placing all blame for the CPS budget crisis onto Gov. Bruce Rauner and Springfield has failed. He is feeling pressure to raise Chicago money for CPS, and a growing set of Chicago City Council members are calling for action on CTU revenue demands. The mayor is increasingly likely to act, but we know he will do the minimum possible and come up with the rest through additional cuts. CTU members are continuing their fight to win enough funding to block year-end cuts and to restore what has already been slashed from school budgets.

Chicago Teachers Union