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Special education taskforce press conference, protest today to demand CPS fund special education, stop targeting whistleblowers

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Special Education Taskforce joins parents, students and special education advocates today at 4:30 p.m. for a press conference and protest at the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Network 7 office, 4655 S. Dearborn St. The actions are in response to CPS combining budgets for special education and general education while slashing special education funding citywide. Under CEO Forrest Claypool, CPS has also quadrupled its auditing budget to target special education whistleblowers such as Sarah Chambers of Saucedo Elementary and Jessie Hudson of Beidler Elementary.

CPS routinely employs policies and tactics designed to deny or delay the provision of services to students with disabilities in blatant violation of their civil rights, according to special education parent advocates. Instead of lobbying for progressive revenue to fully fund special education, the district reallocated special education money into the salaries of district representatives, who then denied and reduced special education services in Chicago’s public schools.  

“Ever since CPS commingled the special education and general education budgets, we’ve seen mass cuts to our schools’ special education programs, where principals are often forced into making a decision to cut general staff to fund public education,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “CPS needs to separate the budgets and fully fund special education to be in compliance with special education law.”

WHO:

 

CTU Special Education Taskforce, CPS parents with children in special education, special education teachers and disability rights organizations.

WHAT:

 

Special education funding press conference and protest.

WHEN:

 

Thursday, May 11 at 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:

 

Chicago Public Schools Network 7 office

4655 S. Dearborn St.

WHY:

 

The demonstration is organized to demand that: CPS separate the commingled special education and general education budgets; CPS reallocate money from special education district representative salaries to special education programs in Chicago schools; and CPS stop targeting special education whistleblowers who speak out about CPS breaking special education law.

Chicago Teachers Union