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CTU Response to Rahm’s 950 CPS Layoffs

by CTU Communications  |  08/07/2017

CHICAGOThe Chicago Teachers Union released the following statement in response to the Chicago Public Schools announcement of more than 950 layoffs:

Once again, Mayor Emanuel has topped Governor Rauner’s ruthlessness towards Chicago’s public school students with his own savage, short-sighted response, by further stripping to the bone schools that he’s forced to function in a climate of civic abandonment and the violence that his neglect has caused. The Chicago Public Schools revenue stream is more than $1 billion short of the funding necessary to support the schools our students deserve. Yet Rahm and Rauner continue shadow boxing over how to avoid responsibility for our students, while our schools and the communities that they anchor suffer.

At the same time, Emanuel’s insistence on Student Based Budgeting continues to accelerate the removal of Black and Brown women from our school communities — the same women who live in communities ravaged by Great Depression-era levels of unemployment and the hopelessness and violence these conditions generate.

Emanuel continues to refuse to stand up to Rauner's tyranny and fund our schools. Rahm’s slash and burn response instead sets the stage for the closure of dozens of neighborhood high schools and accelerates the exodus of Black and Brown people from the city, putting the lie to the mayor’s lip service on sanctuary in a city that shows nothing but contempt for the needs and rights of children of color.

While Rauner’s high profile veto of SB1 demonstrates his malice toward Chicago’s students, Emanuel cynically uses Governor Rauner as a foil, hoping that Chicagoans will forget that the Mayor’s policies have exacerbated and intensified our public schools’ funding crisis. Emanuel has hundreds of millions of dollars stashed in his corporate slush fund for privileged developers — a massive TIF surplus at his disposal that any moral mayor would use to pay down on the money he owes our schools. At the same time, Emanuel refuses to re-instate the Corporate Head Tax he eliminated at the behest of his wealthy allies, continuing instead to rob millions of potential dollars from classrooms across the city.

The Chicago Teachers Union rejects the games that Emanuel, Claypool and Rauner continue to play with our students’ and our members’ lives. Nearly a thousand devoted educators have had their futures thrown into jeopardy due to the buck-passing at City Hall and in Springfield. Our children, who desperately need those adults in their lives, are the ones who continue to suffer the most. We call on Emanuel, Rauner and Claypool to stop playing games with our students’ futures — and we call on Emanuel use the $1 billion in public funds he already has stashed away for the projects of privileged elites to instead adequately support the schools our students need.

Chicago Teachers Union