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CTU, Community Partners to lead Board of Education protest over Special Education crisis in Chicago’s public schools

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) will join parents, special education advocates, state representatives and community activists this morning for a 9 a.m. protest at the Chicago Board of Education in response to the continued assault on special education in Chicago Public Schools. The protest comes a day after results of a recent CTU survey of special education teachers showed the magnitude of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s widespread cuts to services for Chicago public school students living with disabilities—cuts that will increase in the wake of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2822, which would have provided $215 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
WHO: Parents, special education advocates, Illinois state representatives, community activists, Chicago Teachers Union members and staff
WHAT: Demonstration, speak out and leafleting at Chicago Board of Education over massive cuts to funding and staff for special education in Chicago’s public schools
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Chicago Board of Education 42 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60602
WHY: Chicago Board of Education members spoke out against a tax increment financing (TIF) ordinance that would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Chicago Public Schools over the next few years. They spoke out against using the tens of millions in TIF surplus funds just put into the CPS budget through the efforts of the Chicago Teachers Union, parent activists and community organizers. They have chosen again and again to cut from special education, protecting corporate handouts and their relationship with the mayor that appointed them, rather than advocating for the funding needed by the schools they control.
Gov. Bruce Rauner made the problem worse last week, adding over $200 million to the CPS budget hole. We have to assume that the Board of Ed plans to address this by cutting even more from special education and struggling schools across the city unless we hear them say they will finally join parents, teachers and community leaders fighting for progressive revenue for our schools. They must support efforts for progressive revenue to fund education in the Illinois State Legislature and demand that Mayor Rahm Emanuel immediately act to protect our schools through the release of additional TIF surplus funds, reinstituting the corporate head tax on large corporations and other means.
Chicago Teachers Union