Back-to-school resource for parents who have children with IEPs and 504 Plans

Thanks to the RYH Special Education committee for putting this letter together for parents to send to principals before the start of school. We hope to have this translated into Spanish in the next week. Continue reading

CEFTF & CPS 10 Year Educational Facilities Master Plan UPDATE

Below are notes from Joy Clendenning. She attended the CEFTF Master Planning Committee Meeting on July 14, 2016. She includes perspective on the 10 Year Educational Facilities Master Plan as well as information on how you can provide feedback. Continue reading

Parent testimonies from the 7/27/16 CPS Board Meeting

Thanks to the 7 parents who spoke at the Board meeting this month about the real cuts to their schools versus what has been reported, and the need for support from the Board for city revenue ordinances that have been proposed to help offset cuts at all of our schools. Continue reading

CPS Finally Releases School Budgets

School budgets are finally out and LSCs will have until 7/22 to approve budgets. While CPS made the announcement that there will be no cuts to classrooms, many schools will, in fact,  have to make cuts, due to a roughly 7% cut to student-based budgeting from fall 2016 and lower enrollment projections for many schools, as well as what appears to be a 4% across the board cut to special education funds. Special education positions will no longer be allocated from central office but funds will be rolled into school budgets. And while there was partial relief from Springfield, much of this funding is not sustainable and does not cover a still $300M budget hole that CPS has not yet addressed.  Continue reading

Lots of confusion around school budgets!

Due to the way CPS shared information about school budgets this year, there's been a lot of confusion about the amount of money cut at individual schools and across the district as a whole. WBEZ and DNAinfo are now reporting that schools lost $140M (despite CPS saying classrooms will be protected) but many schools are telling us that the numbers still don't reflect what was actually lost. It’s important to note that CPS is still short roughly $300M to balance their budget. Budgets are due today, 7/22, so if you want information on the status of your school budget you should contact your school directly or an LSC member. If you know the actual amount lost, please let us know at Continue reading

IL Drops PARCC for High School Students

In a surprise announcement yesterday, the IL State Board of Education said it would replace PARCC with the SAT, which would be given to high-school juniors. The state still plans to use PARCC for 3-8th grades. Continue reading

Testimony by Cassie Creswell at State Assessment Review Committee Hearing on PARCC- 7/7/16

PARCC is a deeply problematic test. The organizations I am speaking on behalf of today have concerns about (1) the validity and reliability of the PARCC test and the automated algorithms used to score it, (2) the interpretation and use of PARCC scores and (3) the cost of PARCC, especially given the proposed expansion of the PARCC testing program. Continue reading

K-12 Funding Package Gives Partial Relief to CPS

After a year of deadlock, our state passed a stopgap budget that will partially fund services for the next 6 months. They also passed a K-12 package for the year that will offer some relief to CPS. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that school funding won’t be held up from the state, and there will be some increase to CPS and other low-income districts this year, but the amount is not sufficient to meet the full deficit at CPS and we won’t know the true outcome until budgets come out likely mid-July. Continue reading

ACTION ALERT: Legislators in session today- tell them to support SB 2054

The deadline of Thursday at midnight is fast approaching for the state to pass a stopgap budget, and a Pre-K-12 budget to allow schools to open in the fall. Continue reading