RYH Meeting with School Board President, David Vitale

This week members of Raise Your Hand met with David Vitale and Abigayil Joseph, the President of the school board and the Chief of Staff to the Board President to discuss the extended day situation and associated funding issues. Continue reading

Longer School Day info from CPS Task Force

On Tuesday, December 13th, CPS’s Longer School Day Advisory committee meeting held it’s third meeting. Raise Your Hand has a seat at this table and we felt it was important to share recent information and key dates with you our membership.  Continue reading

What does the school day look like in other districts around Illinois?

The average length of the school day across the state and country is 6.5 hours. We thought it would be interesting to start looking at how other school districts in this state use their time. We are finding that many districts have more time for PE, recess/lunch, social studies, arts, etc.  Feel free to add your thoughts or other info on districts. This schedule doesn't address class size or funding. As we know, the way IL funds education through a heavy reliance on property taxes causes inequity. Per pupil spending varies greatly in this state but it's still important to see what the kids in Chicago are getting now as we try and craft a better plan for next school year, and compare it to what other students in our state are getting in their school day. Continue reading

CPS Plans to Approve 12 New Charters at Board meeting tomorrow

Yesterday it was reported that CPS plans to build twelve new charter schools over the next two years. According to the Chicago News Cooperative, “Noble Charter School Network will open four new high schools, the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and LEARN Charter School Network will open three new elementary schools each and Catalyst Schools will open a new elementary school. Additionally, the early childhood development non-profit Christopher House will open it’s first elementary school, which is expected to house a family resource center, in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.” Continue reading

December 2011 Update

Raise Your Hand has been busy as usual working to bring a stronger parent voice to policy-making at CPS.  We have held three community forums since September on the longer day, in North Center, West Garfield Park with the Progressive Action Coalition for Education and in Beverly. In Garfield Park and Beverly, we were able to have representatives from CPS and the CTU to answer your questions, and we plan to have more forums in the coming months with the goal of hearing from different parents in different communities on their thoughts and concerns over this issue. Continue reading

Voters Decide the Funding of Illinois Schools

Along with filling President Obama’s old senate seat, choosing the state’s next governor, deciding whether or not to amend the Illinois constitution, and determining the fate of copious judges, many Illinois residents were also asked to vote on various education referenda. Individual school boards vote to put these bond issues and tax hikes on the ballot in an effort to increase the funding to their school district. Once on the ballot, these school boards hope their communities will vote “yes” to the referendum, there by creating an influx of cash into the local education system. Here are a few education referenda results from the Illinois November 2, 2010 election: Continue reading

The 2011 CPS Budget in a Nutshell

On Monday several Raise Your Hand members met with CPS Chief Financial Officer Diana Ferguson and Budget Director Christina Herzog to learn about CPS' proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget. Drew Beres (Ron Huberman's Assistant) was also in the meeting. Attached is a copy of the presentation they gave us (excellent overview and suggested reading), and the full CPS budget book can be downloaded athttp://cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Pages/FYBudget2011.aspx. Continue reading

CPS Draft Guidelines for School Closings

CPS has released draft guidelines for school closings. They are having two community hearings and will receive comments on the draft guidelines through 11/21/11. They plan to release their list of school closings on 12/1/11. Continue reading

Next CPS Task Force Meeting: This Tuesday 9/1

CPS is holding the second longer day task force meeting this Tuesday. Please continue to share your thoughts on this issue with us. We will be attending these meetings throughout the year with the goal of bringing back input from our members on how the day should be shaped for next fall. Share your thoughts, concerns, views on this topic here. What do you want to see more of and less of at your child's school for next year? What is missing in the current day?

Call to Action from Healthy Schools Campaign on Physical Education Waiver Policy at CPS

This is an important campaign. For years, CPS has been signing a waiver to get out of the state's required minutes for physical education for our children. Mr. Brizard is reviewing this policy right now and HSC has created a very easy way to contact CPS to let them know you value physical education and think it's beneficial to your child's learning. Check it out here: http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/getinvolved/action/pe-waivers.php