The board voted to mandate daily PE for high schools and elementary schools yesterday.
Many board members expressed concern that schools would have to make cuts in other areas as CPS is also asking schools to include 2 hours of arts instruction per week for students, yet they voted on the policy. The city will be using $21 million in TIF surplus funds to hire 84 PE and 84 art teachers to cover these mandates. But CPS cut roughly 180 arts teachers alone last year and the majority of schools could not offer 2 hours of arts instruction prior to these cuts. We see increased arts and PE as a positive development but it must come with the funds to implement it and while 84 PE and 84 arts teachers is a start, it will not cover the staffing needs for the whole district. Furthermore, the TIF funds (as the Mayor has often reminded us) are a short-term fix and do not allow for sustainable programming.
We need the district to increase per-pupil funding to our schools and we need state funding to improve to our schools. If you want to join us on these initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org.