Yesterday we learned that the CTU set at strike date for October 11th. 95% of the 90% of members who voted authorized a strike. Now there will be an intensive 10-day period of bargaining between CPS and CTU. Our hope is that there will be a rapid and fair resolution before a strike takes effect.
We also learned this week that 13,804 fewer students are enrolled in the district this year and consequently CPS will cut nearly $25 million more from the budgets of the 306 schools with lower-than-projected enrollment. This means more cuts to classrooms on top of this summer’s losses. Raise Your Hand is pushing for every unallocated TIF dollar to go back to our schools and for the city and state to provide sustainable, stable and equitable funding to our district. Please continue to call your alderman and demand that they support a higher TIF surplus to our schools.
The issues CPS and CTU are bargaining over are complex, and in the coming days there will be considerable spin and simplification in the media as tensions rise. We urge school communities -- parents and teachers -- to have respectful dialogues about issues and concerns.
Raise Your Hand does not have a position on what the exact terms of a CTU-CPS contract should be, and we are not privy to the latest proposals on the table. Nevertheless, we believe that the district can make a more favorable offer than it has to date. Cook County Clerk David Orr has reported TIF districts will collect $461 million in TIF revenue this year alone, $89 million more than last year. It is absurd that CPS is only receiving $32 million of these TIF dollars at a time when so many of our schools are suffering. Returning more is essential if CPS needs more to avert a strike.