Phase 1 of Elected-School Board Campaign Complete

Phase 1 of ERSB Campaign Complete! We are very happy to report that as part of CODE (Communities Organized for Democracy in Education), RYH helped turn in 9,768 signatures in 204 precincts and 26 wards on Monday at the Board of Elections. It was a great moment as parents, teachers, students and community members joined together from all corners of the city to hand in the petitions. Raise Your Hand helped to collect signatures in 15 of the 26 wards. Thanks to everyone who spent time working on this campaign! Continue reading

CPS and CTU come to an interim agreement

CPS and Chicago Teachers Union Officials today announced that CPS plans to hire an additional 477 teachers for next school year for subjects to be taught outside the traditional classroom such as art, technology and physical education . This is very good news and we are extremely pleased that both parties have come to an agreement that includes adding staff to CPS’ much under-resourced school day. Continue reading

RYH Fact-Finding Report on the State of CPS

Illinois has no long-term plan to equitably and sustainably fund it's schools Illinois is still 49th in the nation in what the state pays towards education Illinois is ranked one of the most regressive states in the nation in how it funds education with a huge onus on property taxes that causes great inequity in our state. See this Report - Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card Continue reading

Comment on the CPS Budget Hearings

Raise Your Hand believes education policy and planning is best when stakeholders can participate. By releasing the budget only 5 days prior, and holding three hearings at the same time on the same evening with no locations on the north side, RYH leadership is unable to attend the meeting tonight. We have prior commitments in Austin at an education forum and we are participating in the CPS Arts Planning meeting on the North Side tonight. Many of our members expressed frustration to us regarding the scheduling of the budget hearings and the insufficient time CPS gave for parents to plan ahead to attend the meetings.  Continue reading

CPS Budget is Out

CPS Budget – Hearings this Week CPS released their budget Friday. You can access it online and search for your school’s budget under “Interactive Reports, Find Your School Budget.” Despite a very rosy description of all that was preserved by CPS, we see a lot of red in individual school budgets – especially at the neighborhood high school level. As a whole, traditional neighborhood high schools took huge hits. As a whole charter schools as got an increase of $76 million in this budget. Outcomes for traditional elementary schools were varied with some schools gaining funding, some losing funds overall and some staying neutral. We will give a more detailed review of the budget over the next week. Continue reading

This week's schedule for Elected School Board Campaign

here are two ways you can help: 1) Meet up with us either; Monday - 7/9 Bridgeport - 6:45pm - Bridgeport Coffee (31st and Morgan) Thursday 7/12 - West Lakeview - 7pm - Paulina/Barry Saturday 7/15 10am - Andersonville 5400 N. Clark Continue reading

Letter from RYH Director, Wendy Katten

What a year it has been! For RYH, it has meant non-stop advocacy work on a daily basis. We are at a critical juncture now where we need your support to continue at this pace and are asking for you to make a small donation today to help fund our work for the year ahead. Continue reading

On the Elected Representative School Board Campaign

We are working with a coalition of many community groups (CODE) to get an ERSB on the November ballot as an advisory referendum. This is a non-binding referendum to gauge popular opinion at this time. We feel that the current school board needs changing and does not reflect Chicago public education stakeholders.We will be collecting signatures through the end of July. If you'd like more information, email us at Continue reading

CPS Dept of Arts Education - parent input needed on Arts Education Plan

CPS Department of Arts Education is launching the first district-wide CPS Arts Education Plan. This plan will set the standards for arts education across the school district. The plan needs parent input and there will be several community meetings across the city. Some are tailored for parents and community members while others are tailored for principals, arts orgs and arts educators. Parents meetings will occur at these times/locations: July 11 (5:30 pm) at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 July 17 (5:30 pm) at Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60628 For complete list of meetings, locations and to register, refer to:

CPS cancels public meetings on Contract Negotiations

A FACE manager at CPS had contacted us a few weeks ago and told us CPS was going to hold two meetings open to the public on contract negotiations. We put an email out to our membership about the first meeting scheduled at Gage Park High School for June 25th. Robocalls also went out to the parent community inviting them to these meetings. On Monday of this week, CPS emailed us to tell us that they changed their minds and will postpone these meetings until after the fact-finding process is completed in July. This is the message we received: Continue reading