What happened this week? Where do we go from here?

Dear Parents, What a week. What does it all mean? Why was my kid out of school? What’s going to change for the short-term and what’s going to possibly change for the long-term? What is the role of parents in all of this?  We know there are a range of opinions and questions from parents right now.  Most of us will be thrilled that our kids will likely be returning to school this week. Continue reading

Day 3 of the Strike

Dear Parents,  Many of you have emailed us with questions about what is happening in negotiations and what needs to be resolved so that our children can get back to school. Raise Your Hand has heard a range of opinions from you since Sunday night and we know that it is very easy to believe that either one side, CPS or CTU is to blame for this conflict, and we ask that instead you try and take a look at the individual issues at hand. Illinois School District 299 must find a better way to work together in the near future, after this strike is resolved. Continue reading

Parents - No School Today

Dear Parents, CPS and CTU could not come to an agreement yesterday on their contract and our teachers are on strike today. They will be back at the table again today to try and iron out a contract. Continue reading

RYH on CNN tonight at 5pm

Tune in to CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon tonight at 5pm. RYH will be interviewed to talk from a parent's perspective on the potential strike.

Memo to CPS: It’s Time to Stop Saying “Full School Day”

Dear CEO Brizard and Marketing Department at CPS: Many parents are tired of hearing the term “full school day.” A few dozen have emailed me since yesterday that they were also irritated by the letter that you sent home via US mail (calculated postage – 3 staff positions at CPS) lauding the “full school day” and explaining your view on the potential strike. Can you put these in backpacks next time? Continue reading

Childcare Options in the Event of a Strike

We still remain hopeful that the teacher's union and the city will come to an agreement before September 10th. This has been a stressful time for all parties involved and there's much uncertainty about not just whether our kids will be in school but how all stakeholders will work together in our district beyond a potential strike. The tenor and culture of this system needs vast improvement. We are certainly hoping that this school year does not bring more of the same.  In the event that no agreement can be reached, we will try and help provide information on childcare options. Check this for more details soon, or contribute to this forum.

Education Tutorial at the Heartland Cafe Tonight - 7pm

School is starting and it's time to come out and get dangerously informed about CPS policies that impact our kids! Ordinary citizen Don Washington is hosting an education tutorial for Raise Your Hand at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. This is an informational, interactive, agitational and fun event for all people interested in public education in Chicago. Special guest Miguel del Valle will be speaking, too. Tickets are $25. Hope to see you there: Tuesday 8/28 7pm Heartland Cafe 7000 N. Glenwood Email us at info@ilraiseyourhand.org with questions

Following the August Board Meeting - Looking at the Year Ahead

Yesterday the CPS board of education passed a $5.7 billion dollar budget for school year 2012/2013. At this meeting, CEO Brizard stated that we are facing eacing a projected $3 billion dollar deficit over the next three years at CPS. In this budget, CPS increased funding to charter and contract schools by $76 million and the Portfolio Office (the Department that oversees New Schools) by 26 positions and $4.87 million dollars. At the same time, many of our neighborhood schools, especially our neighborhood high schools, received cuts once again. The Board passed a resolution that CPS may drain reserve funds through the end of school year 2015.  Continue reading

A Brief History of the Board of Education

In 1851 the Illinois State Legislature gave the city council responsibility for the Chicago Public schools. The council hired the city's first school superintendent in 1854. In 1872 the Illinois State Legislature established a Board of Education, with members appointed by the mayor, to oversee all aspects of public education in Chicago. While other school districts in the state established elected school boards, Chicago remained unique in having a board appointed by the mayor. Continue reading

Two Education Forums on Tuesday 8/21

We know RYH members have a lot of questions about contract negotiations.  This is an opportunity to attend a forum and have your questions answered. RYH is not sponsoring these forums, fyi, but we encourage you to attend and get informed! Continue reading