Rally for a Quality, Funded Day tomorrow

We've gotten over 1,100 signatures for our petition for a quality, funded school day in five days. This Friday we are going to be delivering the petition to the Mayor's office at 4pm. Help us by attending and showing your support for a quality day. The Mayor said at his press conference that parents are offering a false choice of quantity versus quality. According to the Mayor and CEO Brizard, our children will have a quality 7 hour day. Continue reading

Mayor Emanuel and CPS switch gears and announce a 7 Hour Day for Elementary Schools

"Bowing to pressure from parents and teachers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday his modified plan for a longer school day" "Emanuel backs 7-hour school day after parents protest longer plan"  "Parent Power" These are a few of the headlines that appeared following today's  press conference at Disney II Elementary where members of Raise Your Hand witnessed Mayor Emanuel announcing a change in his plans from a 7.5 hour to a 7hour school day for elementary students in Chicago.  The 7-hour day will include a 45-minute lunch/recess period, which RYH has been advocating for over the past year. Continue reading

Meeting Recap with CPS on the Longer Day

Raise Your Hand was invited to meet with CEO Brizard, other CPS management and Board Member Jesse Ruiz last week to discuss the longer day. RYH conveyed our concerns that CPS does not have the funding to implemement a quality 7.5 hour day, especially given the projected deficit of $600 million for 2013 and roughly $1 billion for 2014. Continue reading

Statement on the Tribune report - Chicago school officials received 86k in gifts from vendor

Last year, the very public complaints of parents about the Breakfast in the classroom (BIC) program and its sudden implementation fell on deaf ears of the CPS administration and Board of Education.  Today we read with great disappointment what was going on behind the scenes as the policy for that program was being shaped.  An article published in today's Chicago Tribune sheds light on some of the "leaders" making this critical decision for Chicago school children. Continue reading

The Best Education, or Just the Longest?

Today RYH joined with parents from 15 other community groups at a press conference at city hall to announce our coalition, "Chicago Parents for Quality Education" and to present a white paper to the mayor on what we see as a quality school day for our children. Here is our press release: A new city-wide coalition of parents is urging the Mayor to revise plans for an unfunded 7.5 hour day and instead to focus on providing a quality day to all children in all Chicago Public Schools. Continue reading

54 School Closings Means Overcrowding for all of Us

After months of saying we have a space utilization crisis the narrative has shifted and the city now says the closings are all about school performance and their need to save kids who are trapped in "failing schools." Continue reading

The Longest School Day: The Facts and the Fiction

Fact or Fiction? Q: CPS can afford to adequately fund a 7.5 hr school day. A: Fiction! According to the CPS website, there is a projected budget deficit of $362.5M for FY2013 and a projected budget deficit of $861.7M for FY2014. CPS has had budget deficits for the last few years with a 5.75 hr school day, how will they afford a 7.5 hr and 10 additional school days? Think about the cuts that will be coming in 2014 as you plan for your longer school day. Find info on the budget here:http://cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/FY12ProposedBudgetOverview.pdf

This Friday is deadline to file your LSC nomination form!

You still have a few days to file your nomination form to run for LSC! Did you read Jill Wohl's posts on the importance of running for LSC? Scroll down to read how LSCs can make a big difference in improving our schools. And kudos  to CPS for creating a very cool tool to access information on LSCs in one easy spot. You can see how many seats are open and who is running at your local school here: CPS LSC app Thanks to CPS for providing this information!

Raise Your Glass Winter Bash - Thursday, February 28th

RAISE YOUR HAND IS GOING ON 3 YEARS OF STRONG PARENT AND CITIZEN ADVOCACY! Come out and help us celebrate a fine list of accomplishments and help us raise funds to continue our work for the year ahead Continue reading

Legislative info: Action Alerts

Many of you have asked us how you can voice your opinions on the school actions and longer school day. Contact your legislators. It’s time to communicate with them on the very pressing issues that you care about.  Longer school day. No current bill; SB7 passed. Inform your reps of you have concerns. School actions bill SB3239/HB4487 places a moratorium on school closings. Class size bill SB3362/HB4455 lowers class size to 18 in K-3; 22 in 4-8; and 25 for high school. Recess bill HB288 amends the school code to require the Chicago Board of Education to provide daily recess (at least 10 minutes long) for all students in K-8. Continue reading