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Elected School Board Bill Moving Again in Springfield
Our sister org Raise Your Hand Action was in Springfield this week, and Wendy Katten testified before a House Education committee in support of the elected school board bill, which has been resurrected after passing in the House last year and being ignored in the Senate, where it died. CPS was in Springfield to oppose the bill, but it passed out of committee 18-1 and moves to the full House floor next. This bill will likely pass in the House and faces challenges again in the Senate.
Keep updated on this bill and other education legislation by signing up for alerts from Raise Your Hand Action.
There’s also one more RYH Action Legislative Update Session tomorrow 3/18 at 1pm on the NW side; RSVP for location and details.
CPS’ testimony on this bill referred to a recent New York Times column by David Leonhardt. Here’s RYH board member Chris Ball’s take on that column: New York Times Columnist Exaggerates Mayor’s Record
Trump’s education budget is terrible for public schools
As expected, Trump’s proposed education budget cut funding for things like after-school programs, teacher training, college readiness programs for low-income students, and much more while increasing funding by $1.4 billion for “school choice” initiatives, including $250 million for private school vouchers and $1 billion for a form of student-based budgeting in public schools.
Washington Post: Trump budget casualty: After-school programs for 1.6 million kids. Most are poor.
The Atlantic: Trump's Education Budget Revealed
You can send a letter to your US rep and senators via Network for Public Education to reject this education budget: “Do not slash funding for disadvantaged students to fund school privatization”
Sign Action Now’s Petition: Save CPS Clerks
CPS is now having teachers do their own payroll using a new system called Kronos, and there’s much speculation that CPS plans to cut many clerks this year to save money. As we all know, clerks are critical to the well-being of a school building, and many CPS schools don’t have enough administrative coverage as is.
WTTW’s Chicago Tonight: Chicago Teachers Calling on CPS to Save its Clerks
PARCC testing update
We’re still hearing that a lot of schools are giving parents and students misleading information about PARCC and opt out. Here again are some key facts:
Every student may refuse PARCC either verbally or in writing as Janice Jackson informed principals in writing on March 2nd.
This year’s PARCC scores for 5th and 7th graders will NOT be used for selective enrollment placement according to CPS Chief Ed officer Janice Jackson. Watch her statement at the January Board of Education meeting here.
No school, district or state has ever lost funds for low-participation on state testing, and more than 160 schools did not have 95% participation this year. CPS as a whole has not met the 95% rate since 2014.
If there are difficulties and confusion around opt out/refusal at your school, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or via 413-OPTOUT.
A few stories featured this week in our Tumblr!
In Other News
Washington Post: Teacher: What school ‘choice’ looks like from my classroom
DNAInfo Chicago: Union Tells Teachers: Protest Cuts By Refusing to Work Extra Hours
Perceptions v. Reality: What to Consider When Choosing a CPS High School
We are teaming up with Generation All for this event!
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Wells High School
936 N Ashland
Separate But Unequal? School Funding in Illinois
A BGA Idea Forum
Thursday, March 30, 2017
430 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605