The Weekly Ed Update- 3.24.17

Stay up to date on the latest education news. Sign up on our homepage to get this delivered to your email every week! 

LSC members deliver letter to Governor Rauner

LSC members delivered letters to Governor Rauner in Springfield and Chicago this week regarding the CPS funding bill he vetoed. The Springfield visit yielded an unexpected exchange with the Governor, who was outside his office finishing a photo-op. When Raise Your Hand Action board members Cassie Creswell and Huu Nguyen told the Governor about the letter they had just dropped off, which was signed by 384 LSC members, he said he would “love to partner with LSC members” on budget solutions for CPS.  LSC members are following up with his office to see if this is really the case.

If you are an LSC member and want to be connected with the LSC group that worked on this letter to Rauner to be made aware of future efforts, contact Jennie Biggs at

WTTW’s Chicago Tonight: LSC Members Call on Rauner to Restore CPS Pension Funding

Parents Need to Know the When School Will End this Year

Regardless of whose fault this is---whether it’s the fault of the district for putting $215m in the budget that wasn’t fully approved by the State, or Gov. Rauner’s fault for vetoing the bill that would have provided that $215M---parents need an answer on when school will end so we can plan accordingly! 

Given the paralyzed condition of our state government, CPS must tell us if they have a plan B and must be straightforward about when school will end. Forrest Claypool said at the BOE meeting this week that he hopes to know by May 1st, when the courts will decide on a lawsuit brought by CPS against the state around funding. Either way, parents need a definitive answer so they can make arrangements for their children.

What can you do? In light of our very dysfunctional state, parents should be visiting aldermanic offices now to push for local revenue so schools can stay open.  Continue to advocate at the state level, as the state has the most untapped revenue options, but push the city and CPS to find revenue sources as well. We live in one of the wealthiest cities in the country, and it’s time for our city to get creative in the absence of state movement.  Don’t let your local electeds tell you there’s nothing they can do.

WBEZ: Cash-Strapped CPS Greenlights Nearly $300 Million In School Construction Projects

Chicago TribuneChicago Public Schools chief fires back at Gov. Rauner

PARCC mistreatment still happening

Although this is the fourth year of mass opt out of state testing in CPS, confusion about a policy that puts the burden on students to refuse and mistreatment of some children who exercise their rights are still taking place. In some cases, families and students are being misinformed about what PARCC scores will (or may) be used for in an effort to boost participation.

Sun-TimesCPS families, teachers cite pressure to take PARCC test

The IL State Board of Education continues to tell districts that parents have no say. An IL House Education Committee affirmed this stance on Wednesday by voting down a bill that would allow parents to simply send in an letter to opt a child out of state testing. RYH Action testified as a proponent at the bill's hearing, and you can read written testimony here.

The PARCC testing window continues through April 6th. State science testing for 5th, 8th and 10th graders (ISA) begins in mid-April. Refusal/opt out policies for ISA are the same as those for PARCC. For the facts on PARCC and opt out, you can find our testing toolkit here.

In other news

Sun-TimesMastermind behind massive CPS kickback scheme to be sentenced

South Side WeeklyStumbling blocks for public preschool: What’s behind the drop in CPS pre-K enrollment?

PoliticoHigh court rules public schools must do more to educate special-needs kids

State Journal-RegisterAfter-school programs on President Trump’s chopping block

Upcoming Events

Perceptions v. Reality: What to Consider When Choosing a CPS High School
We are teaming up with Generation All for this event! Please register if you plan to attend here.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Wells High School
936 N Ashland
Facebook event page

Separate But Unequal? School Funding in Illinois
A BGA Idea Forum

Thursday, March 30, 2017
6:30- 8:00pm
Roosevelt University
Ganz Hall
430 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605

Registration is required