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RYH Pass the Torch party this coming Thursday!
Help us celebrate seven years of pushing for student-centered, high-quality public education in Chicago and Illinois and raise funds to sustain and expand our efforts as we transition to new leadership. Join us on June 8th, 7pm at Old Irving Brewery. You can purchase tickets ($50) or become a sponsor at the $1000, $500, or $250 levels on our website. Can't attend? You can make a tax deductible online donation here.
Elected school board bill passes out of House and Senate
We were surprised to learn last week that forces in Springfield previously opposed to an elected school board for CPS felt pressured enough to call the bill for a vote---with one major change, the effective date would be 2023! Raise Your Hand and many other community organizations around the city have worked on this initiative for years, and while we’re glad that the IL General Assembly has finally listened to voters on this, we’re not content with the start date. Chicago deserves the same transparency and accountability as every other district in IL.
So far, it’s unclear whether the Governor will sign this bill once it gets to his desk. On WTTW’s Chicago Tonight last night he said he is for local control as long as “safeguards to make sure special interest groups that make their money from the schools don’t control elections.” Interesting comment from a Governor who just put $50M into his campaign fund.
School funding bill passes out of House and Senate
A bill to change the formula for funding schools in Illinois passed both the House and Senate by a tight margin this week. Illinois has been grappling with this issue for years, so it’s momentous that any change has occurred. Yet, the bill doesn’t mandate revenue for the formula change, and our state has not passed a budget in over 700 days and has not passed any new revenue.
We think this is a step in the right direction but are wary of over-celebrating as Illinois is still last in the nation for what the state contributes to education funding, and, without passing revenue, that stat won’t change. It is positive that the state might be moving towards an evidenced-based model where districts get additional funding for high-need populations, but districts won’t reach their adequacy targets for funding in this bill until major revenue is brought in. CPS supposedly gets around $286M in this bill for next year, compared to the FY17 appropriation, and Governor Rauner is saying he’ll veto the bill because CPS is getting too much and he won’t “bail them out.”
In other news
Univision/Social Justice News Nexus: Asbestos threat? Documents indicate Chicago Public Schools have not acted on inspectors’ recommendations to remove and repair asbestos
Have you checked out our Tumblr lately? Here’s some recent stories: