This Week in Ed 12.13.19: SBB in the hot 🔥 seat; CPS closes 2 charter schools

Mayor Lightfoot and CPS announced yesterday that they will “...begin a community process to identify potential opportunities to further strengthen school funding.” They created a School Funding Working Group and will be convening public meetings in January and February 2020 so you can offer your thoughts and ideas on the way CPS funds its schools. Check out these articles from Chalkbeat Chicago to learn more:

Announcement, Working Group members, and public meeting schedule: Here’s who will be leading Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s charge to reexamine Chicago school budgeting

Background piece on the issue: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised to spend more money on students in need. Could change be imminent? 

And definitely related to Student Based Budgeting… class size: As Chicago’s class size crackdown begins, schools that are ‘overenrolled by choice’ could face admissions changes

CPS Board of Ed meets at night, in a neighborhood- it happened!

Parents, students, teachers, and CPS staff filled the Curie HS auditorium Wednesday night as the Lightfoot appointed Board of Ed held its monthly meeting. It was a very refreshing change and President del Valle said that there will be more Board meetings outside of the Loop and in the evening. We were there tweeting and speaking. You can read our statement here. One part of our statement suggested a New Year’s resolution for CPS: “Respect parent leaders and parent voice.” We highlighted this first person piece published by Chalkbeat Chicago: I thought Local School Councils were a way to make a difference. Here’s why I resigned.

The big news of the night was the closing of 2 CPS charter schools: Frazier and Chicago Virtual. Many parents and educators from these schools came out to give testimony and fight for their school. 

Chalkbeat Chicago: As political winds shift, no new charter schools apply to open in Chicago

WBEZ: Chicago Board Of Education Votes To Close Two Charter Schools


Appreciate our updates & our work? Consider an EOY donation to RYH! 

Read this letter and watch this video from CPS parent and RYH board president, Brenda Delgado. We truly do so much on a ridiculously low budget! Please consider Raise Your Hand in your end of year giving. Recurring donors welcome too! Thank you!!!



Sun-Times: Teen group’s clothing drive seeks to highlight South Siders who do good, fight negative views of Chicago (subject: Lindblom HS student; reporter: Morgan Park HS alumnus) 

Sun-Times: A world apart, students from Little Village, Rwanda come together through art (Madero MS)


Local School Council (LSC) related events

➡️ LSC Advisory Board (LSCAB) meeting: Monday, Dec 16, 6-8pm, CPS Garfield Park Office, 2651 W Washington Blvd. 

➡️ The Gathering: LSC Meet Up: Tuesday, Dec 17, 6:30- 8:00pm, National Teachers Academy (NTA), 55 W Cermak Rd. Register here. Facebook event page here.

➡️ LSC Summit: Saturday, Jan 25, 2020, 10AM – 2PM, Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. Register here. Facebook event page here. This will be an LSC conference that kicks off LSC election season!

Spanish_LSC's.4.ALL_Gathering_12_17.jpg LSC's.4.ALL_Gathering_12_17.jpg LSC_Summit.jpg

Special education news

The 30-day window for Public Comment on changes to CPS Board policy ended November 23, 2019 and, good news, the CPS BOE incorporated public comments into the Education of Students with Disabilities Policy that they approved yesterday.  The “comments summary” posted online was particularly valuable. It would be extremely beneficial to have that kind of public “comment summary” completed for the actual IDEA Procedure Manual and Section 504 Procedure Manual referenced in the Board Policy and we would appreciate it if  CPS would provide a similar report for any new or revised ODLSS Procedure Manuals. (We did ask for this report in our CPS BOE statement Wednesday night.)

The  next CPS Diverse Learner Parent Advisory Council Meeting is Thursday, January 9, 6-8:00pm, CPS Garfield Park Office, 2651 W. Washington Blvd. The ODLSS PAC has a Twitter account here. Here’s a tweet with a list of upcoming meetings. We attended part of last night’s meeting. You can find our live tweets here. Both Laura Boedecker and Lisa Armonda (a new Monitor at ISBE) were in attendance.  

Healthy Schools Campaign is collecting testimonials from advocates, service providers, school administrators and health staff, families, students, etc. on the importance of having quality school health services, as part of the effort to support free care, but also in terms of expanding school health services in general.  Please submit a testimonial and/or share with your networks across the state - it only takes two minutes to complete. Link here

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD), Chicago’s Metropolitan Area Parent Training and Information Center can provide you with no cost Special Education advocacy help. All FRCD asks of parents who want an advocate to help them navigate the special education process is that you complete one of their know-your-rights trainings so you will be empowered with knowledge that will benefit your child.  


Public Education Forum 2020 with Democratic presidential candidates- Saturday morning

Tune in this Saturday, December 14, at 8:45am CST to the #PublicEdForum. Ten national public education groups are hosting top Democratic presidential candidates at the “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Justice for All” in Pittsburgh. MSNBC will moderate and live stream the forum focused on public education issues. You can watch the live stream here. More information from Network for Public Education Action here

Forbes: What To Watch For At The Democratic Education Town Hall In Pittsburgh


CPS: GoCPS; give feedback; committee meetings

➡️ GoCPS deadline TODAY Friday, December 13, 11:59pm online, 6pm paper applications

Applying to CPS high schools? Consider watching this video from a forum we hosted with Generation All in March 2017: Perceptions v. Reality: What to Consider when Choosing a CPS High School. There’s a written Recap of it here. (You can find Generation All Archived Resources on the RYH website here. GenAll elevated Chicago’s neighborhood high schools, and they advocated for many of the same education reforms that Raise Your Hand supports.)

➡️ Give CPS feedback 

At the CPS Board of Ed website, you can find links to provide feedback on: 

To help you with the SQRP feedback, here are our resources from our "What Makes a School Great? forum hosted at Kenwood HS in 2018.

➡️ CPS BOE Workforce Development & Equity Committee Meeting

This Board of Ed committee is meeting Monday, December 16, at Crane HS. Registration is at 5pm and the meeting is from 5:30-7:30pm. Find out more here

Chalkbeat Chicago: 7 questions asked and answered about Chicago’s new teacher diversity committee 

➡️ Other CPS BOE Committee Meetings

Keep your eye on the CPS BOE website for upcoming committee meetings on Early Childhood Education (no info yet) and Whole Child (January 29 but no time or location yet per board member Rome at CPS BOE meeting.) 


In other news

WBEZ: Conflicts With Principal At New High School In Englewood

Sun-Times: CPS parent sues College Board for allegedly selling students’ personal data for profit

WBEZ: Naperville Schools Try To Rebuild Trust After Incident Exposes Persistent Race Issues 

Hoy: Los estudiantes de CPS que están aprendiendo inglés van a la par de sus compañeros, según estudio

Chalkbeat Colorado: Parent fundraising made my school a great place to teach. I was grateful, until I realized the cost.

Forbes: New Report: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought


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