This Week in Ed 4.26.19: RYH Sues Chicago #TIFequity #TIFreform #ReimagineChicago

Grassroots Collaborative and Raise Your Hand File Lawsuit Against City of Chicago over Cortland Chicago River TIF for Lincoln Yards Development

On Wednesday, April 17, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the national Lawyers Committee on behalf of Grassroots Collaborative and Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education filed a lawsuit to halt the creation of the Cortland and Chicago River TIF district and the capture of up to $1.3 billion dollars of taxpayer money. In addition, the suit argues that the City’s racially and ethnically discriminatory administration of the TIF system has disproportionately benefited areas in majority-White census tracts to the detriment of areas in majority-African American and majority-Hispanic census tracts.

Watch Brenda Delgado, our board president, and Aneel Chablani, an attorney from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, discuss the lawsuit on Chicago Newsroom here. You can also catch this program on CAN TV, channel 27, at these dates & times: Friday, April 26, 8 pm; Saturday, April 27, 6 pm; Sunday, April 28, 9 am; and Monday, April 29, 3:30 pm.

Local coverage of the press conference announcing the lawsuit from One Illinois: Grassroots groups file suit against Chicago TIFs. This is also a national issue. Coverage here from Pacific Standard: Subsidies Meant for Low-Income Communities are Paying for Luxury Development.

Read more and find a link to the complaint and all the press coverage so far here.


Take the Lightfoot Transition Education Committee survey!

Please complete this SURVEY from the Co Chairs of the Education Transition Committee! Share your ideas and please share the survey widely!The survey is available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Urdu): English | Español | Polskie | 中文 | اردو


RYH’s Memo to the Mayor

RYH submitted a "Memo to the Mayor" as part of the Education Transition Committee process. You can find our Memo here.

The writing of this Memo was a collaborative effort by several parents and RYHers who have been active over the years. Our intent was to reflect what RYH has been advocating for since 2010. We also tried to incorporate the many things we've learned over the years, especially while working with so many community based organizations in various coalitions. Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback with us:

We’ve created a Ed Transition Committee web page here with links to a list of the Committee members, to all of the Education Memos, to RYH’s Memo, and to the ways YOU can participate, including taking the survey linked above.

Chalkbeat Chicago conducted a survey of parents, students, and teachers entitled, “Letters to Lori Lightfoot,” and published this story with their survey’s results.


The April unelected BOE meeting was the last one under Rahm

You can find our statements as well as links to videos of our speakers here. You can find our live tweets here. Presentations were given by the Office of Student Protections & Title IX and the CPS Inspector General. They both gave a quarterly update on investigations of sexual allegations. There was also a presentation on Universal Preschool Expansion. We tried to get photos of each slide during each of these presentations, then we tweeted those pictures. Those tweets start here.

Here’s some press coverage leading up to and from the meeting:

WBEZ: Schools Program Favored By Mayor Emanuel Gets Last Minute Boost NOTE: This agenda item was removed at the last minute per this tweet from Sarah Karp, WBEZ. Also, the audio for this article is audio from the BOE meeting.

Chalkbeat Chicago: In last meeting under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s school board is weighing new charter facilities

Chicago Tribune: Chicago schools inspector general suggests charter schools are underreporting cases of sexual misconduct

Sun-Times: CPS, charter operators lock horns over funding formula


Special Education News

We want to hear from parents about their child’s experience of nursing care in CPS. Does your child have an IEP or 504 Plan with nursing service while in school? Are you satisfied with the quality, continuity and competency of nursing care your child is receiving? Please share with us at

Make sure to watch this video of Mary Fahey Hughes at the CPS BOE meeting from Wednesday. And follow that up by reading this article in Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago special education reforms slow to get off ground, monitor tells state school board.

From our friends at Legal Council for Health Justice: “Chicago Public Schools is supposed to give children that are in Therapeutic Day School free breakfast and lunch, but unfortunately some students might not be receiving these services.” If this is you or someone you know, please reach out to them: Conner, 312 605-1983,

Join the Thorp Diverse Needs Committee for an informative and interactive morning with Mary Fahey Hughes, IL Raise Your Hand, Special Education Parent Liaison. Please register here, by Friday, May 10th. This is a workshop for parents who want help navigating the IEP process. We will review basic rights, how to collaborate with your school to become a more effective advocate for your child, how to organize your materials and prepare for a successful IEP meeting, and more! Bring your child's IEP materials and we'll supply materials to create an organized and effective IEP binder.

Special Education Workshop - Navigating the Special Education Process

Saturday, May 18th - 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

O.A. Thorp Elementary • Library

6024 W Warwick Ave, Chicago, IL 60634

Flyer as pdf here. Flyer as jpg here.


Fair Tax Day in Springfield

A progressive income tax for Illinois would provide much-needed revenue which could be used to increase school funding. There will be a Fair Tax Day of Action next week on Tuesday.

Fair Tax Day of Action will start at 12:00 pm on April 30th at the Illinois State Capitol in front of the Lincoln Statue. You can sign up to go on a bus to and from Springfield

Think Big Illinois is encouraging people to also sign up on their website; when you put in your information, it will tell you who your elected representatives are.


We’re hiring! RYH Executive Director  

  • Are you passionate about CPS and public education?
  • Are you a strategic thinker ready to lead a small but mighty not-for-profit (with support of hardworking staff and board)?
  • Do you have community organizing or other form of public campaign experience?
  • Are you a bold fundraising visionary?

We invite you to apply to be the next ED of RYHED posting as a pdf.

Thinking about it but have questions? Reach out to us


In other news

Sun-Times: Teachers at 5 charter schools set strike date

ABC 7 Chicago: VIDEO: Brown water runs from taps at South Side Chicago Public School

Chalkbeat Chicago: With new mayor on horizon, Chinatown parents resume push for Near South Side high school

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless blog: Homeless students and low-income families must ask in writing to get school fees waived Note: Contact info for assistance at the end of this post.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago will start taking universal pre-K applications on April 30

Sun-Times: Rahm Emanuel’s legacy on ethics: The storm cloud lifted — except at CPS

Sun-Times: Mom’s ‘desperate pleas’ ignored before fourth grader attempted suicide: suit


Worth a read (or listen)

WBEZ: When Mentors Commit From Kindergarten Through High School Graduation

NPR Illinois: ISBE Teacher Shortage Recap

Chicago Tribune: 90% of U.S. school boards are picked by voters, but not in Chicago. Here’s why that could change.


Upcoming events

Elected to Serve- Raise Your Hand Action’s Official Night Out!

Fri May 3, 7 - 10pm

Room 43

1043 E. 43rd Street

Fun night of fundraising for our sister org, RYHA!

Purchase tickets in advance here.


Webinar: Protecting our children’s data-- What parents need to know

Mon May 6, 8 - 9pm

Hosted by Raise Your Hand Action.

Register and find more details here.


Lobby Day: Head to Springfield with Raise Your Hand Action on May 8th

Wed May 8

We'll spend the day talking to IL state senators and representatives to advocate for our legislative agenda. You can read more about the bills we are supporting and opposing this session and check their status here.

Register and find more details here.


Remake Learning Days Chi

May 16 - 19

Various locations in Chicago and Evanston

Find a full festival schedule here.

Presented by Chicago Learning Exchange


Special Education Workshop- Navigating the Special Education Process

Sat May 18, 11am - 1pm

O.A. Thorp Elementary • Library

6024 W Warwick Ave, Chicago, IL 60634

Register here by May 10.  

Sponsored by the Thorp Diverse Needs Committee.


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