CPS announced this week that they’ll move sexual abuse investigations from the law department to the Inspector General. We’ve also learned that the IL House and Senate will have a joint hearing on the CPS sexual abuse next Wednesday, June 20, at 10:00am in the Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St, Room C-600, 6th floor.
We still want to know if the top person at the law department brought the issue of rampant sexual abuse within CPS to the CPS CEO and Board president over the years. If not, why? If so, why were no policies and protocols set up so that schools regularly received info and training on what to do when reports by students were made?
Chicago Tribune: CPS to move sex abuse investigations from law department to inspector general
Chalkbeat Chicago: 10 questions for the CPS Inspector General as he wades into the student sex abuse scandal
Sun-Times: CPS to recheck backgrounds of all its adults who work with children
Parents have been contacting us and asking us for resources. We have found the below to be valuable and some of the below have lead to great conversations in our Facebook group. If you have other resources that we can share please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
CPS Sexual Health Education web page
Information about Erin’s Law
Attention CPS parents of students with special needs!
Many parents who have kids in special ed don’t even know that the special ed inquiry happened and that the state is taking over special ed. Students who were illegally delayed and denied services between 2016-2018 may be eligible for compensatory services. CPS has not shared this info with parents so we’re asking you to share this flyer with any folks you know who have kids with special needs!
Please share the below flyer with fellow parents, on school social media sites, at community meetings this summer, etc. We’ve created a webpage here that you can share and which includes a link to a downloadable flyer in both English and Spanish.
Special education and school closings
We haven't heard that much about the plight of individual students following the 2013 closings. This is an in-depth piece by Adeshina Emmanuel of Chalkbeat Chicago about one student with autism and how she fared after Trumbull ES closed, raising lots of questions about the impact of closings on kids in special ed. 2000 students who went through the 2013 closings had IEPs.
Chalkbeat Chicago: What happened to Sylvana Gavilanes after her school closed?
How can you get your school’s facilities fixed? How are facilities decisions made throughout CPS? What is the process and what is the plan? There is supposed to be a plan -- it’s called the Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) and is required by a state law that parents and communities fought for. Now there is a new draft of the plan -- the final is due July 1st! Our quick take: The 2018 Draft EFMP lacks detail and an actual plan. You can read our new, updated post on the CPS “Outreach” meetings to learn more.
CPS is doing “outreach” about the draft 2018 EFMP at June PAC collaborative meetings, at the LSC Advisory Board meeting, and at CAC meetings. We attended a couple. Here are some important things we learned:
- There is no real community engagement plan from CPS. No one could answer questions such as: Will you be reaching out to principals and LSCs to learn of their facility needs? Will you be hosting public hearings so people can go on the record on school facility needs, neighborhood ideas for all the school facilities and educational programming in their area, and with feedback on the EFMP itself?
- The last facility assessments were conducted in 2015! CPS should be assessing all facilities every 2 years but assessments were suspended due to budget concerns.
- No priority list is published or will be published for a school to know when it might receive facility repairs or investments.
Great related articles that you must read:
WBEZ: Chicago Schools Need $3 Billion In Repairs, Yet CPS Spends Big On New Construction
Chalkbeat Chicago: Community members have plenty to say about CPS’ 10-year facilities master plan
Elected Representative School Board action in the Loop
We joined other organizations from across the city on Monday at City Hall to demand that Senator John Cullerton stop blocking the ERSB bill.
Sun-Times: Protestors block Loop traffic demanding rent control, elected school board
We will have another action with the elected school board bill soon. Please let us know if you’d like to be on the mailing list to meet the ERSB bill.
In other news
Chalkbeat Chicago: How many layoffs at your CPS school?
Ed Week: How (and Why) Ed-Tech Companies Are Tracking Students’ Feelings
WBBM: Sen. Durbin Calls For Stricter Limits On Online Data Collected From Children
Sun-Times: Sex abuse scandal is latest CPS fiasco under Rahm Emanuel’s watch
Chicago Tribune: Letter: The mayor’s appointed school board has failed Chicago
NPR: The Perils Of Pushing Kids Too Hard, And How Parents Can Learn To Back Off
Generation All is partnering with Chicago Cares for 25th Annual Serv-a-Thon! Saturday, June 23: Neighborhood high schools across the city!
You can read more here then follow the instructions to sign up to volunteer. Due to this partnership, 15 of the 19 Serv-a-Thon sites are CPS neighborhood high schools!
The LSCs 4 ALL Coalition (which Raise Your Hand is a part of) is hosting LSC trainings on the near south side in June and July. The schedule is below or here.