This Week in Ed 6.21.19: 🌞 Happy First Day of Summer! 🌞

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TIF litigation update: motion seeking a preliminary injunction filed

Brenda_Injunction_2_6.20.19.jpgOn Wednesday, we and Grassroots Collaborative filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to force the City of Chicago to freeze its plan to create the Cortland and Chicago River TIF District with up to $1.3 billion in taxpayer money for a luxury development in Lincoln Yards. This is the next step after attorneys from Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed our TIF lawsuit against the city in April.

We’ve created a web page here where you can find a link to the filed and stamped copy of the motion for the injunction, links to media coverage, our press conference statement and a link to a video of the press conference. CLCCR has a webpage about the lawsuit here. Read this OpEd in Crain’s Chicago Business from Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative: Chicago’s TIF policies keep racial inequities locked into place.


Raise Your Hand announces new Executive Director!

In case you missed it, on Wednesday we announced our new ED, Jianan Shi! You can read the announcement here. Jianan will be busy meeting with many people and organizations in the coming weeks. We’ll be sharing more info about our new ED very soon. Stay tuned...


In the news: School resource officers (SROs), student safety and well being, and student discipline


We are glad these important issues are getting some media coverage. In our Memo to the Mayor we said Mayor Lightfoot should "Remove Chicago Police Department officers from schools and reallocate funding to other supports.” We are glad to see the youth-led movement about police in schools getting some traction. We've also been paying close attention to increased reports of bullying and created this toolkit to help parents navigate the CPS Anti-bullying policy. School culture and climate is incredibly important for our children and we hope to see more attention and resources focused on making every school a welcoming, inclusive, supportive space for all.


Sun-Times: Secretive police meetings over cops in schools a ‘dog and pony show,’ community members say

Chalkbeat Chicago: Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx floats new proposal to reduce in-school arrests

WBEZ: Chicago Slow To Reform School Police Program: Report

Sun-Times: Lightfoot renews threat to remove police officers from Chicago Public Schools

Sun-Times: EDITORIAL: The latest evidence against police in Chicago schools

Student safety and well being

Sun-Times: Families of bullied students call on Lightfoot, Foxx to probe CPS policy

WBEZ: Chicago’s ‘Safe Passage’ Curbs Street Violence Without Police, Studies Show

Student discipline

Chalkbeat Chicago: A law made it harder to expel Illinois preschoolers. But it’s been slow to catch on.


Special education news

Hey, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) found that, for many students, CPS illegally delayed and/or denied (1) busing services; (2) paraprofessional supports; (3) extended school year (ESY) services; and (4) therapeutic day school placement.  Do you think any of these services for your child may have been wrongfully denied any time from September 2016 to June 2018? We are hearing that CPS is going to reveal instructions for how to possibly get Compensatory Education services for your child who had services delayed or denied.  Per CPS and ISBE, this process will be communicated to parents in the Fall of 2019.

ICYMI… Please make sure you check out this fact sheet (available in both English & Spanish) which explains the ISBE investigation (and subsequent take over) of CPS special education. It also includes links to read more. We continue to hear every day from parents of children with special needs regarding their child being denied or delayed services. EVERY. DAY.


In Chicago this week: Early Childhood Education film No Small Matter

There is a new documentary premiering in Chicago this week - No Small Matter, a film that explores early childhood education in America. No Small Matter will be playing for a limited run at the Gene Siskel Film Center 6/21-6/27, including a special panel discussion and screening on Thursday, 6/27, focused on the continuum from early education to the K12 system. SHOWTIMES & Special Theme Nights hereMost showings will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the directors. Chalkbeat Chicago interviews the filmmaker here.


Summer meals information via CPS website

Please share the CPS web page for the Summer Meals Program which you can find here. There is an interactive map to find a location, downloadable flyers, and this description:

Food That’s In When School is Out!

The Summer Food Service Program is designed to ensure children receive nutritious meals over summer break. At CPS, all summer meal programs provide free meals inside the school to students attending summer programs as well as all children ages 1 -18 years old in the community (children do not have to be CPS students). Free breakfast and lunch are available while summer programs occur. Program duration and meal time varies per meal site.

To verify times and locations of CPS programs or to find a site near you, call the Illinois Hunger Hotline at (800)359-2163 or text FOODIL to 877877.



Block Club Chicago: This CPS Grad And Star Wrestler Was The Voice Of Students On The Board Of Education. Next Up: College — And Maybe Mayor. Senn HS

South Side Weekly: Student Essay Contest 2019 Sawyer ES, Hancock HS

WTTW: Refugee Graduate of Sullivan High School Earns Full Ride to UIC

Forbes: These Award-Winning Chicago Urban Gardeners Are Helping Transform Neighborhoods Kellogg ES, Prosser HS

Streetsblog Chicago: An Open Letter to Lori From South Side Youth Requesting Free Transit for CPS Students Back of the Yards HS

Chalkbeat Chicago: For one undocumented student in Chicago, graduation marks both hard work and years of uncertainty North Grand HS

Chalkbeat Chicago: Parent mentors celebrate graduation, program expansion: ‘Each day I know I accomplish something’


In other news

WBEZ: Up To $7 Billion Still Needed To Properly Fund Illinois Schools

WBEZ: Extending The ‘Gap Year’ After High School Beyond Kids Of Means

Chalkbeat Chicago: The birds, the bees and consent: How one Chicago classroom navigates evolving sexual education

Chicago Tribune: Lincoln Park elementary ends free preschool after criticism — but does it remain a perk for Chicago's richest neighborhood?

Chalkbeat Chicago: City Council education chair promises more public meetings, increased involvement in Chicago schools

Chalkbeat Chicago: I’m a longtime education advocate. Here’s why I’m hopeful about Chicago’s next chapter.


Worth a read

The Chicago Reporter: Breaking myths about black fatherhood this Father’s Day

Chicago Reader: Black fatherhood

Two opinion pieces from Lindblom HS teacher Gina Caneva: Sun-Times: Chicago kids pay the price for schools that start too late in the fall and Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Stop ranking schools. Educating our children should not be a competition.

The New York Times: Opinion: Let’s Hear It for the Average Child


Upcoming events

Creando Comunidades Sanas-Creating Safe Communities

Sponsored by Healing to Action

Mon June 24, 9 - 11am

Telpochcalli Community Education Project, 2832 W 24th Blvd

Read more and RSVP at the Facebook event. Flyer here in Spanish & English.


Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed June 26, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

You must register online to speak. That registration begins on Mon June 24 at 10:30am.

Online registration to speak or attend is here. If you plan to attend, it is best to also register online in advance and starting Mon June 24 at 10:30am at the same link.

We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance:

Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at at 10am on Mon June 24.


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