This Week in Ed 8.12.20: FY2021 CPS Budget | CPS goes remote | Upcoming events

On Monday, CPS released its proposed FY2021 budget. You can find the CPS Budget 2021 webpage here- it includes both the operational and capital budgets- and the Budget Book is here.

The big news is that CPS is proposing slashing the CPS CPD SRO budget from $33M to $15M. (See below for upcoming events for the movement to bring this budget to $0 AKA #PoliceFreeSchools.) ICYMI, WBEZ & Chalkbeat Chicago investigated the $33M SRO progarm and found that CPS was paying the full 12-month salaries & benefits for the staff assigned to the program. Here’s some press coverage on this aspect of the CPS budget:

Here’s some initial press coverage of the proposed FY2021 CPS budget:

CPS will host virtual hearings on the proposed FY2021 budget. You can find a list of these hearings here and below. We’re including speaker registration info if we found it:

  • Budget Hearing: Tues, Aug 18: 6-8PM | 30 speaking spots | Register to speak here
  • Capital Plan Hearing: Wed, Aug 19: 12-2PM
  • Budget Hearing: Wed, Aug 19: 4-6PM | 30 speaking spots | Register to speak here
  • Capital Plan Hearing: Th, Aug 20: 2:30-4:30PM
  • Capital Plan Hearing: Fri, Aug 21: 3:30-5:30PM


CPS Announces Remote Learning to Start

Last Wednesday, CPS made it official- students will start the school year with remote learning and this will continue at least through the end of the first quarter. (Note: You can find the CPS Academic Calendar here in both English & Spanish.) CPS said they would release the remote learning plan on Fri, Aug 7, but on Fri, Aug 7, they said they were going to take more time.

Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools delays release of remote learning plan but CEO promises more live instruction and accountability

WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools Goes All Remote

Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools shifts to remote learning this fall


#PoliceFreeSchools News & Events: Learn more, organize, & support Chicago youth

Chalkbeat Chicago: As Chicago makes headway on school council transparency, some say it doesn’t go far enough

Chalkbeat Chicago: Schools will not be charged for police during remote learning days, district says

Here are the public comments submitted (734 pages) to the CPS Board of Ed’s June 2020 meeting where terminating the CPS CPD SRO program was on the agenda.


If you missed our event last Wednesday, check out the notes containing a lot of useful info: RYH Notes, CPD SRO Teach-in - Parent & School Community. The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights posted their recent SRO piece online, What the Research Shows: Sexual Misconduct and Gender Discrimination by School Resource Officers (SROs).

LSCs are voting on their local SRO programs through Fri, Aug 14. Chalkbeat Chicago is tracking the LSC votes here. The CPS Board of Education will vote on Wed, Aug, 26, whether to end/continue the CPD SRO Intergovernmental Agreement contract in its entirety. As we pointed out above, the proposed FY21 CPS Budget cuts the contract amount by half and the movement for #PoliceFreeSchools continues.

Due to high demand for support; we are hosting two additional sessions that will focus on planning and building strategies to influence police free campuses across CPS schools. We are also boosting a youth-led event happening next week. Each of these events are open to all CPS stakeholders invested in police free schools. Share with and invite others that you believe should be in these community spaces:

➡️ RYH Parent, Adult Allies & School Community Planning & Strategy Session on Zoom (Focused on LSC Meetings and CPS Board Of Education)

TONIGHT, Wed, Aug 12 |  6-7:30PM | Register here


➡️ #PoliceFreeSchools Youth Event: “Student Summit and March for Police Free Schools” 

Th, Aug 13, 12-3PM | March at 1:30pm | Location: Logan Square Park 

Facebook Event page here.


➡️ RYH Parent, Adult Allies & School Community Planning & Strategy Session on Zoom  (Focused on CPS Board of Education)

Wed, Aug 19, 6- 7:30PM | Register here


Special Education News & Events - IMPORTANT SURVEY BELOW

We know parents have so many questions about what remote Special Education will look like when CPS resumes school on Sept 8.  Here are some upcoming opportunities to talk about Special Ed Remote Learning in CPS:

ODLSS FAB (Family Advisory Board)

  • The next ODLSS FAB monthly meeting will take place Th, Aug 13, 6 - 7:30PM. Register here
  • You MUST be on the ODLSS e-mail list to access this meeting. Here is a link to sign up for the ODLSS e-mail list
  • The ODLSS FAB Officers have created a survey so you can submit questions for the Aug 13 meeting.  
  • For your ready reference here is a link to the ODLSS FAB Twitter Account you can follow.  

Raise Your Hand Special Ed Community Zoom Call

  • Our next RYH SpEd Community Zoom call is Aug 18, Noon - 1:30PM  You must register in advance here.  
  • We will have an interpreter for Spanish speaking folks on this call.
  • We are also discussing holding one of these calls in the evening for families who have to work during the day. Please email me at [email protected], with a preference for time.
  • Here are the notes from the 8/4/2020 RYH SpEd Community Zoom Call.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Two Chicago families, two experiences: Stories spotlight challenges ahead for special education


Black Students Matter: Educational Equity -1963, 2020, and Beyond

Th, Aug 13 | 6-8PM | Register here

Join Friends of Bret Harte Elementary, Kartemquin Films, and RYH for a free virtual screening and discussion of the documentary '63 Boycott. This film tells the story of the 250,000-student 1963 boycott of CPS to protest racial segregation, and connects the boycott to current events in Chicago. The film will be followed by a student panel discussion with 1963 boycott parent organizer Rosie Simpson and information about a brand-new curriculum that teachers can use to teach this history in their classrooms. This discussion will offer an opportunity to learn from Chicago's history to address current issues of racial equity in education, including the effects of COVID-19, the school-to-prison pipeline, the digital divide, youth activism, and more.

Block Club Chicago: Thursday’s Screening Of ’63 Boycott Documentary Links History To Hyde Park Students’ Experiences


RYH Signs Onto Letters

Here are a few letters we have signed onto lately:

  • A Statement on EdTech and Education Policy during the Pandemic - Organized by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). Remote learning doesn't have to mean online-only education for students, even as we face this pandemic. The subpar solutions offered by the EdTech industry not only fail to help students learn meaningfully, but they undermine children’s physical wellbeing and threaten their privacy. That's why we and our friends at CCFC & multiple other orgs are calling for schools to reject EdTech and center offline, meaningful learning in their students' lessons.
  • CPS divestment letter - Organized by a local group of urban education scholars and professors; a letter to the BOE about removing police from CPS schools, citing much research.
  • Chicago Grassroots Education Movement Demands Document - Organized by the Chicago orgs (including RYH) who are part of GEM (Grassroots Education Movement.) We won a full remote start to the CPS school year, which is a clear victory. But that’s just the beginning of our equity demands. Remote learning is not enough. We need support for Black and Latinx communities most impacted by the virus and the economic recession. That means free internet and devices, housing for all homeless students, healthcare and more. 


A Few RYH Webpages

CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites Summer 2020: The Basics | COVID-19

Parent Survey Results: CPS Remote Learning & Back to School Plan Recommendations

Summer 2020: COVID-19 Resources We are updating this weekly with the most recent releases from the IL State Board of Education (ISBE; state level guidance) and CPS. Apologies that this is big & clunky but if you are looking for something, you might find it here. 


Remote Learning Resources… if you have them, send them!

We’d like to create a webpage offering links for parents regarding remote learning- tips, guides, survival mechanisms, resources for their children, etc. If you have something you’d recommend, please send it to Jennie at [email protected]. Thank you!


New Charter School Report from the Network for Public Education (NPE)

The Network for Public Education has released the first comprehensive examination of charter failure rates over time—from 1999-2017.  Nearly 1 million students have been left stranded by charter closures. You can read the NPE charter school closure report here: Broken Promises: An Analysis of Charter School Closures From 1999 - 2017.


In Other News

WBEZ: The Rise Of Chicago Teen Activists

Chalkbeat Chicago: School reopening tracker: Illinois' second largest district will start year remotely

Sun-Times: Amid COVID-19, Chicago Football Classic aims to guarantee 'Winners Win'

Chalkbeat Chicago: Illinois educators: Is your district adequately preparing you for fall?

Sun-Times: Lane Tech College Prep school council votes to abolish ‘Indian’ mascot


More Upcoming Events

➡️ Still Hungry for Justice: Dyett HS Hunger Strikers Celebration

Mon, Aug 17 | 10AM - 2PM | Dyett HS, 555 E. 51st St

Our friends at Kenwood Oakland Community Organization will be celebrating the Dyett Hunger Strike campaign on its 5th anniversary. We hope you can join us in celebrating the brave hunger strikers!



➡️ #BlackToTheFuture Drive-Thru Caravan

Tues, Aug 18 | 11AM | Assemble behind National Teachers Academy (NTA), 23rd & Federal

Hosted by Reimagine Chicago & Right to Recovery coalitions



➡️ Monthly meeting of the CPS Board of Ed | Wed, Aug 26 | 10:30am | Virtual

Meeting details are here. There are 30 speaking spots available. Online sign up to speak starts Monday, Aug 24, 10:30am. The agenda will post at 10am. 

Sign up + meeting details here. You can try to register via the phone (773) 553 - 1600.

You can submit comments to the BOE via email at [email protected] or via US Mail at 1 N. Dearborn, Suite 950, Chicago IL 60602. The meeting will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube channel. IN ADDITION: You can comment on the CPS Board of Ed’s proposed policies or rule changes