This Week in Ed 9.12.19: TIFs on trial

On Wednesday, September 11, we joined our fellow plaintiff, Grassroots Collaborative, and our lawyers, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and national Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and 60 supporters at the Circuit Court, Daley Center. The City filed a motion to dismiss our TIF litigation case which was filed in April. We heard the oral arguments from both sides. We expect a written ruling from the judge in a few weeks.


Read our press conference statement and check out the press coverage here. 

Other TIF news… 

We participated in an Investigate Lincoln Yards press conference on August 29. Read our statement here

Our lawyer, Aneel Chablani, was interviewed about the lawsuit on Chicago Tonight.  Watch it here.


Raise a Glass for RYH! Buy your tickets today!

You're invited to our annual fundraiser! We’d love to meet you in real life! We will be honoring Local School Council members and the power of our collective voice for public education. Buy your tickets today!



Special Education news

We are forever grateful and changed because of Marca Bristo, founder of Access Living. We were very sad to hear of her recent death. Please read our statement on Marca’s impact on our work and on the world

The New York Times: Marca Bristo, Influential Advocate for the Disabled, Dies at 66

Sun-Times: Access Living founder Marca Bristo made us all listen, including me

Busing Issues… All over our Facebook groups parents have been posting about CPS busing issues. Two RYH parents of children with special needs were featured in a few CBS 2 news segments. You can watch them here, here, and here.

Training in Spanish… Familias incluidas en Recibiendo Mejor Educación Especial (FIRME) Entrenamiento- A special education training opportunity for Spanish speaking parents from Family Resource Center for Disabilities (FRCD). Please share with Spanish speaking parents!

SSCA trainings… On Wednesday, CPS hosted a Student Specific Corrective Action(SSCA) training for parents. Here is the pdf of the slideshow used at the ISBE and CPS Parent University SSCA training. Our Parent Liaison for Special Education, Mary Fahey Hughes, attended and has this to report: No specifics were given on what IEP Teams can offer students who were harmed. The harm that CPS brought upon some of these kids began over 3 years ago and there is still no clarity on how CPS is going to make it up to them. We are terribly disappointed. 

You can find a flyer here (English) and here (Spanish) which lists upcoming CPS Parent University trainings. Sign up here to receive updates from the CPS Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS)

Background from previous emails... On July 24, 2019, CPS announced its first step toward informing parents and guardians of students with IEPs of the “Student Specific Corrective Action” (SSCA) process that will take place at annual IEP meetings during the 2019–20 school year. Per CPS, more detailed information will be available in September 2019. Links to the overview of CPS Student Specific Corrective Action are here in English and in Spanish.  

CPS failed thousands of children with special education needs. If your child did not get any of the necessary services stated below, contact us: Check back for parent special education Know Your Rights/How to File State Complaint workshops, coming in October 2019. We’ve also created a web page with the flyer- please share with your parent networks.


CTU and SEIU Local 73… there may be a strike or strikes

We encourage you to pay attention to the news in the coming weeks about the negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools. CTU members will take a strike authorization vote on September 24, 25, and 26. SEIU Local 73 members have already authorized a strike. This is the union that represents SECAs, bus aides, board custodians, security officers, and parent workers. Each of these unions will be flyering at schools in the coming weeks. We encourage you to discuss the issues with your teachers and school staff. 

WBEZ: Chicago Teachers Union Sets Strike Authorization Vote 

Chalkbeat Chicago continually updates this article with the latest news: #TrackingtheContract: Union builds support for teachers as possible strike looms


Two CPS BOE surveys

The Lightfoot appointed CPS Board of Education wants feedback on the Board Meeting registration process. The newly formed Whole Child Committee if also looking for feedback



Chicago Tribune: Column: ‘Don’t let anyone bring you down’: Dominika Tamley enters 8th grade with a disability and a philosophy

WBEZ: CPS Teacher On Returning To The Classroom After More Than A Decade


Chicago PreK in the news

WBEZ covers the recent far northside meeting about expanding PreK classrooms at Norwood Park ES to increase seats for the whole area: Chicago Is Offering More Preschool But Not Everyone Is Buying It.

Chalkbeat Chicago: ‘Something has gone wrong’: Providers sound alarm over Chicago’s $200 million award for early learning 

WBEZ: Chicago Early Learning Centers Say Free CPS Pre-K Comes At A Cost


In other news

Sun-Times: Do students need cellphones for safety? Some CPS parents want phone bans lifted

WBEZ: Chicago High Schools Going From ‘College Prep’ To ‘Early College’ 

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago’s school councils were granted authority over school police. All voted to keep them.

WBEZ: Teens Say Free CTA Rides On First Day Of School Are Not Enough

Chicago Tribune: In Chicago, more than 16,000 students are homeless, new report says: ‘I felt very embarrassed to tell people’ 

CBS 2 Chicago: Parent Files Class-Action Suit After Data Breach Exposes Nearly 1 Million Schoolchildren’s Personal Information

Sun-Times: No school should go without a nurse, a social worker and a librarian 

Sun-Times: CPS offers to stop using private nurses at schools, union says plan has ‘loopholes’

Chicago Tribune: New law requires Illinois schools teach contributions of gay, transgender people: ‘It is past time children know the names of LGBTQ+ pioneers’ 

Hoy: Las escuelas de Illinois enseñarán las contribuciones de homosexuales y transgénero

Sun-Times: CPS looks within to hire for hard-to-fill special ed teaching jobs

Chalkbeat Chicago: School starts, but hundreds of Chicago classrooms still need teachers 


Upcoming events

Chicago Teachers and Staff Solidarity Campaign meeting (CTSSC)

Th Sept 12, 7:00 - 9:00pm

SEIU Healthcare, 2229 S. Halsted

Facebook event page here


⟹ North Side Rent Control (and Elected Representative School Board) Town Hall

Sun Sept 15, 1 - 3pm

The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted

Facebook event page here


⟹ Panel: "Education and Liberation: Back-to-School Edition"

Sun Sept 22, 3 - 6pm

The Seminary Co-Op Bookstores, 5751 S. Woodlawn

Facebook event page here


Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed Sept 25, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

Registration to speak or attend begins on Mon Sept 23 at 10:30am.Online registration to speak or attend is here. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance: Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at at 10am on Sept 23.


A Gathering of Communities: Healing Through Justice!

Hosted by Communities United in partnership with multiple organizations

Sat Oct 5, 9am - 1pm

Corliss HS, 821 E. 103rd St

Register here


Raise a Glass for Raise Your Hand 2019

Tues Oct 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm

Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th Street

Buy tickets to our annual fundraiser today! See you there!



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