This Week in Ed 9.19.19: Upcoming events & Chi education news!

Please join us for any or all of the following events!

The Advocate Group is holding a series of Special Education Workshops to help parents determine if their child may be eligible for extra special education services. Please join us! Visit this RYH web page for more details and for downloadable, shareable flyers. 

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The LSCs 4 ALL coalition is hosting The Gathering on Saturday, October 5, 10am - 12pm at National Teachers Academy (NTA), 55 W. Cermak Road. Flyer as jpg (for social media & texting); Flyer as pdf (for printing). Facebook event page.


Raise a Glass for Raise Your Hand, our annual fundraiser, is right around the corner! Tuesday, October 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm, in “the basement” of Lagunitas Brewing, 2607 W. 17th St. Buy your tickets today and support our work!


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Federal oversight of CPS to protect students from sexual violence

Parents received an email from CEO Jackson on Thursday, September 12. It glossed over the findings of the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and, instead, discussed the CPS "Comprehensive Plan of Action" which was implemented shortly after the Chicago Tribune exposed rampant sexual abuse within CPS. We are still reading through everything from the USDOE and continue to be horrified, saddened and infuriated. Our hearts go out to the students and victims as well as their families who went through this at CPS. We will continue to work to push for policies that put children first and that ensure better accountability and transparency in this district.

We recommend reading the below (and we put all of this together in a RYH web page here.)

Chicago Tribune: ‘Extraordinary and appalling’ handling of sexual violence cases in Chicago Public Schools leads to federal oversight

The US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights press release

There are 2 important links in the press release:

The letter to CPS CEO Jackson

Resolution Agreement 

In addition to the above, the Sun-Times published two stories this week about a particular case at a CPS high school. The second article reveals that DCFS knew about the allegations in January 2018. DCFS did not follow their own protocol and did not tell CPS until July 2019. 

CPS theater director sexually assaulted student inside Edgewater high school, prosecutors say

CPS: It was ‘inappropriate’ to say departure of teacher accused of sex assault was ‘bittersweet’ 


Community Groups Vow to Continue Fighting Broken TIFs Despite Court Ruling

A judge has granted the City of Chicago’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights on behalf of  Grassroots Collaborative and Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education over the creation of a new TIF district for the Lincoln Yards luxury development and the systemic racial inequity caused by the City’s administration of the program. You can read our joint statement as well as all the press coverage here. We are exploring all of our options and we will continue to fight to fix the broken Chicago TIF system!


Special Education news

Special Education Workshops.... As we noted above, the Advocate Group is hosting a series of special education workshops. Please see our web page here for all the info you need! Two of these trainings will be offered in Spanish. 

Don’t miss this story… Sun-Times: A Chicago student with autism should be in school. Instead, he’s at home while CPS and his family battle over which one

Trainings 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… CPS is hosting Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) trainings  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: We’ve also created a web page with the flyer- please share with your parent networks.


SUFEO: Great resource for parents & students!

From Stand Up for Each Other Chicago - SUFEO, an initiative led by Loyola Chicago law students to address suspension issues in Chicago schools

SUFEO’s hotline is open. We are now taking bullying cases in addition to suspension cases.

If you have any events coming up that law students could possibly come to to advertise the services of SUFEO, please get in touch. We can also host know your right trainings on disciplinary proceedings.

SUFEO flyer (English; Spanish); SUFEO website


Parents 4 Teachers hiring

Here’s the job description for a part time organizer position with Parents 4 Teachers. 


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 next week on September 24, 25, and 26. SEIU Local 73 members have already authorized a strike and rejected a fact-finders report. 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. 

Chalkbeat Chicago: ‘It’s not just teachers wanting a break’: In battle over contract, conflict arises over prep time

WBEZ: As Strike Vote Nears, Tensions Between Chicago Teachers And School District Grow

Chalkbeat Chicago continually updates this article with the latest news: #TrackingtheContract: Lightfoot and Sharkey meet for the first time as bargaining sessions ramp up 

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


In other news

Chalkbeat Chicago: Can students walk out of schools for a climate strike? Here’s what Chicago Public Schools says

Sun-Times: A Chicago student with autism should be in school. Instead, he’s at home while CPS and his family battle over which one

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago aldermen demand more details about $200 million early learning ‘imbroglio’

Education Week: Parent Who Criticized His Son's Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company

Chalkbeat Chicago: Competitive high school admissions policies send students strong messages about their worth. Students are listening.


Upcoming events

⟹ Chicago Teachers and Staff Solidarity Campaign meeting (CTSSC)

Th Sept 22, 4:00 - 6:00pm

SEIU Healthcare, 2229 S. Halsted

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


The Gathering

Hosted by LCSs 4 ALL coalition

The Gathering is for anyone interested in making Local School Councils (LSCs) more effective. Whether you are curious about LSCs, what it means to be an LSC member, or whether you're unsure if your school has an LSC; The Gathering is for you.

Sat Oct 5, 10am - 12pm

NTA, 55 W. Cermak

Facebook event page here


Raise a Glass for Raise Your Hand 2019

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

Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th Street

Facebook event page here

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