‘CPS Budget Putting Schools on a Collision Course with Failure,’ say Chicago students

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducacionLess than a month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Board of Education’s decision to close 49 public elementary schools, Chicago Public Schools is implementing massive budget cuts affecting the remainder of public schools. Many schools are facing cuts that surpass $1 million with some schools facing cuts as high as $4 million. As a direct result of CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s budget, teachers are threatened with being laid off, which could create larger class sizes and critical support staff members such as counselors, nurses, office workers, etc., are facing job loss; supplies for books, academic equipment and maintenance may be slashed, reducing the quality of students’ learning environments.

Arts, foreign-language classes and even recess are among the first programs being shed by principals trying to deal with budget cuts of ten percent or more while Mayor Emanuel proposed using $55 million in public TIF money to fund construction of DePaul stadium.

“Rather than pushing for progressive, comprehensive measures, CPS is putting schools on a collision course with failure. First Rahm and Barbara closed 49 public schools and now they’re trying to gut the remainder of existing schools by passing crippling budgets,” said Ross Floyd, sophomore at Jones College Prep High School.

Students from across the city marched to CPS headquarters to protest the budget cuts and the decimation of their future while CSOSOS were inside of the Board of Education meeting. The students stood in solidarity with a speaker. Afterward, CSOSOS began a series of statements to bring attention to the issues facing young students.

“We, the students, will show Barbara Byrd-Bennett that her budget is detrimental to our future and it will not stand. Rahm Emanuel will be a one term mayor and his unelected school board will be dissolved. We will take it upon ourselves to fight for the future of education in Chicago, as Rahm and Barbara have proven that they only care about rich, white people, not the communities of color or low-income neighborhoods,” said Israel Munoz, a recent graduate of Kelly High School.

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