CHICAGO, August 16, 2018—Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement in response to today’s report on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s GoCPS enrollment system.
“GoCPS is another tool in Emanuel’s strategy to target – and close – neighborhood public schools in Chicago, the very schools that he has chronically denied of resources in neighborhoods that he has disinvested in for years.
“We know the solution to under-enrollment at neighborhood public high schools. These schools need educational funding adequacy and equity. They need well-maintained facilities with working heat and air conditioning, free from rodents and cockroaches. They need small class sizes in schoolrooms that are adequately resourced, social workers and counselors and school nurses and librarians and the wrap-around services and enrichment programs that every sustainable community school provides.
“Rahm knows what this kind of school looks like because that’s the kind of high school he attended. He made sure his kids went to that kind of school. Our students deserve no less – and they deserve those schools in their own neighborhoods. That’s why we embedded a pilot program of sustainable community schools in our contract.
“Just as our neighborhood schools deserve real equity, our entire school district needs more funding, instead of a tiny piece of the small pie that Emanuel insists each school struggle for year after year. Today’s findings on GoCPS outline the need to invest in neighborhood high school facilities, staffing, programs, outreach and engagement, rather than using enrollment data as an excuse to repeat the trauma of even more school closings.
“Parents want the best for their children, and Chicagoans – especially the families whose children are forced each year to compete in Emanuel’s educational hunger games – understand the unfairness of his educational policies. They feel the loss of support for neighborhood high schools that have been valued neighborhood anchors for generations of their families. They live with the threats to the safety and educational futures of their children that eight years of Emanuel’s misleadership has produced. And they rightly hold this mayor accountable – something he will feel next winter at the ballot box.”
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in schools funded by City of Chicago School District 299, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information, please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.