Now that Chicago Teachers Union members have ratified a new contract, CTU President Karen Lewis detailed what comes next for the union and Chicago Public Schools district.
"We will work with them to shore up their financial issues by promoting legislation that will adequately and equitably fund all of Illinois' schools," she said during a speech before the City Club of Chicago.
In discussing the vote results, Lewis said, "What I can tell you is that the level of distrust between the district, parents, educators and communities is still high, and will need a lot of work to repair these wounds."
Five Chicago aldermen want to surplus funds from a tax increment financing, or TIF, district located in their wards and use the money to help "alleviate the budget crisis" at the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.
A group of Chicago aldermen proposed a package of ordinances Wednesday to generate revenue for the city's cash-strapped public schools.
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district has a $300 million budget gap, and schools are reportedly facing a 7 percent funding cut in the upcoming academic year.
"We've received some money from the state, but it's just not enough," Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said at a press conference before the council meeting with fellow aldermen, the Chicago Teachers Union and other education advocates.
"We need to find more progressive and more viable solutions to increase revenue so that all of our schools can be adequately financed, so that we can give quality teachers an opportunity to teach in our schools," he continued. "When I had a conversation with a principal yesterday, she was perplexed that she could not hire a 20-plus year veteran school teacher because she could not afford it. That's not right."
Homeless individuals who live under Lake Shore Drive viaducts on Chicago's North Side met Monday morning with city officials to discuss a new pilot program that will provide them with housing and support services.
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler and North Side Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th) were at the meeting, held at Weiss Memorial Hospital. Also in attendance were various homeless advocates, service providers and community members.
At issue was a city pilot program, announced late last month, aimed at placing 75 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. The homeless individuals live in tent encampments, also known as tent cities, under viaducts near Lake Shore Drive at Irving Park Road and Foster, Lawrence and Wilson Avenues.