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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
10:57am
Thu Aug 8, 2013

CPS Students Launch 'Union', Demand Voice In District's Decision-Making Process (VIDEO)

A group of students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district are demanding a seat at the table when school officials make decisions that impact their educational environment.

At a kick-off meeting Wednesday night, a small group of students announced the formation of the Chicago Student Union (CSU). The group aims to unite students from various grassroots organizations across the city, such as Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS) and Voices Of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), to ensure students’ voices are heard during the school action decision-making process.

“We’ve all seen in our fights that we’ve been out-powered and out-spent by CPS. No matter how many marches we did, they still voted to close 50 schools and fired thousands of teachers,” said Ross Floyd, 16, a member of CSOSOS and co-founder of the CSU. “We have to come up with a new plan, and as any civil rights movement has shown us, when people come together they find strength in numbers.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:40pm
Fri Aug 2, 2013

Parents Fire Back At CPS Over Budget Cuts At Riotous Public Hearing

A public hearing regarding the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) proposed $5.6 billion budget for next year quickly escalated into angry shouting just minutes into the district’s financial presentation.

The planned budget for the 2013-2014 school year includes some $68 million in classroom cuts, including teacher layoffs, in an effort to help close the district’s reported $1 billion budget hole.

CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley told the crowd that the district’s budget deficit is being driven largely by an increased pension payment it must make now that its three-year pension vacation has ended.

But the more than 100 community members at Thursday night's meeting, held at Truman College, were irritated by that answer, saying CPS should be looking into other revenue streams before making deep cuts to schools.

“How about TIFs,” one audience member shouted at Cawley, referring to tax increment financing (TIF) funds.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
2:05pm
Wed Jul 31, 2013

Family Of CPS Students Refuses To Accept School Closure: 'I'm Not Sending My Grandkids Anyplace Else' (VIDEO)

Irene Robinson said she is taking her grandchildren to Anthony Overton Elementary School in the fall, despite the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district's decision to shutter the building for good last month. Overton Elementary, at 221 E. 49th St. in the Bronzeville neighborhood, is one of 50 schools the Chicago Board of Education voted to close as the district faces a massive budget deficit. Progress Illinois took a walk with Robinson and two of her grandchildren to what CPS has deemed to be their new welcoming school.

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