The Raise Your Hand Coalition (RYH) was happy to stand behind
Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman at a press conference yesterday as he announced that he would only have to raise the maximum high school class size from 32 to
33 students (rather than 35, as had been threatened).
But Catalyst's Sarah Karp reports that the group of CPS parents were "put off" when Huberman used the occasion to pressure the Chicago Teachers Union to forgo a scheduled pay increase. "We wanted to highlight this as good news," RYH organizer Jonathan
Goldman told us this morning, referring to the class size announcement. "But it's just
one piece of the puzzle."
While they're not wading into the issue of teacher raises, RYH argues that another piece of the budget puzzle should involve amending the tax increment financing (TIF) statue to exempt CPS tax revenue from being diverted into Mayor Daley's shadow budget. The parents have a meeting scheduled
with Huberman in mid-July to discuss that proposal as well as other
potential budget fixes. "We're going to go in and lay out our thoughts
and concerns and see what they have to say," Goldman says. Still, any
significant changes will hinge on Daley himself. And one month after they hand-delivered a letter
requesting a meeting on the subject, the coalition is yet to get a response from his office. "We don't
expect Huberman to come out publicly on TIF and buck the mayor,"
Goldman says. "[Daley's] the political leader of the city -- he has to
step forward on these issues."