Progress Illinois recaps Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen reaffirmed Chicago's status as a "sanctuary city" and approved new drone regulations and a Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance.
Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery wants the Chicago Board of Education to reject new charter school proposals that are currently under consideration by the cash-strapped school district. Proposals for as many as 13 new alternative and traditional charter schools could go up for a vote at next week's Chicago school board meeting.
Montgomery addressed the issue while speaking with reporters Tuesday after his speech before the City Club of Chicago on the topic of "school choice."
"I think they should be rejected," he said of the pending Chicago charter school applications. "I think they've got to get their house in order first and make sure that ... every other school in the city is getting all the things it needs before they start talking about diverting more resources to charter schools."
Newly announced cuts to special education in Chicago spurred parents to gather for a special town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss the potential impact of the public school district's latest budget move.
Amber Smock, director of advocacy for Access Living, described the budget cuts as "morally wrong," adding that it demonstrates school officials' lack of the creativity needed to find other ways to curb expenses.
"The Chicago Public Schools budget crisis facing students with disabilities is one of the worst we've seen in ten years," said Smock. "The fact that CPS [Chicago Public Schools] has chosen to make most of their budget cuts on the backs of students with disabilities is unfair and incomprehensible."
After facing fierce backlash from parents and educators over special education cuts, the Chicago Public Schools announced Tuesday that it is "conducting a month-long process" to review the proposed funding reductions.
Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.
Last week, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that would reform school discipline policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the pending bill, now under consideration in the Illinois House, and the problems it aims to address.