Raise Your Hand believes education policy and planning is best when stakeholders can participate. By releasing the budget only 5 days prior, and holding three hearings at the same time on the same evening with no locations on the north side, RYH leadership is unable to attend the meeting tonight. We have prior commitments in Austin at an education forum and we are participating in the CPS Arts Planning meeting on the North Side tonight. Many of our members expressed frustration to us regarding the scheduling of the budget hearings and the insufficient time CPS gave for parents to plan ahead to attend the meetings.
We have a lot of concerns about this year’s budget but our main concern is that we have no long-term sustainable plan to fund education in Illinois and Chicago. Until this is addressed, we will have a budget every year that does not work to properly educate every child in every school In Chicago. We have advocated for increased arts, PE, language, etc. all year, and while some elementary schools are getting increases in funding, many are losing funding and many of our traditional neighborhood high schools are losing funding. The only pattern we see in this year’s budget is that the majority of charter schools are receiving a huge increase in funding -$76 million across the board.
We will also be releasing a statement from Chicago Parents for Quality Education later today, a diverse coalition of parent groups from across the city.