I am one of many concerned parents who attended the Board of Education (BOE) meeting on March 28th during the public input session. In case you have not had the luxury of attending a BOE meeting, let me tell you what it takes. Parents get up around 5:00 am and must take the day off of work. Some of us must hire child care or ask our spouses to also take a day off work to prepare kids for school. Many of us have jobs that do not have benefits, so we don’t get paid. Others lose a precious vacation day. We then wait to be issued a number at 9 am. I received a number of 58 and then waited to see what that meant. Turns out I was a “lucky one” who managed to speak for my 2 minutes, with 7 minutes to spare, before the public comment period expired
Suffice it to say, expressing concerns as a Chicago parent to the BOE it is extremely difficult to pull off and we only make these sacrifices because we care about and believe in public education. We believe that if we prepare our speech (limited to 2 minutes) with reason, logic, and facts, the CPS and the BOE will listen. We believe that no matter what our differences, CPS and the BOE desire parent engagement and the best for our communities. We believe that the 120 seconds is our only chance to be heard by the people who affect policies that impact our children.