CPS and CTU come to an interim agreement

CPS and Chicago Teachers Union Officials today announced that CPS plans to hire an additional 477 teachers for next school year for subjects to be taught outside the traditional classroom such as art, technology and physical education . This is very good news and we are extremely pleased that both parties have come to an agreement that includes adding staff to CPS’ much under-resourced school day.

Elected Representative School Board Update


RYH has been working with CODE (Communities Organized for Democracy in Education) for many weeks collecting signatures in a precinct-based campaign to get a referendum on the November ballot for an elected school board. We have made great progress and will be wrapping up the campaign this weekend. Please email us if you can help collect signatures this weekend at wendy@ilraiseyourhand.org

You may have seen the news coverage that ten alderman were trying to put forth a resolution for a ward-based referendum on the ballot and that Alderman Joe Moore who had agreed to put forth the resolutions through his Human Relations Committee changed his mind at the last minute based on a technicality. He claimed that he couldn't put it forth for a vote because it was submitted three minutes late. While the legal counsel at city hall approved it and the resolution was put on the agenda, we understand that the Mayor's office does not want this referendum on the ballot and will work hard to prevent it from being there.

RYH Fact-Finding Report on the State of CPS

  • Illinois has no long-term plan to equitably and sustainably fund it's schools
  • Illinois is still 49th in the nation in what the state pays towards education
  • Illinois is ranked one of the most regressive states in the nation in how it funds education with a huge onus on property taxes that causes great inequity in our state. See this Report - Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card
  • Chicago will start out with a budget deficit of over $1 billion in 2014
  • Many programs/teachers/raises will likely be cut at that time as we continue to not address the long-term issue of properly funding education
  • The CPS 5hr45 minute day is too short
  • The push by Mayor Emanuel and CPS for a7.5 hour day was completely unrealistic given our financial situation

Comment on the CPS Budget Hearings

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.

This week's schedule for Elected School Board Campaign

There are two ways you can help:

1) Meet up with us either;

Monday - 7/9 Bridgeport - 6:45pm - Bridgeport Coffee (31st and Morgan)

Thursday 7/12 - West Lakeview - 7pm - Paulina/Barry

Saturday 7/15 10am - Andersonville 5400 N. Clark

OR) if you want to handle your own precinct, email us and we will prepare a petition for you. Wendy@ilraiseyourhand.org. We will give you instructions on how to collect signatures.

On the Elected Representative School Board Campaign

We are working with a coalition of many community groups (CODE) to get an ERSB on the November ballot as an advisory referendum. This is a non-binding referendum to gauge popular opinion at this time. We feel that the current school board needs changing and does not reflect Chicago public education stakeholders.We will be collecting signatures through the end of July. If you'd like more information, email us at info@ilraiseyourhand.org.

The Current CPS Board

Chicago Reader lists Raise Your Hand as one of the "Best Public School Parent" Groups

Hey Raise Your Hand Advocates,

We got a nice shout out from the Reader in their "Best of Chicago 2012" issue along with our friends from KOCO and the 19th ward parent group.


It's nice to have all of our efforts recognized. Let's keep up the hard work together in fall 2012!

CPS cancels public meetings on Contract Negotiations

A FACE manager at CPS had contacted us a few weeks ago and told us CPS was going to hold two meetings open to the public on contract negotiations. We put an email out to our membership about the first meeting scheduled at Gage Park High School for June 25th. Robocalls also went out to the parent community inviting them to these meetings. On Monday of this week, CPS emailed us to tell us that they changed their minds and will postpone these meetings until after the fact-finding process is completed in July.


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