Deb Hass, CPS parent and a member of Raise Your Hand’s board, spoke at the unelected BOE meeting today on behalf of RYH. Her statement is below.
Raise Your Hand was formed in 2010 around the issues of budget cuts and chronic underfunding of our schools. The district was threatening to increase class size to 36 and to cut all kinds of programs and services. To stave off cuts, CPS and the state agreed on a pension holiday at that time. Parents celebrated that schools would not see draconian cuts.
RYH has been in strong opposition to charter proliferation during broke times and declining enrollment, but we are also against closing existing charters using a flawed metric. We submitted this letter to the Board of Ed via the Principal of Amandla on 11/13/15.
Dear CPS Board of Education,
Raise Your Hand for IL Public Education is submitting this letter of support for Amandla charter school, as we are opposed to the narrow metric CPS is using to close four charter schools this year with the new Charter Accountability Policy that was announced recently.
Many legislators are having panels on the elected school board issue this month. HB 4268, a state bill proposing to change governance of Chicago Public Schools from a mayor-appointed to an elected Board of Education, is moving through the Illinois General Assembly. State representatives are holding public meetings about the potential for an elected school board in Chicago and the state of public education.
We will attach flyers for each forum as they become available.
We are experiencing another end run around democracy in education- this time in Chicago and around the rest of the state! A large expansion of charter schools in Illinois with no public input, no discussion, no stakeholder planning, is in the works.
Illinois plans to open at least 48 new charters (half in Chicago!) with an initial grant to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) of $42.3 million. This grant does not include funding for the operational budget for these schools, so dollars will be diverted from the same inadequate pot used to fund our existing schools.
RYH Board Member and CPS Dad, Chris Ball, attended the 2015 Illinois Charter Schools Conference held on Monday, October 26. This conference was sponsored by the Illinois Network for Charter Schools (INCS). Below are Chris's reflections on his day at this conference.