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Chicago Teachers Union plans early morning protest at the Board of Education against Board plans to expand charter schools after promising it would not do so....

Members and staff of the Chicago Teachers Union will be picketing the May 27, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education at the Board's headquarters at Madison and Dearborn St. in Chicago at 6:30 a.m. The protest is to highlight the union's opposition to the Board's plan to expand charter schools in Chicago, plans which became clear when the public agenda of the Board meeting was posted according to the Open Meetings Act. The agenda, nearly 300 pages long, is available to the public at www.cps.edu.

On May 26, 2015, the union issued the following press release.

NEWS ADVISORY...IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Stephanie Gadlin, May 26, 2015 312-329-6250

CTU to lead picket before Chicago Board of Education meeting calling for halt to charter school expansion

CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has organized a picket line before the Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 27, to highlight the hypocrisy of the district’s insistence on expanding charter operations throughout the city while claiming a $1 billion budget deficit. The financial “crisis” for Chicago Public Schools is the result of the district’s own fiscal irresponsibility—hundreds of millions of dollars mired in scandal, swap deals and failed, privatized outsourcing. By allowing the unchecked growth of charter schools, including some into closed neighborhood school buildings, CPS continues its plan to weaken communities by creating a culture of chaos that the district will use to justify cutting school budgets, closing schools and laying off thousands of CPS educators and education support staff.

Four Points of CPS Charter Hypocrisy

· Lying to the Illinois General Assembly that there would be no charter schools placed into any school building that was part of the mass school closings in 2013. CPS is “selling” the Peabody Elementary School building—closed in 2013—and putting Rowe Charter into that building.

· Expanding charter operations—a Noble Street charter school moving into the Uptown neighborhood; Rowe moving into the Peabody building; a Perspectives charter school moving to 85th & Lafayette—as the district claims a massive budget deficit

· Ignoring community opposition to place a Noble Street charter school into a community that has voiced outrage over the proposal. “They told my mom what she wanted to hear to get me and my brother to go there, but she realized after a few years of struggle, that the school doesn’t live up to its promise,” said a former Noble Street student who is now attending a neighborhood high school in Uptown. Another student added: “Noble schools don’t work with kids to do better—they just kick them out to their neighborhood schools.”

· Rewarding an ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Howard Brookins with the lucrative placement of a Perspectives charter school into the Rev. Charles Jenkins’ Legacy Project development, with no disclosure of how the project is being financed.

WHO: CTU teachers, community partners and allies

WHAT: Picket line before the Chicago Board of Education meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at 6:30 a.m.

WHERE: Chicago Board of Education, 42 W. Madison St., Chicago



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