Friday, October 20 - Restore CPS Special Ed Funding / Support Elected School Board for CPS / Support Those Impacted by the Wildfires in Northern California

Actions You Can Take Today

  • Action 1: Sign Petition to Restore CPS Special Ed Funding & Call for CEO Claypool's Resignation

  • Action 2: Tell your State Rep to vote YES on HB1774 for an Elected School Board in Chicago

  • Action 3: Support those impacted by the wildfires in Northern California

Tools You Can Use

Action 1: Sign Petition to Restore CPS Special Education Funding & Call for CEO Claypool's Resignation

This week, WBEZ aired an investigation that details how CPS administrators made secret changes to guidelines and processes for allocating special education services in order to meet budget cuts. These underhanded changes severely limited services and left parents completely in the dark about what was happening and why. For example, documentation that used to take 15 minutes can now take months to complete, with no coverage for these kids during the review period, resulting in special ed CPS children being denied school services. 

The situation was brought to light by WBEZ investigative reporter Sarah Karp after several incidents surrounding appropriate oversight of special education in CPS, including one death, over the past several months. Special education funding across the city has been cut by $15M since last year, yet CEO Claypool insisted as recently as last month that funding had not been reduced. We need to fix this issue now and we need a leader we can trust. Our petition is the first step.

From the WBEZ report: "A WBEZ investigation into that 2016 overhaul found officials relied on a set of guidelines — developed behind closed doors and initially kept secret — that resulted in limiting services for special education students, services like busing, one-on-one aides, and summer school. This overhaul was orchestrated by outside auditors with deep ties to CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. They had no expertise in special education.changes were properly communicated to schools or parents. This is illegal."

Sign the petition here: http://www.ilraiseyourhand.org/claypool_letter

Bonus: Share petition on social media

Action 2: Tell your State Rep to vote YES on HB1774 for an Elected School Board in Chicago

Call your state rep and senator to ask them to vote YES on HB1774 for an elected representative school board for Chicago.

Not sure who your Illinois State Representative is? Look them up here.
Or call the Illinois General Assembly switchboard: (217) 782-3944.

Click here for the text of the bill and the current sponsors.
If your Representative has not signed on as a sponsor, see script below. If your Representative has signed on as a sponsor, thank them for their support and ask them to help build support to pass the bill. 

> Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _____________. I am calling to ask Representative ____ to become a sponsor and vote YES on House Bill 1774 for an Elected Representative School Board for Chicago. The community deserves a real voice and a real vote in how our public schools are run.

Background (borrowed from Raise Your Hand Action)

An elected board is a necessary first step to improve our schools.

An elected representative school board would be directly accountable to the public, more diverse and representative of CPS families.

Chicago needs an elected board of education, one where board members who have financial conflicts of interests must bear the scrutiny of the voters at the ballot box.

**[Nearly 90% of Chicago voters asked about an elected school board in 2015 voted in favor of having one.]()**

Last March, in the previous General Assembly, a bill that would establish a Elected Representative School Board for Chicago, passed in the IL House 110-4. It failed to pass in the IL Senate Education Committee, however.

State Representative Robert Martwick has re-introduced this legislation for the 100th General Assembly as HB1774. We need to take action to bring some democracy and transparency to public education in Chicago.

Action 3: Support Those Impacted by the Wildfires in Northern California

After more than a week, wildfires continue to consume Northern California. Thousands of homes have been destroyed and more than 40 people have died.

Contribute now to the North Bay Fire Relief fund endorsed by Indivisible Sonoma County to support relief efforts.

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