EMBARGOED Until 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Contact:
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (773/606-4876, Liz Brown Media Relations) Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization Education Organizer Jitu Brown (773/317-6343) Raise Your Hand Coalition Steering Committee Member Jonathan Goldman (312/388-7358) CPS teacher Sunny Neater-Dubow (773/671-3805)

Community Groups and Students Speak Out on CPS Budget Priorities
Synopsis of Planned Statements: CPS teacher Sunny Neater-Dubow: “CPS’s message to parents and the public has been that the teachers they fired are unsatisfactory. I am a profile of many of those teachers. As a National Board Certified Art teacher, I sit on the Museum of Contemporary Art Teacher Advisory Committee. I have won numerous grants and my students have won full-ride scholarships to some of the best art schools in the country. I am the teacher who is being laid off. Parents should have an honest picture of what is really going on. Through these firings, CPS is replacing high-quality teachers with less experienced, cheaper teachers. That is the reality.” Karen Lewis, President Chicago Teachers Union: “The damage is done, it is real and it is students who ultimately pay. … CPS must keep its word – no increase in class sizes and rehire everyone CPS fired without due process, without cause, so all students have high quality teachers on day one. The CTU also asks CPS to redirect $204 million to the students and schools who have been historically neglected. Those savings are a $59 million increase for the already bloated area unit offices, $125 million for a new Jones College Prep, and $20 million of the $60 million spent on testing.” Jonathan Goldman, Raise Your Hand: "TIFs continue to divert tax dollars away from CPS and pile up huge cash balances, while the CPS budget proposal makes real cuts at the school level and eliminates CPS' reserves. The City of Chicago needs to refund the $700 million TIF surplus so that CPS' tax dollars can be spent on education rather than gathering dust in the Mayor's piggybank." Mrs. Jeanette Smith, LSC parent representative for Mollison Elementary School and KOCO Education Leader. “KOCO questions CPS’s accountability to the public for public dollars. CPS should chop from the top and use all available resources before they even think about cutting teachers or student programs. Chicago has the funding, but the priority is not there; the political will is not there.”
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The Chicago Teachers Union represents 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in the Chicago Public Schools and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, is the third largest union in the country and the largest local union in Illinois. LB:oteg-743-tr

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