Hacking the politics

On 6/15, the Chicago Board of Education held an emergency meeting and voted 7-0 to give Ron Huberman the power to raise class sizes to 35, secure $800 million in credit, and fire tenured teachers. Jonathan Goldman of the Raise Your Hand coalition addressed the board. Illinois constituents, driven largely by CPS parents, sent over 150,000 emails to legislators to reduce state education budget cuts by hundreds of millions; why is CPS still talking about classrooms with 35 kids?

CPS still has a $275 million hole in the FY 2011 CPS budget. How to plug it in ways that don’t mean 35 kids in a classroom? The Raise Your Hand coalition believes that the answer lies in the city’s TIF program, which diverts millions of property-tax dollars away from schools and into economic development. Through this petition (http://ilraiseyourhand.org/petition-to-daley), the Raise Your Hand coalition is asking Mayor Daley to reform the TIF program and restore sustainable property-tax based funding to schools (and parks and other city services) across the city of Chicago. Won’t you join us? Here’s how you can help:

1. Attend the next rally at City Hall – Thursday June 17th @ 10:30 AM
2. Sign the online petition (see above link), and/or
3. Print the same petition in hard copy and collect signatures

Additional reading on 6/15 Board of Education meeting:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/2397688,CST-NWS-skul16.article
http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/2395198,chicago-public-schools-class-size-061510.article
http://tinyurl.com/2eokkbp (WBEZ coverage)
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/Teachers-Protest-Proposed-Board-Cuts-96366519.html
http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/723/Board_gives_Huberman_power_to_increase_class_sizes
http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2010/06/16/chicago-teachers-increasingly-complaining-about-tif

Additional reading on TIF:
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-chicago-reader-tif-archive/Content?oid=1180567
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/tax_increment_financingprogram.html

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