Two letters and a set of protests were announced as the Chicago Teachers Union and Local School Council leaders pressure Mayor Rahm Emanuel to find more funding for public schools, and Mayor Emanuel joined suburban mayors to pressure Governor Bruce Rauner to increase funding to school districts with high numbers of impoverished students.

Mayor Emanuel’s office released a letter signed by him and 16 other suburban mayors calling on Rauner, “to address the school-funding inequities that threaten so many Illinois public schools and their students.” Aldertrack first reported this letter was in circulation for signatures on Wednesday, June 15.

Meanwhile, over 500 Local School Council members have signed a letter to the Chicago Board of Education and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypoolsaying, “legislative proposals in Springfield remain nebulous and, even if passed, would fail to solve the revenue crunch” for CPS. The letter provides specific requests for action, including:

  • Declare an emergency return of surplus TIF funds;
  • Cancel projects like Obama Prep;
  • Allow CPS to initiate a Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) referendum; and
  • CPS reduce non-classroom spending, including reducing the length of the school day, reducing standardized testing and stopping charter school expansion.

Finally, the Chicago Teachers Union announced five actions to take place at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, to protest “hypocrisy coming from the fifth floor of City Hall and Emanuel’s hand picked school board” as well as “to connect the dots between Governor Bruce Rauner’s notorious ‘turnaround agenda’ and the mayor’s refusal to fully support public schools.”

The protests include the offices of Gov. Rauner donor Larry Levy, Mayor Emanuel supporter and donor Ken Griffin, former Board of Education president David Vitale, as well as the Board of Education and City Hall.