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7/1/2013


Local Officials Push for Cooperation to Address CPS Budget Cuts


Press Release…



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION

July 2, 2013 Mike Reever

(773) 880-9082



LOCAL OFFICIALS PUSH FOR COOPERATION TO ADDRESS CPS BUDGET CUTS



CHICAGO - Today, Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward), State Representative Ann Williams (D-11th), State Representative Greg Harris (D-13th) and Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (D-12th) joined Chicago parents to address the severe budget cuts to their local schools.



“The recently announced budget cuts for the Chicago Public Schools have sent shockwaves through our communities,” said Pawar. “We at all levels of government share a deep concern about the impact of these devastating cuts, which are simply unacceptable.”



Williams said that the neighborhood schools in her district are facing cuts anywhere from $400,000 to up to $2 million per school. This translates into a significant loss of teaching positions, the elimination of arts, sciences and technology programs, and unacceptably large class sizes.

“We’re hearing from parents who love Chicago and are invested in their neighborhood schools, but for the first time are considering whether staying in the city is the best option for their families,” said Rep. Williams. “Strong neighborhood schools are the key to keeping our communities vibrant and healthy. And they cannot sustain the levels of cuts that have been proposed.”



The coalition is calling for a strong, collaborative effort to restore the funding and find ways to put money back into the classrooms.



“This is not just a city problem; this is not just a state problem,” Rep. Harris said. “We need to look at all options, and all levels of government must be involved in the solution.”



“We need to stop playing the blame game, and take on the tough issues at all levels of government, ” Pawar stated.

The officials stated that among the items that should be on the table are a declaration of a TIF surplus for unencumbered funds and a fresh look at how schools are funded statewide, to avoid an overreliance on property taxes. They additionally reaffirmed that the issue of pension reform is critical in bringing fiscal stability to all levels of government and freeing up funding for a quality public education.



“Our constituents deserve results not finger pointing,” said Commissioner Fritchey. “There are critical issues facing the constituents that we jointly represent and we need to work together to address them.”