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Press Release: Rep Williams to CPS: We Must End Crisis-Driven Budgeting

August 26, 2015

Contact: Colleen Smith or 773-880-9082

Rep. Ann Williams to CPS: “We Must End Crisis-Driven Budgeting”

Legislator Pushes for Viable Long-term Solutions at CPS Board Meeting

CHICAGO – In the wake of another round of dramatic budget cuts for neighborhood schools, Representative Ann Williams (D-Chicago), spoke to the CPS Board of Education meeting to share some of the impacts on the children and families of the 11th District.

Williams began her remarks today by acknowledging that CPS is dealing with an unprecedented crisis, with a long list of negative impacts. Then Williams’ noted her comments were taken verbatim from a statement she made to the Board in 2013 following a round of budget cuts.

“We were in crisis mode then, we’re in crisis mode now,” Williams said. “We just can’t continue this cycle of crisis-driven budgeting.”

Representative Williams’ visit to the CPS Board Meeting comes as Chicago Public Schools are facing $60 million in cuts, impacting many of the schools in local neighborhoods. One school, Jahn Elementary, was given a 33% reduction in its budget, leading to the loss of seven teachers and an assistant principal. Parents, administrators and community members have expressed their frustrations over the budget cuts to Williams, who is committing to work collaboratively with the state, city, and CPS to find a solution.

“At the state level, we continue to grapple with our own fiscal challenges, revenue shortfalls and political gridlock.” said Williams. “It is unrealistic for CPS to tell our communities that the State will be able to bail out CPS without investment and collaboration between all levels of government.”

“We need to move past the PR and talking points, and work together to get CPS back on track,” Williams said. “We can’t continue down this road and expect our City to remain strong and vibrant.”

To engage the community in support of neighborhood schools, Williams has formed a Neighborhood School Advocacy Council which will elicit input and perspective from parents and others on the many challenges facing CPS and education issues generally.