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Community Rallies to Urge Immediate Action on CPS Crisis

CHICAGO-- Today State Representative Ann Williams, D-Chicago, along with 2,200 Chicago Public School parents and members of the community, called on the Governor, Mayor, and legislative leaders to come together immediately and find a solution to address the CPS financial crisis.

“Parents and members of my community are greatly concerned about the future and direction of the Chicago Public Schools,” said Williams. “We need the decisionmakers to focus on solutions, and come together collaboratively to do so. To date, this hasn’t happened.”

Over 2,200 parents signed a letter urging immediate and collaborative action on the CPS budget crisis. After passing a budget with a shortfall of $480 million, CPS and the City blamed the financial distress on Springfield’s budget impasse, despite the fact the K-12 education budget was passed and signed. Last week, the Governor and Republican leadership proposed a state takeover, including filing bankruptcy. To date, the discussion has been more about scoring political points and finger pointing than actually finding a solution.

“CPS families are tired of the blame game,” said Williams. “The stakes are too high to continue using our students as political pawns. We need a solution that will bring long term fiscal stability to CPS.”

The letter, drafted by parents and teachers who are members of Williams’ 11th District Neighborhood School Advocacy Council, is a result of the increasing frustration and concern about investment in neighborhood schools as well as the future of public education in Chicago.

“As a parent, I cannot accept that our kids are the ones caught up in this political battle. If no agreement is made, the students of CPS will be the ones who have to suffer the consequences,” said Karen Convery Lee, an Audubon Elementary parent. “We ask all of the city and state stakeholders to come together and participate in a meaningful and purposeful dialogue before it’s too late.”

On Wednesday, Lee will present the letter to the Chicago Board of Education on behalf of the 2,200 signatories.