FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Leaders from the Chicago Board of Education, faith leaders and community groups rallied today at Drake Elementary to show support for the District’s ‘20% for 20%’ equal funding campaign and their united opposition to Gov. Rauner’s proposed budget cuts that strip $74 million from the cash-strapped District.
To fight the Governor’s cuts, CPS is also providing new tools to empower community members to engage in the fight for equal funding. CPS’s new site, CPS.edu/Equality, highlights the state’s separate and unequal funding system, and hosts resources that will help community members learn more and make their voices heard.
“Public schools should be the great equalizer that gives our students hope and a real chance at a brighter future. Yet, because of our state’s unequal funding system, this is not the case,” said Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark. “I believe the formula we have today, intended or not, is both punitive and discriminatory. It punishes our children for being born in Chicago, and we stand here today to fight for an equal funding system.”
CPS students already receive insufficient funding from the state, and the proposal Gov. Rauner released last week will only exacerbate a broken funding system that provides Chicago’s students with less than their fair share. Currently, CPS students receive just 15 percent of the state’s education funding, despite the fact that CPS students make up 20 percent of the state’s enrollment and Chicago residents contribute 20 percent of the state income tax.
“It’s time for us to stand together and say ‘No’ to Governor Rauner’s cuts to Chicago students,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “We ask state legislators, not just in Chicago but in every low-income community throughout Illinois, to vote ‘No’ on any education budget that does not reform the broken system under which Chicago children receive 74 cents for every dollar the rest of Illinois receives. We are not asking for a bailout; fair and equal funding is not a bailout. We are just asking that our children be treated equally, regardless of their zip code, their country of origin, or their race."
In conjunction with CPS.edu/Equality, CPS has established @CPSEquality, a new Twitter handle dedicated to the fight for fair funding. CPS will use this account to rally community members online in the fight for fair funding. Community members interested in contributing to the public dialogue around equitable funding are encouraged to use #CPSEqualityNow on social media.
"We owe it to the 400,000 students in the city of Chicago to have access to equal funding and education in their home state of Illinois,” said Lead Pastor Lou Ramos of Storehouse Church in Humboldt Park. “Let's not deprive them of their right."
Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.