CHICAGO — The possibility of a teachers strike looms during Chicago’s latest budget battle involving the city’s Board of Education.
The board is considering a new school budget that includes $619 million in capital investments, $31 million for elementary and high school’s with low or declining enrollment, and $12 million for bilingual education.
Every decision, according to school CEO Janice Jackson, filtered through an ‘equity lens’ to bridge what Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called, ‘the opportunity gap.’
“Mayor Lightfoot is making her speeches but they don’t match the reality in the budget documents. That’s not OK with us,” said Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey.
Sharkey is alleging that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is breaking her promise to students with a proposed fiscal year 2020 $27 billion Chicago Public Schools budget.
“We’re asking for the Board of Education to vote ‘no’ on the budget. We want to see the details, and the mayor needs to make good on her promises to this city,” said Sharkey.
The Chicago Teachers Union is pointing to what they described as dire staffing shortages when it comes to licensed social workers, certified school nurses school psychologist and counselors.
A group, known as ‘Voices of Youth in Chicago Education,’ is arguing that they’d like to see the $33 million allocated for policing and security within the schools be shifted over to badly needed counselors.