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Ask an Educator Action Center

At the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, E4E-Chicago surveyed over 1,200 educators in Chicago to find out which issues were most top of mind. The issues chosen were educator mental health, wages and benefits, elevating educator voice in policy, equitable school funding, and supports for diverse learners. After completing over 20 roundtables on these issues, a team of educators developed our issue guide, Ask an Educator: Priority Issues for Chicago’s Classrooms.

E4E-Chicago then hosted events on four of the issues to connect educators to stakeholders and experts on the topics, with the goal of having educators at the forefront of conversations that will lead to policy changes in their classroom.


Townhall Recap


A Panel on Money, Power, and Equitable School Funding

At our first of the four events, educators had a chance to find out "where the money goes," how decision-makers prioritize funding allocation, and how educators can influence those decision-makers. After the panelists presented information, the attendees were able to share their concerns and ask questions to the experts in small groups.

An Educator-Led Conversation on Diverse Learners

Our second event brought together educators and experts in supports for diverse learners. Stakeholders joined E4E-Chicago educators as they had conversations about the supports they have, want, and need for the diverse learners in their classrooms.

Educator Needs on Wages and Benefits​

The third event in our series allowed E4E-Chicago educators to participate in a facilitated discussion around three topic areas: heavy workload, benefits & financial planning. Stakeholders participated in conversations and shared information about wages and benefits that are available to educators in CPS.

Educators and Shifting the Power in Policy

At our final of the four events, E4E-Chicago educators had opportunity to hear from and ask questions to teachers who have helped make policy change on the school and statewide level. In addition, they were able to hear from and engage with stakeholders who have the power to make those changes.

Join the Conversation

Educators want quality training and dedicated time for all staff members, and more specialized staff to support diverse learners.

 Educators want input on funding priorities and easy-to-digest information about school funding.​

Educators must have more opportunities to collaborate with decision-makers at all levels to ensure the concerns for our students and profession are accurately represented.

Educators want access to mental health supports and to prioritize staff culture in their schools.

Meet the Authors

Sarah Reardon
Dayna Heller
Charles Beavers II
Dejernet Farder
Bryan Meeker
Dr. Winnie Williams Hall
Karen Van Zytveld


“We are shaping decision and policymakers of the future. We need to be a part of those policy decisions now.”
- Karen Van Zytveld


Teacher Voices