Educators for Excellence-Chicago Reacts to CTU-District Tentative Contract Agreement
October 31 (Chicago) - Educators for Excellence-Chicago (E4E-Chicago), a teacher-led organization, reacted to the tentative contract agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools, voted on by the House of Delegates this evening. The tentative agreement assigns a nurse and social worker in every school, includes new positions for the highest need schools, and prioritizes lowering oversized classrooms with schools serving vulnerable student populations first.
“I’m thrilled to see Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union demonstrating a commitment to equity by increasing more student-facing positions, like counselors and restorative justice coordinators, for schools with the greatest needs first,” said Shayna Boyd, 7th and 8th grade English/Language Arts teacher at Ashburn Elementary and E4E-Chicago member. “I’m ecstatic to end the strike with a tentative agreement and get back to my students. But agreeing on our contract must be a starting point, not an ending point. We need to continue advocating and working through challenges together, with more of an emphasis on innovation, compromise and equity. Our work is not finished until every student in Chicago has access to a just, equitable education system.”
“We are grateful that a tentative contract agreement has been reached, but our city’s work toward a more equitable education system doesn’t end today,” said Stacy Moore, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence-Chicago. “It’s encouraging to see students in high-poverty schools, students who have experienced trauma and students with additional learning needs - all of whom require targeted resources and support in order to succeed - will be prioritized. However, assigning a nurse and social worker to every school is the definition of equality -- not equity -- and maintains the status quo. Let’s continue to push toward greater equity so that every student, no matter their neighborhood or needs, has the opportunity to thrive.”
E4E-Chicago has organized nearly 40 educators to define a vision for Chicago’s public schools and is currently developing and advocating for specific policy recommendations that will create an equitable school system, including investigating a new staffing allocation model for all school-based staff that incorporates factors such as student trauma, neighborhood violence, and individual student need.