All children need and deserve access to high-quality neighborhood public schools, regardless of their parent’s ability to fundraise.
Every elementary school in our Ward is underfunded by about $1 million, and our high schools are underfunded by closer to $5 million. Some schools are able to fundraise to fill that gap, but that's just to provide the basics like class sizes under 30 and access to up-to-date technology.
I serve on the local school council for McPherson Elementary. We can't fundraise that gap. As a result, we've often had to make tough choices between between keeping class sizes under 30 and keeping the requisite number of aides in the classroom. While we may be the exception in the Ward, that's the norm across the City. We need to make sure that every child has access to high-quality public schools. No exceptions.
WHAT CAN WE DO:
- Fully fund our schools so that all students have modest class sizes and access to up-to-date technology and textbooks. We can achieve this by introducing a progressive city income tax, modifying the existing tax on large downtown real estate sales, and re-amortizing existing pension debt.
- Support an elected school board, instead of one appointed by the Mayor.
- Hold more hearings to prevent and confront crises like abuse of students, insufficient access to special education services, and poorly cleaned schools.
- Institute a moratorium on closing schools.
- Tout successes of our neighborhood schools. Our neighborhood schools are one of our greatest assets.
- Fight back on attempts from charter schools to expand into our Ward and throughout the City, which drain our public schools of resources.
- Support the right of teachers at charter schools to organize and collectively bargain to ensure equal pay for equal work and our children have the learning conditions they deserve.