We demand an end to the sabotage of our schools. Every year, many schools, often the same schools CPS later wants to “turnaround”, end up short staffed. New staff are not hired until at least the 20th school day, causing classes to be overcrowded, without teachers, and resulting in massive schedule changes in October. Because enrollment is underestimated, kindergarteners are forced into classes of 40 students while the school waits for the board to approve another teacher.
In most cases, this travesty contributes to the educational disparities of students who already have social and economic disadvantages. The CPS formula for assigning teachers allows for no flexibility, and leads to split level classes, dropped electives, and overcrowded classes.
A formula that took into consideration the students’ needs would allow for smaller classes and more teacher availability.
Instead of experimenting with untried, expensive programs, such as small schools, “turnarounds”, (an excuse to fire all the teachers), and union-busting charter schools, we the undersigned support the following changes to CPS policy:
1. Use a staffing formula that takes into account September enrollment trends for particular schools, neighborhood changes that may lead to additional enrollment, and potential for increased enrollment due to nearby school closings.
2. Discontinue the 20-day rule. Keep all the teachers hired before September in the building.
3. Stop “turnaround” policies; instead lower class size and add support people such as social workers, counselors, tutors, mentors, teacher aides, and advocates in under-achieving schools.
The Petition for Adequate Staffing of CPS Schools petition to Chicago Public School Teachers was written by CoreTeachers and is in the category Education at GoPetition.