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A Desperate Appeal to IL Citizens: Demand Just Education Funding

April 21, 2017

If you live in IL, please read this story. After reading, please consider calling your representatives to push for a funding formula that justly considers Chicago school children—one that aims to fund all schools fairly with regard to cost of living and wealth/income disparities. We need a solution for today and the future.

Whatever your perceptions are of Chicago’s history, politics, and education officials, as a current citizen with two children in CPS, I can tell you there is nothing more to cut in the system.

Could it be more efficient? Sure—all schools can, theoretically. Our neighborhood school, Swift Elementary, has around 700 students but only a Principal, Asst. Principal, and one clerk to handle the business of the school. We have one janitor and one engineer. As an LSC member who has watched and participated in school business closely since 2012, I can tell you that Swift has sacrificed *everything possible* to maintain some reasonable class sizes (avg. 25). Every future cut will unquestionably harm, directly, Swift’s children. And they’ve already been indirectly harmed by budget strife and inefficiencies due to inadequate staff.

What about those kids? Swift students are some of the most diverse and under-resourced in the city. Below are some public statistics on our student population. Around 84% are low income. Over 45% of our students classify as “Limited English,” and more than 14% have IEPs. But they and their families are wonderful. They deserve the State of Illinois’s full and unquestioned support.

So please, call your representatives and ask for appropriate funding for all Illinois schools. If I ask for special attention in relation to Chicago, it’s because I know my kids’ school and the district. Things are dire. – TL

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Swift Elementary Statistics

Demographics

Asian 21.8%
Black 27.2%
Hispanic 31.6%
White 15.2%
Other 4.3%

Statistics

Low Income 84.1%
Diverse Learners 14.4%
Limited English 46.8%
Mobility Rate 18.3%

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