CHICAGO (CBS) – A group of parents and several local elected officials teamed up Tuesday to call for an end to severe budget cuts at the Chicago Public Schools.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports the parents said major spending cuts at Chicago schools have the parents considering transferring their kids to suburban schools.
Amy Shulman said, at Augustus Burley Elementary School in Lakeview, gym, arts, music, and language programs are being dumped; and literacy specialists and math specialists are being eliminated due to budget cuts.
She said she wants to keep her kids in Chicago, but might have to consider leaving town if cuts continue.
Shulman was among a dozen CPS parents who stood with Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (D-12th), and state Reps. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Ann Williams (D-Chicago) at City Hall on Tuesday.
The group said they need to work together to find a way to avoid major cuts at public schools, as the district faces an estimated $1 billion budget deficit.
Pawar suggested diverting money from TIF districts back to schools.
The elected officials said state lawmakers have to resolve pension funding issues to put the state budget on an even keel, so education can get its fair share. All four demanded an end to reliance on local property taxes for school funding.
Harris suggested the state income tax be made progressive, so wealthier residents would pay more, and provide a greater percentage of school funding. A switch to a progressive income tax would require amending the Illinois Constitution.