Raise your Hand Town hall meeting at Coonley


Raise Your Hand told a town hall meeting that its survey of parents found broad support for a longer school day.

The group, self-described as a coalition of parents, educators and citizens working towards improving public education, conducted the survey through a voluntary online form. 1,200 responses were tabulated. RYH says each was reviewed by volunteers in the organization.

The informal survey was unable to suggest a broad agreement on use for the longer day, with some participants suggesting ‘enrichment time’, other suggesting greater emphasis on art, music and other subjects, according to the survey.

The town hall style meeting at Coonley Elementary School was attended by about 100 people.

RYH noted the group’s involvement in the mayor’s committee to extend the school day and took aim at the Chicago Teachers Union for not sending representatives to the committee.

The group has taken a stand on state support for primary education and appears to be maneuvering toward support of a longer school day with the survey.

The survey was not scientific and shouldn’t be understood that way. The respondents included friends of the RYH according to comments speakers on the RYH board. In short, the survey probably represented those predisposed to support  longer school day.

RYH claims to include members from 500 Chicago Public Schools. The group claims to be responsible for over 150,000 emails sent to Illinois legislators “which played a critical role in halting a $1.3 billion budget cut;” successfully advocating for the return of $200 million in surplus Tax Increment Financing money to the Chicago Public Schools; and advocating for 8,000 CPS students receiving recess.

Ravenswood is a center of RYH strength, with several of the nine-board members children attending Bell, Coonley and Waters schools.


Read the RYH Power Point presentation

Read the selected comments of the RYH presentation


Raise Your Hand to hold meeting at Coonley TONIGHT

The Raise Your Hand group will be holding a meeting at Coonley School. The group, which supports changes to the Chicago Public School day, will be discussing the results from its public survey regarding the longer school day.

  • Fall 2011 All-Schools Meeting
  • Raise Your Hand
  • Tues., Sept. 27; 6.30-8P
  • Coonley School; 4046 N Leavitt
  • To register

Lane budget meeting Wednesday

Lane Tech was the scene of a contentious budget presentation Wednesday.

Lane Tech was the scene of a contentious budget presentation Wednesday. Credit: Patrick Boylan

About 150 – 200 people attended a Chicago Public Schools budget Wednesday night at Lane Tech, according to Barb Hass-Litwin, who attended.
The Board of Education presented a fifteen minute overview of the budget, Hass-Litwn said. Led by the Treasurer and the budget director, the Board presented its $600 billion 2012 budget, along with estimates of the needs and priorities of the Board.
The presentation noted the board had proposed $320 million in spending cuts and increased property taxes to the limit allowed.
Media reports have estimated the annual tax increase on a $250,000 home to be about $84.
Hass-Litwn said the public comments were hostile to the budget. Unions, including the Chicago Teachers Union and the Service Employees International Union, parents groups and others objected to the budget during an extended public comment period.
“Unions said they were not invited to the table,” Hass-Litwin noted. She said SEIU objected to cuts to its members that would cause hardships to families. The CTU and parents groups objected to a lack of transparency and input from stakeholders outside the Board.
“I was there as a first time observer of a budget hearing,” Hass-Litwin, a CTU member said. “I was surprised by the accusations of lack of transparency by experienced people.”
The Board will continue to hold budget hearings with a hearing scheduled this evening for Westinghouse High School; 3223 W Franklin at 7P and Simeon High School; 8147 S Vincennes, on Friday at 7P.

Read the Chicago Public Schools Budget Overview.

Read the Chicago Public Schools Budget Book.

Resumen del presupuesto in Español.

A web site with other documents from the Chicago Board of Education.

Chicago Teachers Union press release protesting the budget.

WGN interviews Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis regarding the budget.

Chicago News Cooperative story on the CPS budget.

Statement by Raise Your Hand’s Sonia Kwon regarding declaring TIF funds surplus.

A primer on education funding from the Raise Your Hand coalition.