Chicago Public Schools budget will focus on low income neighborhoods: Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, proposed that the budget of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) would focus on low-income neighborhoods. She proposed the spending plan of $7.7 billion with the focus on fixing up schools in under-served areas.

Chicago Teachers Union showed some concerns related to the Lightfoot’s proposal and the union demands promises to be written in the proposal. Lightfoot had a clear message for the union ahead of the start of the new school year that she had offered fair compensations to the teachers. Lightfoot said, “The fact liner has laid it out very clear, we should get it done.”

Lightfoot said that they know what their issues are. The head of the union said that there were huge differences on both sides in terms of wages and staff issues. Jesse Sharkey, Head of the CTU, said, “That contract is up. That contract is the most important thing that guarantees the way our working conditions looks.”

Lightfoot proposed the budget of $7.7 billion from which $619 million would be spent on the up-gradation of the facilities at 300 schools. Most of these schools are those in which low-income students are served. The plan is to spend $85 to provide high-speed internet at schools. $10 million will be spent on hiring nurses and social workers. Janice Jackson, CEO of CPS, said, “Additional social workers will help students deal with trauma.”

CTU demands the proposal in the form of a new union contract. The proposal does not give a guarantee of the plan to be implemented. CTU gave the example of the previous year’s budget in which social workers were promised. But the positions of the social workers remained unfilled last year, according to the CTU. The contract negotiation between the CPS and CTU are ongoing. The CPS and CTU hope for no strike at the moment.

Senior editor of the Chicago Morning Star

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