“People who have lost their hunger for justice are not ultimately powerful.
They are like sick people who have lost their appetite for what is truly
nourishing. Such sick people should not frighten or discourage us. They
should be prayed for along with the sick people who are in the hospital.
“The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being
but it is also the most true to our nature.”
My name is Zulma Violeta Ortiz and I have lived in Logan Square for over 30
years. I’m a teacher and part of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU)
bargaining Committee. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have been wasting
our time for more than six months not taking any CTU proposals/concerns
Our major concerns are:
* Small class sizes (Rahm wants up to 55 students in a classroom)
*More School Nurses, Social workers (345 serve 400,000 students) ,
Counselors, Psychologists (especially due to the increasing crime rate)
*Within CPS 69% or more of African American & Latino students go to schools
that are intensely segregated. It has been 60 years since the famous Brown
vs Board of Education decision, attempting to end racist inequalities in
education. Every school year CPS is becoming more and more segregated.,
*We want a rich curriculum for all students that includes art, music, etc.
* CTU wants to improve and create a stable and diverse teaching workforce.
*Fair school Funding (CPS board member, Tim Cawley, admitted to starving
neighborhood schools of resources)
*Return TIF money to support our public schools. (250 million is taken from
our students every year)
*Kindergarten students are being tested 12 weeks of the year, not for the
benefit of the children, but for the benefit of testing corporations. All
of our students are tested a minimum of 18 days per year.
* Corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes. (the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange and Sears received 370 million in tax breaks)
* Most schools have no educational resources/supplies or air conditioning
for the hot summer months.
* We are bargaining for a better education system for all our students
regardless of their social economic status and/or culture. All CPS teachers
need the same quality working conditions that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s
children’s teachers have. ALL CPS students deserve the same education that
the Mayor’s children have. What’s good for his children needs to be good
Zulma Violeta Ortiz,