Senator Iris Martinez. No deal on a school closing timeline.

Iris Martinez is the State Senator from my district.

I was pleased when she along with State Representative Cynthia Soto teamed to get a bill passed creating a state legislative task force to study school closings back in 2010.

The law had several components besides the task force. One was to to have the CPS make public a list of proposed closings by December 1st in order to provide public input.

Martinez now sits on a school-closings commission appointed by Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Rahm’s newly appointed CPS CEO.

More background and a CTU action alert on this is available here.

Byrd-Bennett is attempting a devious plan that would trade a delay in producing a school closing list in exchange for a five year moratorium of school closings.

Why devious?

Because delay accomplishes two things that Byrd-Bennett and the Mayor want:

Time to identify and close as many as 200 schools, replaced by charters.

And a school closing list that would be released in the summer when it would be more difficult to develop community opposition.

Word I am receiving from Springfield is that Representative Soto is working hard to stop the deal. It may pass committee this afternoon. There are not yet votes to pass it on the floor.

Phone calls and emails are needed today.

UPDATE: This is the top priority. The first action will only take two minutes!

SB547 House Amendment #1 (Currie) is set to be in the House Executive Committee today @ 1pm in Capitol Building room 114. This amendment carries the legislative language to grant CPS an extension on school actions.

Representative Barbara Flynn Currie is carrying the amendment.

We need you to oppose the amendment by completing a witness slip. Please click on this link and follow the directions below. It is crucial that you follow directions properly!

  1. Identification–Identify yourself name, address, email, etc. (Required Fields: Firm/Business/Agency can be “None” or can be your school name or “CTU” can be entered, Title can be “Ms.” “Mr.” etc.)
  2. Representation–Complete the portion that asks you if you are representing a group, organization or entity. You may put “Individual” if you are not an official representative of a group.
  3. Position–On the “Original Bill” choose “No Position on Merits” on “HCA1” choose “Opponent”.
  4. Testimony–Unless you are able to testify in person, check “Record of Appearance Only.”

At the bottom you must do BOTH of these things: Enter the CAPTCHA text to prove you are a real person AND Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.

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