CTU legislative message.

Dear Fred-

We need your help to stop Gov. Bruce Rauner from making an even bigger mess! Rauner will stop at nothing to move his “turnaround” agenda. He has taken social services hostage, and threatens to take nearly $80 million from Chicago Public Schools.

There are two bills that threaten our movement and security.

In yet another attempt to marginalize our pensions, HB5681 is a “task force” designed to study annuitant’s health insurance coverage. While we are fighting to maintain our schools, funding and resources, this bill attempts to build a case for taking something away our members have spent years fighting for and protecting.

Pension workgroups and task forces have been used to develop harmful and unconstitutional pension legislation that we have spent tremendous resources fighting. The Chicago Teachers Union is opposed to this bill. We ask that you please call your state representative and tell them to vote NO. Our retirement security does not need any more study—it needs fierce protection. Let’s fight this task force before it forms.

This morning, HB6142, a bill to eliminate the cap on the number of charter schools in Illinois, eked out of the House Executive Committee. This is a fundamentally unnecessary and dangerous piece of legislation. Please call your state rep today to voice your opposition to this bill and demand that they reject the governor’s personal agenda.

When you speak to your rep, please remind them:

  1. Eliminating the cap on charter schools provides additional incentives to expand charter schools in Chicago. This expansion creates the conditions for additional public school closures that uproot our students and decimate our neighborhoods.
  2. More schools opening during a time of meager resources ensures that every school loses. Chicago Public Schools has already implemented furlough days, threatened mass layoffs and swept schools’ discretionary funds. More charters are bad; more charters in this budget situation are a reckless proposition.
  3. A cap on charter schools in Chicago is meaningless because of the state’s charter law loophole that allows networks like Noble and LEARN to grow at will. Despite a “cap” of 70, there are actually more than 130 charter campuses in the city.

We need a tighter cap on charter schools that protects schools that already exist, and we need real resources to ensure that schools and students get what they need—wraparound services, a full and rich curriculum, and stability and predictability in the future, rather than a constant churn.

Call your state representative TODAY and let him or her know you oppose HB6142.

Below you will find more information regarding the current legislative session:

On April 18, 2016, the Illinois House Appropriations—Elementary & Secondary Education Committee Hearing will meet to debate HJRCA0057 (Madigan), a constitutional amendment that proposes to amend Section 1 of Article X of the Illinois Constitution. HJRCA0057 provides that a fundamental right (instead of goal) of the People of the State is the educational development of all persons to the limits of their capacities; provides that it is the paramount duty of the State to provide for a thorough and efficient system of high quality public education institutions and services and to guarantee equality of educational opportunity as a fundamental right of each citizen (instead of requiring the State to provide for an efficient system of high quality public education institutions and services); and provides that the State has the preponderant financial responsibility (instead of the primary responsibility) for financing the system of public education.

Next week, we also expect the House to take up the constitutional amendment HJRCA0026 (Madigan)—AKA the “Millionaires Tax”—that proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. HJRCA0026 provides that an additional income tax shall be imposed on individuals in an amount equal to 3 percent of the portion of the individual’s income that is greater than $1,000,000 for the taxable year; and provides that the revenue collected from the tax shall be distributed to school districts on a per pupil basis.

On April 19, 2016, the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments will hear SJRCA0001 (Harmon)—AKA Fair Tax, AKA Progressive Income Tax. This legislation proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution and removes a provision that provides that a tax on income shall be measured at a non-graduated rate. SJRCA0001 provides that there may be one tax on the income of individuals and corporations, that this may be a fair tax where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels, and that no government other than the State may impose a tax on or measured by income.

On April 27, 2016, at 10 a.m. on the 6th floor of the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago, the House Revenue Committee will hold a subject matter hearing to investigate the banking practices of the Chicago Public Schools, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, and take testimony from finance experts. They will focus on Interest Rate SWAPS.

In solidarity,
Stacy Davis Gates
CTU Legislative Coordinato

6 thoughts on “CTU legislative message.

  1. The war against public school teachers never ends. The committee that voted to lift the caps on charter schools has a solid Democrat majority. (& D’s, 4 R’s). Yet the ILGA website has no record of the committee vote. If someone can post the committee voting records, please do. The bill’s 2 sponsors are Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and Tom Demmer (R-Rochelle).
    Dems are Daniel Burke Edward Acevedo, Luis Arroyo, Gregory Harris, Art Turner – all of Chicago, and Robert Rita of Blue Island.

  2. Something weird was going on there. I was watching this morning and they called a vote when most of them were out of the room. Try to find the video.

  3. FYI Regarding HB 5681. This is a bill supported by the CTPF. There is some disconnect between the CTU and the pension fund on this one. I was just at a meeting today with Mary Sharon Reilly (CTPF) and Brandon Johnson (CTU) and even they could not explain the disconnect. RTAC (Retired Teachers Assoc. of Chicago) is in there as well. I think they support it because they will participate in the meetings. So this all leaves many of us confused about whether it should be supported or not.

    • Representative Guzzardi told me that it,”was something entirely else when I co-sponsored it and then they amended it to be completely different without my knowledge.” Sounds like Springfield. And a breakdown in communications somewhere.

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