Alderman Cardenas, Sadlowski Garza and Arena are on the Council’s Finance Committee trying to get TIF surpluses into cash-strapped Chicago schools.
Tenth Ward Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza said the obvious: “If we don’t educate our kids, we got nothing,” She said there are CPS classrooms in her ward with 42 students, as well as a kindergarten class with 39 5-year-olds.
“I really believe we have to put education first,” Garza said.
But this is Rahm’s Chicago and the Finance Committee of the City Council was debating an ordinance submitted by Alderman George Cardenas and amended by Alderman John Arena that would move surplus TIF money to cash-strapped CPS schools.
In typical Chicago Council style, Machine Alderman Eddie Burke, who chairs the Finance Committee, delayed the vote until there was no time for a vote.
Democracy, Chicago style.
Unhappy parents were escorted out.
Chicago Public School elementary school Emmett Till Academy has a budget cut for this school year of $664,132, down 17% from last school year although enrollment is only down 7%.
That’s a loss of $1941 per student based on the school’s projected enrollment for 2016-2017.
Till Academy’s student body is 97% Black and 92% low-income students.
The school’s name honors its former student Chicagoan Emmett Till. It was changed in 2005, 50 years after Till’s brutal murder at age 14 by white supremacists in Mississippi.
Just one of the hundreds of public schools in the city with their budget cut again this year.
Till Academy is located in the 20th Ward. The 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochrane is not supporting the TIF Surplus Ordinance. Schools in his ward lost more than $6 million or 6%. Overall, enrollment in the ward was projected to decrease about 2%.