On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, we hosted a Sing-Along with the elected school board bill at the Thompson Center. We then marched to CPS and hosted a press conference. Full recap below!
The School House Rock-style sing-along called attention to Springfield’s failure to bring democracy and accountability to CPS at a time when the district is facing new scandals every week. Parents shared stories about how the unelected school board has harmed their students, families and communities.
Full video: Sing-Along, March, Press Conference
Lyrics & melody for our Sing-Along here at this quick video. Lyrics by The Beachwood Reporter. These special lyrics arranged and sung by Andrea Tolzmann, CPS parent & Raise Your Hand board member.
We also spoke to many people on the street about the need for an elected school board for Chicago. We handed them this flyer and asked them to take the action steps on it.
Below are statements from CPS parents at our press conference:
Jennifer Korotko, CPS parent
My name is Jenifer Korotko and while my medically complex son is only 2 years in with CPS, I’m well aware that we need an elected school board that’s accountable to the public. I’m the parent of a 5 year-old child in CPS who has spina bifida and is medically dependent on nursing in order to function, stay healthy and live.
A CPS nurse hit my child 6 weeks ago because he wasn’t holding still during a very invasive medical procedure, one that he has to have done every few hours. This is something his old day care, his former baby sitter, and family members all have done on a daily basis. The nurse regularly threatened my son that she would call the police on him if he didn’t sit still. This nurse was removed from the school but I don’t know if she’s been placed elsewhere. The school handled it fine and called DCFS after we reported it but my son has become fearful of the police and nurses he doesn’t know.
The nursing situation is in need of major systemic repair and if your child has a 504, these issues won’t be covered by the recent sped inquiry. That is only related to IEPS. I have personally had to take off a week from work to make sure my child got the care he needed. The new nurse that took over after that week was the one that hit my child. I have heard of other families needing to take off work as well to cover for the nurses. There was one day I picked my child up and he was in pain because his services were not done the entire day. A nurse called off and nobody told me. A sub was not sent and my son went an entire day without medical services that normally are required every three hours.
What happened to my son could have been avoided with better training, more staff, more funding placed where it needs to be placed, but the appointed board has not prioritized nursing care at CPS and many kids are suffering. CPS staffs most schools with temp agency nurses, bringing in a rotating crop of nurses to many schools. They are down to fewer than 160 full time certified nurses at the district, a district with over 600 schools. Their nurses are often not trained properly and no one is accountable.
I’m speaking out for all those families who have been harmed by inadequate, untrained staff. My hope is that we are able to vote in a board who put the physical, emotional and educational growth of our future voters and our precious babies first and before elected officials.
We were also in attendance at the monthly unelected CPS BOE meeting. You can read our statement on CPS sex abuse here and our statements on the most recent CPS data breach and concerns on PreK changes here.
We’ll be doing some more public sing-alongs this summer. Want the ERSB to come to your neighborhood block party or softball game? Fill out this form!