With over two million K-12 students' public schools closed due to COVID-19, there are a number of ways in which families across Illinois are being impacted by the pandemic. We’d like to highlight a few and share an action step you might want to take.
Public schools in our state serve disproportionately large numbers of families who are most vulnerable to both the health effects and the economic consequences of the pandemic. Schools have continued to be a major source of meals around the country and in Illinois during closures. And while most school districts are doing their best to serve all families, equity issues have appeared not just in remote learning but in meal distribution elsewhere. (Read about what we’ve been supporting parents in asking Waukegan District 60 for here.)
The pandemic has shed a stark light on the pervasive inequities in our public schools. The long school closures are sure to have a disproportionate effect on children from low-income families.
- Chicago Sun-Times: A Chicago principal asks: ‘What is school without a school?’
- NPR: 'There's A Huge Disparity': What Teaching Looks Like During Coronavirus
- Washington Post: Millions of public school students will suffer from school closures, education leaders have concluded
This week, many of us will receive a stimulus payment from the federal government. But many families in Illinois will not qualify for this stimulus due to their immigration status, putting their children further at risk for both the short and long-term consequences of economic insecurity. In addition, some families will not get additional funds to cover their dependents, e.g. children 17 and over or disabled adult family members.
If you are in a position to do so, please join with many others around the country who are “sharing their check” by contributing to organizations providing support for families adversely impacted right now.
There are many organizations in Chicago and Illinois who are doing great work who are in need of funding. Below are a few examples of groups, including several we have worked with in Chicago on public education issues over the years, that are providing direct material relief, including cash payments, to families, and also some groups and relief efforts for families outside of the city.
If you know of other groups serving these needs in Illinois currently, we are happy to add them to this list. Email us at [email protected] In addition, the Chicago Teachers Union has assembled a list of resources that includes relief and mutual aid efforts organized by city region.
- Brighton Park Neighborhood Council: Community Response Fund
- Logan Square Neighborhood Association: Solidarity Fund for Families in Crisis
- Enlace: Little Village Emergency Assistance Fund
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization: (Donate here.) Care packages to seniors and families
- Northside Action for Justice: Emergency Solidarity Fund
- My Block, My Hood, My City: Senior Viral Response
- Gage Park Latinx Council: Mutual Aid Fund for SW Side Undocumented Families
- Greater Chicago Food Depository: (Donate here.) Supports 700 food banks and food program in Cook County
- Unite Here Local 1: Donate to Help Chicago Hospitality Workers Impacted by COVID-19
- Feeding Illinois: Donate to the consortium of eight Illinois regional food banks
- Mano a Mano: (Donate here.) Direct financial support to immigrants in Lake County and McHenry not eligible for federal payments
- Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund