Petition to Invest in Public Education

January 29, 2007

Recognizing that for several years, the government has failed to adequately fund our public schools.

- The federal government virtually denies all responsibility for public education, providing only 8% of funding for elementary and high schools.

- In Illinois, the government ranks 48th amongst states in funding public education. By law, the state was required to guarantee every school district enough funds to spend $6,405/pupil in 2006; however the state allocated only enough to guarantee $5,164/pupil.

- In Chicago, the local Board of Education keeps closing schools, eliminating teachers and other staff, cutting back on curriculum, overcrowding the classrooms, etc. At the same time, it is privatizing the schools and giving away hundreds of millions in public funds to the private sector. The result is a dual school system and extreme inequality in education; while the city builds a few elite charter and magnet schools, the majority of working class and minority children are condemned to rundown buildings, overcrowded classrooms and a limited curriculum.

We, the undersigned, say: No More! WE DEMAND:

- No More School Closings!

- No More Teacher and Staff Layoffs!

- No More Privatization and Charter Schools!

- No More Curriculum Cuts!

INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS!

To achieve our goals, we will:

1) support the struggles of parents, teachers and students to defend their schools and win equality.

2) carry out a massive campaign to rally public opinion about the need to increase school funding.

3) build committees in our schools, neighborhoods and workplace to help organize this work.

Committee to Defend Public Education www.teacherschalkboard.org