Chicago Public Schools Walk Out to Stop Budget Cuts


My Teen Talk Radio students tell me that many students at our school (Uplift Community High) are planning on walking out of school on Thursday April 8th at 9:30am to protest proposed CPS (Chicago Public Schools) budget cuts.  Another school involved is Social Justice High School at Little Village/Lawndale High School’s campus (a school I’ve also worked with).

There is a projected deficit of nearly $1 Billion for the FY 2011, and the proposed budget cuts according to an official CPS slideshare presentation (presented March, 15th 2010) includes:

increasing class size (H.S. and elementary) to 37 students (a savings valued at $160 Million)

cut supplemental resources in half  for gifted, magnet, and montessori schools by $22 Million

reduce early childhood and bilingual education programs by $61 Million

reduce district funding for full day kindergarten programs by $16 Million

eliminate all district funded non-varsity sports (a savings valued at $7 Million)

reduce enrichment and after school programs by $17 Million

Taking into account the deficit, budget cuts certainly must be made; but students wonder how enrichment that supports at-risk students and gives students a chance at post-secondary success (via sports and other after school programs) can be considered for the chopping block.  They are (in their mind) just as, or even more essential than what goes on between the bells. 

The budget will not officially be approved by the board until August. 

This, of course, opened the door for a classroom discussion about whether such protests still work, and what the pros and cons of such displays are.   Many of my students will cover the walkout and subsequent rally as student journalists. Below is some of our board work.  Great to know that students aren’t as apathetic as the media leads us to believe.  Jive on!

(below, notes on a “reporter’s job”)

(above, pros and cons of protests)

About ayanacontreras

i love the transportive powers of sound. i am a radio host/producer, DJ, Sound designer, 45rpm collector, and art lover living in the city of wind. View all posts by ayanacontreras

2 responses to “Chicago Public Schools Walk Out to Stop Budget Cuts

  • Jannette

    Right On!

  • Steph

    I know this is an older article I found while trying to find anything on the student walk out in the early 70’s to stop the budget cuts then.

    Kudos to students of today’s generation for taking a stand and continue to fight for what they want! Because students and teachers can’t win by doing nothing!

    This wasn’t the first time students walked out and marched to the Civic Center to stop budget cuts and I’m sure it won’t be the last! Thousands of us marched in 1972, chanting, “We want music, art and gym, walk out, walk out!” I attended Amundsen High on Foster Ave. We walked out 2 days. The first day we walked to Lane Tech, where they were on lock down. The students there yelled back out the windows and said, “tomorrow”! Everyone went home and walked out the next day. Every CPS’s, including elementary, walked out to join us in our march to the Board of Ed downtown. We were told there to go to Grant Park where the board members came to speak. They didn’t cut those classes that year.

    I also remember the 7th and 8th graders in 1968, having a sit in for girls to be allowed to wear pants to school without being under a dress. I believe it was the following year, we 5 patrol girls were allowed to. It took away from class room time, for us to have to go to the cloak room and put our long pants on before going out in the cold to our corners!

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