May 8th, 2010 by jacqueline
It’s not all sunshine and unicorns at Melrose and Broadway: budget cuts are poised to wreck havoc with all Chicago public schools. Illinois already ranks 49th in the Union for state spending for education (second only to Nevada). This is not just Chicago’s problem: in the coming year, all the children in Illinois face the possibility of a life-changing crisis.
Across Chicago and Illinois, students face a disastrous reduction in the quality of their educations — with class sizes reaching an unacceptable 37 students in Chicago, the elimination of Preschool for All and full-day kindergarten, teacher and assistant principal firings, and more. There is no question that our kids’ lives will be forever impacted by what we — and our elected officials — choose to do in the coming months.
On April 21, report card pick up day, I dragged my kids and our new dog downtown to speak at the NO TO 37 Rally here at Chicago’s Thompson Center. I hope you’re shaking your head — or fist — at the thought of our kids’ future being jeopardized, please spend just 60 seconds to protect that future. Without hearing from you, state leadership will NOT do what’s right.
If you take one minute to visit www.noto37.org you’ll find an incredibly simple way to cast your vote for an entire generation. Don’t worry about finding your rep’s address or your district. Just select your Illinois school (you can just type in “Nettelhorst”), type in your name and address, and edit the provided text as you feel necessary. Please help Nettelhorst, and every school in the state, by saying NO to 37! This entirely volunteer/parent driven campaign has been up for just over a couple of weeks, and has already generated over 90,000 emails to legislators. The No to 37! site is the brainchild of our Nettelhorst hero, Ted Ganchiff, the fund-raising wizard depicted in How to Walk to School—check out the coverage in the Chicago Tribune.
Don’t sit idly by while our kids’ education and quality of life are stripped away — let our leadership know that you are concerned. With elections coming up, you can also remind them that you’re watching to see who protects our kids and who doesn’t.
There is strength in numbers. Forward this link to other parents who want the best education for their children, and refuse to see their child’s lives and futures put in jeopardy. In a few short months, when classes are overflowing, programs are cut, and teaching staff has been laid off, it will be too late.
From Carbondale to Peoria, Rockford to Joliet, LaGrange to Wilmette, and all the towns in between, time is running out to save Illinois schools. Illinois legislators left Springfield without approving a budget, so we have three more weeks to keep the pressure on. When they return to the table, they will vote to slash education funding—unless they hear from you.
Please take ten seconds to add your voice. Say NO to 37!
Susan and I have a few joint presentations:
May 11: Lincoln School, 7:00 pm, 2001 W. Orchard
May 18: Belmont Neighbors, 7:30 pm, Mount Carmel, 720 West Belmont Ave
June 12 or 13: Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Lit Fest, details TBA
Please, please help spread the word: become a fan on Facebook, share this email with your friends, follow walktoschool on Twitter, post a review on Amazon and other websites, and ask your local bookstores or libraries to stock the book.
The starting gun of the national education debate just sounded in the Capital, so we don’t have a moment to loose!