Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicago: Thousands rally against the school budget cuts

From the CORE blog. How delicious right in the belly of the ed deform beast. Huberman is Duncan's replacement.

Thousands rally against the school budget cuts.

Huberman, Daley, and the CPS are in for a fight when 30,000 members are united.

In a display of unity that is uncommon in an election season, all five caucuses of the CTU came together to march against Huberman’s threats of ballooning class sizes to 35 and major cuts to educational programs. Koco, Teachers for Social Justice, Pilsen Alliance, Blocks Together, and other GEM partners organized students, parents, and community members to march in unity with the Union teachers who are integral members of their communities.

CORE Presidential candidate Karen Lewis talking to young people at rally.

One police officer on duty estimated 5,000 protesters, making this one of the largest educational protests in decades.

Initially, CORE planned to organize the rally with their GEM partners, but realized that this was an event that would be bigger than a caucus, and made a resolution at the May House of Delegates meeting for the event to be a Union event; a show of unity against Huberman and Daley. Although it was a political risk to organize members to an all-caucus event while on the campaign trail, CORE made it a priority to build this event, and it paid off.

This is exactly the kind of Unionism that CORE wants and the membership deserves.

Letter from CORE Presidential Candidate Karen Lewis:

Dear Teachers, PSRPs, clinicians, and supporters,

Tuesday May 25, 2010 will go down in history as the beginning of a new way.

We had thousands of people in the streets telling Huberman “No” to 35 in a class, “NO” to cuts in programs and “NO” to balancing their budgets on the backs of educators and students. What made this possible was that members of all five caucuses came together to show unity. I would like to thank all the members of PACT, CSDU and SEA for running campaigns that focused on the pressing issues we all face. We appreciate the expressions of support we have received from the leadership and membership of those caucuses. It is an honor to be among people who care passionately about the direction this Union must take.

As I rode back on the bus a parent said to me, “…And this is just the beginning.”

She was absolutely right.

In solidarity,

Karen Lewis

CORE Candidate for CTU President

National Board Certified Teacher

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