Hearing had been set for Tuesday following WBEZ investigative report exposing apparent misuse of resources by outgoing CEO Claypool
CHICAGO (December 18, 2017)–Members of the Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus on Monday voiced alarm after an Education Committee hearing on special education funding that had been scheduled for Tuesday morning was canceled.
The Progressive Caucus called for the hearing after a WBEZ investigative report found CPS leadership had implemented secret plans to reduce programs and support for special needs students. The City Clerk posted public notice that the hearing was canceled on Sunday, but no explanation was given for the cancellation.
“We urgently need this hearing. CPS leadership must answer for the findings of this report, which demonstrate that, likely in violation of state and federal law, CPS redirected funds intended for students with special needs, and significantly reduced the programs and specialized supportive services for special education,” said Progressive Caucus Chair Ald. Scott Waguespack (32). “Parents and taxpayers deserve answers.”
“We have a moral and legal imperative to end the mistreatment and cheating of our special needs students,” said Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, a former CPS counselor and leader in the Chicago Teachers Union. “CPS leadership must come before the City Council and answer for these violations. We urge Education Committee Chairman Brookins to reschedule this hearing this month.”
“Parents, teachers and principals have been protesting this pattern of willful neglect,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6), who is also chair of the Black Caucus. “The Education Committee must meet to look into this apparent stealth scheme to slash the number of students classified as eligible for specialized services.”
The Progressive Caucus pointed to the scandal as further evidence of the need for an elected, representative school board in Chicago, instead of the current mayoral-appointed system.
The Progressive Reform Caucus of the Chicago City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal Chicago, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all Chicagoans, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity. The Progressive Reform Caucus includes Ald. Sophia King (4) Ald. Leslie Hairston (5); Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6); Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10); Ald. Toni Foulkes (16); Ald. David Moore (17); Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22); Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29); Ald. Scott Waguespack (32); Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35); and Ald. John Arena (45).