Brighton Park community members and local elected officials will gather Tuesday afternoon to push for greater school funding in Chicago.
Last week, CPS released individual school budgets for the upcoming academic year with a per-student funding rate of $4,087. That's the same funding level schools faced after school budgets were cut last February.
But members of the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) as well as parents and educators on Chicago's Southwest Side say the $4,087 funding rate is not enough.
They plan to discuss school budgets and call for a per-student funding rate of at least $5,000 during a public meeting this afternoon at Shields Middle School, 2611 W. 48th St.
Illinois state Rep. Silvana Tabares (D-Chicago), Chicago Alds. George Cardenas (12th) and Raymond Lopez (15th) as well as Theresa Mah, Democratic nominee for state representative in the 2nd Illinois legislative district, are among the officials expected to attend the event.
"With community schools expected to lose thousands, if not millions of dollars next year, as is the case with Curie H.S. which is facing a loss of $1,457,081, and schools like Columbia Explorers, which is expected to have its funding slashed by $1,000,000, parents and students fear that loss of programs will not only impact the quality of education, but also translate into increased violence in a community that is already experiencing a deadly year," reads a statement from BPNC.
Community leaders say tax increment financing (TIF) surplus funds and other progressive revenue options could be used to boost school budgets.