Elected Representative School Board
GEM is fighting for an elected representative school board in the city of Chicago to combat disinvestment public schools and a lack of community control. Here is why this matters:
- There are 892 school boards in Illinois and only 1 is appointed, Chicago’s. Chicago has NEVER had an elected school board. CPS has the largest minority student population in the state (over 80% of students are minorities).
- The CPS Board of Education has authority to raise property taxes with no accountability to the voters. This is taxation without representation.
- The appointed Board is responsible for fiscal mismanagement and corruption costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Many large urban districts, e.g. Los Angeles, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Houston, and Oakland, elect their school boards.
- Nearly 90% of Chicago voters in 2012 and 2015 voted in favor of an elected school board.
Sustainable Community Schools District
GEM envisions a city with an entire district of sustainable community schools. Sustainable in the sense that there is revenue dedicated to the full funding of public education for generations of young people to have:
- mental health and wellness
- culturally relevant and critically engaging curriculum
- nurses and social workers
- restorative justice coordinator and pedagogy not punitive practices
- connections to community organizations, resources, and organizing
This vision put schools back at the center of the community to serve as a hub to promote academic success, positive self-image, and critical engagement with the community to invigorate the power to change one’s community for the better.
GEM supports the Journey for Justice #WECHOOSE campaign that is a declaration from hundreds of thousands of parents and students in cities across the United States with a clear, yet profound message – we refute and resist corporate education policies that are inflicted upon our children without our voice.
The failure of previous administrations to respect the voices of all Americans has set the tone for this perilous moment that we are in now. We reject appointed school boards. We reject zero tolerance policies that criminalize our children. We reject mediocre corporate education interventions that are only accepted because of the race of the children served. We Choose equity. We Choose sanctuary cities for Muslims and all immigrants. We will organize local coalitions and alliances to build the power to realize this vision. www.j4jalliance.com
Free the Funds
GEM supports the Free the Funds coalition to fight for sustainable revenue for the schools our students deserve including a new funding formula for the state of Illinois, TIF dollars to communities that need the funds, and a corporate head tax.