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CPS Latino Committee Members Resign En Masse To Protest Budget Cuts

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 22, 2017 9:52PM

Photo credit: Ken "artistmac" Smith

There was a mass exodus on the Chicago Public Schools Latino Advisory Committee on Wednesday, as the majority of panel members resigned in protest of budget cuts that have disproportionately impacted Hispanic-majority schools.

Fourteen of the 18 members on the committee resigned, Jose Rico, the committee chairman told reporters at a conference outside the Chicago Board of Education.

"We see this not just as an assault on Latino students, neighborhoods and families, but we see this as a continuation of cuts in the African-American community and now cuts in the Latino community," Jose Rico said, via the Tribune.

The exodus comes in the wake of a Sun-Times investigation that found CPS cut funds at Hispanic schools at nearly twice the rate of white-majority schools: 1.8 percent of budget at Hispanic schools compared to .9 percent at schools with more than 50 percent white students.

Alderman George Cardenas (12th Ward) also chastised CPS at the presser for how it handled budget freezes. “We’re going to demand changes in CPS leadership and leadership structure. This cannot continue,” he said, according to the Trib.

A freshman at Kelly High School, in Brighton Park, reportedly said that schools she had attended had into disrepair and were not properly cleaned.

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said that the cuts were the result of mismanagement on the state level, laying the blame on Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of multi-million dollar funding bill for the district. He said that CPS was left with no good options but also promised to make efforts to address the exaggerated cuts to Hispanic schools. "While we have limited options for making this more fair, we will work with schools to smooth out the most disproportionate impacts," he said.