Friday, June 28, 2013

Schools Action Alert - Call the Alderman!

Our schools will experience major budget deficits next year.

To give you an idea of local loss:
Graham: $300k
Haines: -$300k (Loss of 3 positions)
Sheridan: -$516k (Loss of 3 teachers & 3 teacher assistants)

The citywide parent organization, Illinois Raise Your Hand for Public Education, is gathering budget loss information from parent members. So far they have heard from 142 schools and over $82 million has been lost.

Please call Alderman Balcer and ask him to tell the Mayor to declare a TIF surplus. A

lderman Balcer's Office phone number: 773 254 6677.

 Possible scripts:
a) If you just want to leave a message OR that's the only option: "Hi! I'd like to leave a message for Alderman Balcer. My name is ____ & I am a (CPS Parent/Parent/Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer/Voter) concerned about the severe budget cuts to our schools. (Pick a school or Pick all 3 above) lost $___ which will result in the loss of teachers, support staff, supplies and textbooks, impacting the education of thousands of kids in our Ward. The mayor needs to declare a TIF surplus & give money back to the schools. Mayor Daley declared a TIF surplus 3 years ago and returned $90 million to CPS. We know this can be done. We expect you to call the Mayor and ask him to declare a TIF surplus. We'll be bringing a letter by to get your support. Thank you."

b.) Maybe you actually get him on the phone: "Hi, this is _________I am a constituent and my school _______just lost _________ ( x dollars or x positions). We need Alderman _______'s help in restoring these positions. As you know, our schools weren't properly funded to begin with and we can't operate with this loss.
Possible answer: Well, there's not much the City Council can do when it comes to education.
You: "Actually, there was $1.7 billion in TIF accounts at the end of 2011 and $454 million was diverted from Chicago property tax revenue into TIF accounts. 53% of all TIF surplus money would go back to the schools. We would like you to call Mayor Emanuel and ask that he declare a TIF surplus so that we don't have to lose ______ positions."
Possible answer: "Well, much of that money is tied up. We don't know for sure how much is in there."
You: "Mayor Daley declared a TIF surplus 3 years ago and returned $90 million. We know this can be done. We expect you to call and we'll be bringing a letter by to get your support."

Thank you so much!

If you'd like to learn more about TIFs you can listen to & view slides of the 11th & 12th Ward TIF Illumination talk from a couple of weeks ago. It was sponsored by the McKinley Park Civic Association & the Bridgeport Alliance.
 http://www.civiclab.us/2013/06/11th-and-12th-illuminated/
Don't have time to listen? Here's some basics on TIFs: http://www.civiclab.us/the-tif-report/how-do-tifs-work/

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