Inclusive Negotiations Benefit Chicago Kids

Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board’s Executive Committee enthusiastically accepts CTU's invitation to participate in Collective Bargaining talks this summer.

By K1C Parent Advisory Board Executive Committee | June 4, 2024 |


To: Stacy Davis Gates, President, Chicago Teachers Union,
Jackson Potter, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union

From: The Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board’s Executive Committee

Date: June 4, 2024

Subject: Letter to the Chicago Teachers Union

Dear Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Leadership,

Thank you for the invitation to join you in the upcoming Collective Bargaining conversations with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). We gratefully accept the opportunity to participate.

We are writing to you both as parents and caregivers of students in CPS and as representatives of the 35 CPS parents who serve on the Kids First Chicago (K1C) Parent Advisory Board. At K1C, our mission is to dramatically improve education for Chicago’s children by ensuring families are respected authorities and included in decisions regarding their children’s education. We believe that those closest to our students – parents and caregivers - are critical voices that must be included in the design of policies and systems to ensure equity and produce stronger outcomes for our students, our communities, and our city.

We, like CTU President Davis Gates, would like to participate in a conversation that happens “in the front yard,” rather than the closed-door negotiations of the past. We would like to see negotiations that are authentically inclusive of Chicago families and parents.

We see significant alignment between many key CTU positions and our parent priorities. As such we are eager to participate in the Collective Bargaining process given how significant the resulting agreement will be on our children and our public schools for the years ahead.

Like the CTU, the Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board advocates for comprehensive improvements in CPS. We emphasize the need for authentic parent engagement, representative governance with a fully elected school board, and equitable resource distribution. We want increased state education funding to ensure every child receives a fully-funded education. We want to revamp the district's funding approach to prioritize high-need students and schools and to fully fund special education. We also want creative utilization of under-enrolled schools, increased access to social-emotional learning, culturally responsive curricula, and free year-round public transportation for students.

There is an opportunity to transform CPS for the better by listening to the people most impacted. We are eager to partner in this work and are confident that advancing these priorities will make Chicago a model for world-class public schools.

We are very enthusiastic to meet with you and participate in the negotiations in partnership to make these promises a reality for our children.

Please contact Cathy Paliga for us to begin scheduling conversations.

With best regards,

The Kids First Chicago Parent Advisory Board’s Executive Committee

Katrina Adams-Adewusi
Burnside Scholastic Academy

Lilia Guevara
Acero-Garcia HS

Marietta McDuffy
North Lawndale Community Action Council
Parent University West

Maria Owens
Hirsch HS

Alma Sigala
Seward Elementary School, Back of the Yards HS, and Phoenix Military HS

Andrea Zayas
Erie Elementary

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