November 2, 2018
On Friday, November 2, the union representing teachers and staff at four CICS campuses (ChicagoQuest, Northtown Academy, Ralph Ellison, Wrightwood) voted to authorize a strike. The authorization vote does not mean that a strike has started, or indicates when a strike might begin. It simply means that union members have voted to authorize the union to strike at some point in the future.
All CICS campuses remain open and will continue to operate their normal schedules. Although CICS is not the employer of teachers at our campuses, and therefore is not involved in contract negotiations, we are hopeful that, through continuing good-faith negotiations, a strike will be avoided.
CICS’ other 10 campuses (Avalon, Basil, Bucktown, Irving Park, Lloyd Bond, Loomis Primary, Longwood, Prairie, Washington Park, West Belden) should not be affected by the strike authorization vote and should expect no interruption in educational instruction or operations in the event a strike occurs.
Due to continued misinformation being published about CICS’ Network, we must set the record straight.
- Of the 16% of per-pupil funds that CICS receives, only 3% are ‘management fees’ used to support Network office operations such as data, finance, enrollment and recruitment. The remaining 13% is used to cover rent payments for CICS' fourteen properties, debt service, capital projects and repairs. This is necessary, because unlike traditional public schools, charter schools must provide and pay for their own facilities.
- CICS has earned one of the highest Standard and Poor’s bond ratings (‘BBB’) held by a Charter school in the country, which is indicative of strong financial management.
- Charter schools have been significantly underfunded compared to district schools since their inception in Chicago in 1997. Only in the last year (2017) was Illinois state law changed to mandate that funding of charter schools be based on the amount of funds spent per pupil at traditional public schools in Chicago. However, the most recent national study found that Chicago charter schools actually receive 14 percent less than district counterparts.
- CICS deeply respects and appreciates the talented and committed education innovators employed by each of our school management partners who work tirelessly in support of the 8,300 students attending CICS’ 14 campuses, 92% of whom are Black and Latinx.
Every Child, Every Day.
CICS Official Statement on Stirke Authorization Vote