PSAT for 6-14-11: Time for wealthy corporations to support our schools

Join in a protest today at Cityfront Plaza on Illinois Street, one block east of Michigan Avenue, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at the site of an exclusive “CFO Executive Summit” for “distinguished Finance leaders from Fortune 1000 companies.”

Teachers, parents, students, and community members will come together to protest the tax breaks and other incentives that rob our schools for millions of needed dollars each year. Now that school budgets are cutting back even beyond bare bones, it’s time to stop the corporate welfare and put our children’s educational needs first.

Here’s what the CFO Summit is all about, according to their own promotional blurb:

“The CFO Executive Summit is a private conference built by CFOs, for CFOs. The one day event is by invitation only and is steered by a Governing Body of distinguished Finance leaders from Fortune 1000 companies and other leading organizations in our region.

Our purpose is to provide a content-rich, collaborative forum for Finance executives. All session content is service provider-neutral and speakers are selected by the Governing Body, using strict criteria. Service providers participate only via nomination from the Governing Body and within the auspices of the event’s defined “rules of engagement.”

Attendance at the conference is exclusively limited to CFO’s and senior Finance executives who qualify.

The Payoff? A greater network of peers, a series of new insights focused on real solutions and the creation of a dynamic, collaborative community of financial leaders in business and education.

Here’s what the CTU says about today’s protest:

CPS is talking about cutting the budget – including possibly denying you your contractual raise – while at the same time banks and developers are refusing to pay their fair share to educate our kids. CPS is having a vote on June 14th – we must make our voices heard, that balancing school budgets on the backs of students and teachers/psrps is unconscionable.

Please join us on June 14th, as we ask the Chief Financial Officers of major national corporations who are raking in record profits while our schools suffer to pay their fair share.

Four banks (Bank of American, Goldman-Sachs, Loop Financial and Royal Bank of Canada) take $36 million a year away from our schools through toxic interest rate swaps.  CPS should renegotiate those deals and make the banks pay their fair share.

Chicago area developers siphon $250 million a year away from schools through Tax Increment Financing (TIFs).  Those developers need to pay their fair share for our kids’ education.

The education crisis in Illinois is not bad teachers – it’s bad politicians who have failed for over 20 years to fix the broken school funding problems which have made our state one of the worst in the nation in terms of per capita school spending, The much-trumpeted “education reform” Gov. Quinn signed yesterday is just an empty distraction from the very real financial crisis the state has created in our schools.

Add your voice to the demand for fair school funding in Illinois!

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.