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Preckwinkle Will Reinstate Pension Contribution for AP’s Who Become Principals 
"You’re the elected representatives of the principals and you’re the people who should be at the table. That’s pretty simple."

The Office of Mayor of Chicago has complete control over Chicago’s Schools, so as President of CPAA I spoke with both Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot to ensure both candidates understood issues that are important to our members and took positions that address your concerns. Toni Preckwinkle and I spoke on Wednesday and I would like to brief you on her responses to your issues. Click here for part one of Lori Lightfoot’s response. This is not an endorsement for either candidate. As president, I want school leaders to know what I'm talking to the candidates about, and how each one is responding. 

"I spent ten years as a classroom teacher so I know the principal is the most important person in a school. They set the tone and they’re the educational leaders, so of course I want them at the table."

PRECKWINKLE ON PRINCIPALS AND CPAA
I began my conversation with Preckwinkle by emphasizing the fact that principals and AP’s are the ones who implement the policies created by state legislatures and school boards. We are the only people in the system who see up-close what those policies do to an entire school. Yet our voices are often absent when officials create the policies that we then have to implement. Then I asked, “What is your perspective on having CPAA at the table when education policy is being negotiated?” Her response was as follows:

"You’re the elected representatives of the principals and you’re the people who should be at the table. That’s pretty simple. They shouldn’t be cherry-picked. They should be representatives of your organization. I spent ten years as a classroom teacher so I know the principal is the most important person in a school. They set the tone and they’re the educational leaders, so of course I want them at the table."

"Of course, it needs to be reversed. That policy is ridiculous."

ON REINSTATING ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS

I briefed Preckwinkle on the absurd and irrational policy adopted by CPS that treats assistant principals who become principals as “new hires” by ending the district's contribution to their pensions. I told her that, in doing so, CPS actually created a disincentive for existing assistant principals to become principals because they know they’re going to lose their pension contribution when they make the move from assistant principal to principal. I told her this is one of the most backward and thoughtless policies I have seen in my career, and that we want it reversed. She told me that prior to our conversation she was not aware of this policy, and her response was short and to the point:

"Of course, it needs to be reversed. That policy is ridiculous."

PRECKWINKLE PART TWO - COMING SOON: STAFFING AND SQRP
Within a couple of days, I will brief you on part two of my conversation with Toni Preckwinkle in which she and I discuss the staffing crisis in CPS and changing SQRP. I am also arranging a second conversation with Lori Lightfoot to give her an opportunity to address those issues.

A place at the dinner table doesn’t mean much if you don’t get a plate.

REMEMBER HOW WE WIN
What’s important to remember is that both mayoral candidates have committed to welcoming CPAA to the policy-making table. However, a place at the dinner table doesn’t mean much if you don’t get a plate. So we must continue our efforts to organize and build power to ensure we have influence at that table. CPAA has accomplished more in the past two-and-a-half years than it did in the previous twelve years combined. Our achievements were the result of organizing for power. With no place at the CPS table, we used the power of the courts, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Legislature, the House Education Committee, and the power of our research program to force CPS to our own table and win victories in special education staffing, raises for school leaders, and respect for principals' due process rights.

The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association has accomplished more in the past two-and-a-half years than it did in the previous twelve years combined. 

Our association will build on this foundation if we continue to have strong leadership. We have a CPAA election in May and the following candidates have been slated by the nominating committee because they have the passion, competence, and work ethic to move us forward.

Troy LaRaviere, President
Joyce Kenner, Vice President for High School Principals
Rigo Hernandez, Vice President for Elementary School Principals
Phil Yasenek, Vice President for Elementary School Assistant Principals
Yasmeen Muhammad, Secretary
Ryan Belville, Treasurer

If elected, these are the people who will be at the table with me to represent your voice, along with Auxiliary Officers -- principals and assistant principals in each CPS network chosen by school leaders like you.

Chicago Principals & Administrators Association

20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1545

Chicago, Illinois 60606

(312) 263-7767

www.mycpaa.com

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