CHICAGO – Today, City Colleges of Chicago faculty members will rally at Kennedy-King College to fight cuts to popular degree programs at campuses across the city. These cuts have predominately impacted Black, Brown and immigrant student populations. Budget discussions for next fiscal year are currently underway at City Colleges.
“This is a time in our lives when we need to stand up for our Black and Brown communities and our students. We need to make sure future generations have all the opportunities their white counterparts do,” City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee President Randy Miller said. “Instead of continuing to cut programs, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chancellor Juan Salgado and the City Colleges administration should focus on supporting all our students when they’re putting together next year’s budget.”
Over the years, City Colleges of Chicago has eliminated popular degree programs at its local campuses. These cuts have resulted in a loss of 11,000 students in five years, which is 17 percent of the entire student population, and predominantly impact campuses on the South Side of Chicago, like Kennedy-King.
Kennedy-King College has lost 1,700 students since 2015 when:
- the City Colleges Business Department offerings have been drastically reduced on many campuses, and business students cannot finish their degrees at Kennedy-King;
- the Dental Hygiene program was eliminated;
- and, the Nursing program at Dawson Technical Institute was eliminated.
The City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee (CCCLOC) represents more than 1000 part-time faculty, librarians and vocational lecturers. CCCLOC works with students at all seven City Colleges campuses and four satellite campuses across Chicago.
“Chicago spends hundreds of millions of dollars more on policing these communities than it does educating these communities,” said Miller. “Students at Kennedy-King deserve equitable access and opportunities within their own community. Tax dollars should provide degree and jobs programs, not more police enforcement. Black, Brown and immigrant minds matter.”
The rally will begin at 2 p.m. on the Kennedy-King College quad (6301 S. Halsted Ave.). All rally participants are required to wear masks and practice social distancing per the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. Those who wish to participate via a car caravan will meet at 2 p.m. on 65th Street between Halsted Ave. and Union Ave.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.