Fourteen aldermen, including Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and Daniel La Spata (1st), introduced an ordinance to terminate the Chicago Police Department’s contract with Chicago Public Schools that was dismissed the same day it was filed on June 17.
The Police Free Schools Ordinance, which was introduced to city council’s Committee on Public Safety, instructs the Police Superintendent to terminate the intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Chicago Board of Education within 75 days of its passage. The ordinance also prohibits the city and the superintendent from entering into any future school security agreements with the CPD and the Board of Education.
The current CPD contract expires Aug. 31.
“The presence of Chicago police inside of schools creates dangerous conditions for students that have led to the criminalization, mass incarceration, harassment, death, and heinous use of force against Brown and predominantly Black students,” the ordinance reads.
It calls for a reallocation of the $33 million dollars the city spends on officers in schools to instead go toward restorative services and pay for counselors, social workers, nurses, teachers, and other staff and wrap-around services — demands that have been at the forefront of recent protests surrounding Black Lives Matter and racial equality.
The city budgeted nearly $1.8 billion for CPD in 2020, based on Chicago’s budget overview.
The ordinance, which was filed Monday by Alderpeople Roderick Sawyer (6th), Jeanette Taylor (20th) and Ramirez-Rosa, has quickly gained co-sponsorship by 11 more council members in the last day.
“It’s time to end the school to prison pipeline,” Ramirez-Rosa tweeted about the news.
La Spata also took to social media to show support his support of the ordinance.
“…Thankful for the administrators, teachers & parents who have said they would gladly take a social worker or case manager over a police officer in their school,” the alderman wrote.
In his Tuesday newsletter, he also shared his support of the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) and defunding the police, stating there are “more effective and just ways to achieve this priority than the $1,778 billion dollars we will spend on policing this year.”
The ordinance is being introduced as part of the Police Free Schools week of action, in which Black and Latinx youth from across the city are continuing to demand that public officials divest from policing and the school to prison pipeline, and instead invest in restorative justice and student resources instead.
“The police who are violently assaulting protestors are the same ones who profile and harass us in our schools. We need true safety and police free schools now,” Dream Cannon said in a statement. Cannon is a junior at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Englewood and organizer with Assata’s Daughters.
The ordinance is part of the yearslong work of groups in the CopsoutCPS coalition, which includes over 30 active and endorsing organizations that are fighting to remove cops out of CPS.
According to the ordinance, 180 uniformed officers are in 76 public schools carrying two loaded guns.
Eleven out of the 14 city council members also sent an open letter to Mayor Lightfoot June 15 to ask her not to spend millions in discretionary federal COVID-19 dollars on policing.
Featured photo: Tom Vlodek