Yesterday, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Janice Jackson and the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel announced that 26 million dollars will be added to the CPS budget to add 160 social workers and 94 special education case workers beginning this school year 2018-2019. Full time social workers will go to 160 schools and one or two special education case workers will be employed at 78 schools.. Case mangers will focus on ensuring that children receive services indicated in their Individualized Educational Plans. This addition of case workers will make a tremendous difference by allowing teachers to solely focus on teaching the students rather than having to play multiple roles of a social worker, teacher, and special educator all in one. Also, it will help the children exposed to trauma, refugees, english learners, and are special needs receive the help and attention needed for them to excel stay in the education system.
“…Significant investment to promote equitable access to trained support staff will help ensure additional resources are directed to the city’s highest need communities so that all students can have a fair shot at a high quality education”, stated Jackson (2).
Some people, namely the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU), argue that the amount of social workers added is not enough. Currently they estimate that there are 2,500 students for every school nurse. The CTU proposes that there needs to be an additional 1,000 case workers added to this budget. The CPS is focused on high needs schools with the most English Language learners, low income students, and special needs; 60 high schools and 100 elementary schools will receive social case workers while 38 high schools and 40 elementary schools will have special education case workers.