Dear Lincoln Elementary Families,
Chicago Public Schools are in crisis – but you can make a difference at Lincoln. Historic budget cuts are on the horizon and the time to take action is now. While advocacy efforts are critical for the long-term health of the system, we are writing with a short-term solution that will safeguard the integrity of our school.
Together, Mr. Armendariz and the five Lincoln parent organizations are launching an early Phon-a-thon/Pledge Drive for the 2016/2017 school year. Our target goal is significantly increased—as we hope to cover the anticipated shortfall of $1,000 per student through pledged gifts received by June 30, 2016. Mr. Armendariz shared in his June 9th letter that individual school budgets could be cut by 20-30%. Assuming a worst-case scenario, Lincoln’s annual operating budget could be reduced by as much as $1.4 million.
Without your early pledged support, drastic reductions in staffing and programs will forever alter our neighborhood school. These decisions will be made while summer vacation is in full swing, so it is imperative that we launch this pledge drive now.
What’s at stake?
- Reduced class sizes that allow teachers to customize their lesson plans, ensuring that each student reaches his/her academic potential (the press is reporting an astonishing projection that cuts could leave CPS with a 40:1 student to teacher ratio).
- Professional development opportunities to keep our educators at the forefront of learning standards that bolster our children’s academic achievement.
- Lincoln’s robust K-8 Art, Music, French and Library programs that foster creative learning and multicultural awareness, paving the way for a global workforce.
Our Short-Term Solution for the Year Ahead:
- Mr. Armendariz can mitigate $160,000 of the projected funding gap through conservative cuts to non-essential services, programs and materials.
- FOL reserves accumulated over the years will be pledged to cover $400,000 of the shortfall.
- EFAC has pledged $139,000 and PTA has pledged $15,000.
- This leaves $686,000 needed in one-time emergency funds in addition to the traditional $125,000 target for our fall annual Phon-a-thon—$811,000 is needed to Keep Lincoln, Lincoln.
If we achieve this fundraising target, FOL will not conduct the Fall Phon-a-thon, yet FOL will continue with the Winter Auction and Spring Fun Run for normal fundraising needs.
How you can make an impact:
- We are asking for a pledge of $1,000 per student to help us through this time of crisis. We recognize that not all families are in a position to make this level of commitment, and so we ask that you give the greatest amount possible for your family.
- CLICK HERE OR THE BUTTON ABOVE to access the Pledge Page
- Make your early pledge to the 2016/2017 school year by June 30, 2016. Your donation is tax deductible.
- When CPS approves a budget later this summer, we will collect commitments.
- No one wants to write a “blank check” to cover an unknown deficit, which is why we commit to only collect the percentage of your pledge that is needed to balance the budget (e.g. if $1 million is raised and we only need $800,000—only 80% of each donor’s pledge will be collected).
This is a time when the community nature of engaging in a public school presents us with both an opportunity and a responsibility. Our children’s future is in our hands. And, as a collective whole, we can safeguard all that makes Chicago great and makes Lincoln, Lincoln.
Thank you in advance for your partnership,