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Community Leaders Protest For Higher Funding For CPS

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A coalition of community, education and labor leaders protested at City Hall Thursday for higher funding for Chicago's Public Schools.

Andrea Ortiz with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council says the need for more funding for CPS is obvious.

"Over the course of two years, our schools have lost almost half a billion dollars. That's already on top of previous cuts that we have been facing for years. Along with these cuts, we have seen dramatic decrease in councilors, teachers, art programs -- on top of other resources essential to providing an equitable education to our youth."

Ald. Geroge Cardenas (12th) is co-sponsoring an ordinance that would raise money by reimposing the city head tax and dedicating more development funds.

"If we want to attain that dream of having one Chicago, then we need to be equitable."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is against bringing back the corporate head tax.

CPS officials announced Wednesday their plan to raise city property taxes by $225 million this year, which is nearly as much as last year, and also the limit allowed under state law.

"I'm not enthusiastic about raising taxes. On the other hand, I am enthusiastic about education," he said. " I am enthusiastic about the state finally stepping up and treating the children of Chicago fairly and equitably, and I am for the state of Illinois finally contributing to the teachers' pensions of Chicago like they do for everybody else down state."

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