Author: Chris Butler

Chris Butler is first a husband and a dad. He has been involved across the spectrum of public engagement activities and has worked with a number of diverse constituencies in urban and suburban communities. He has also been involved in several political campaigns including his service as a youth and young adult coordinator for Barack Obama’s primary bid for U.S. Senate. Chris worked as deputy campaign manager and field director for A+ Illinois where he developed a strong, statewide field operation including over 500 organizations and 50,000 individuals around the state working to bring adequacy and equity to Illinois’ school funding system and as the director of advocacy and outreach at New Schools for Chicago, a leader in school reform in Chicago. Chris is a 2006 graduate of the Ministry Training Institute and holds a degree in civic and political engagement from Northeastern Illinois University.

Elected School Board Is A Distraction, Not A Solution

Late last week, a bill to create an elected school board in Chicago passed a senate committee.  Predictably, this early (and mostly insignificant) step in the legislative process was met by a chorus of celebratory voices heralding the importance of getting an elected schools board in the city. While I’m not opposed to an elected school board, I just don’t…

3 Stupid, Racist Responses to Chance’s $1 Million Dollar Action

Yesterday Chance the Rapper announced a $1-million-dollar donation to Chicago Public Schools and a call to action on the part of his fellow celebrities and his fans.  The press conference and the gift were in response to an “unsuccessful” meeting between Chance and Governor Bruce Rauner about the $215 million dollars that the governor has been holding back from Chicago…

We Don’t Have to Critique the Joy Out of Everything

Yes, $1,000,000 is a not going to solve a $215,000,000 problem, but it does put forth an important question that should cause all Chicagoans to pause. On Monday, Chance the Rapper’s donation to CPS asked the question, “Are there 215 individuals in the city of Chicago who have the means to end this crisis?” 215 individuals who have compassion for…

Chance the Rapper Can Overcome Rhetoric with His Real Approach…And Change Reality for Chicago Children

It was incredibly gratifying to read in my Facebook timeline that Chance the Rapper was planning to meet with Governor Bruce Rauner about education issues facing Chicago.  It was even more gratifying to see that Chance and the Governor both actually went through with the meeting.  And then there was Chance’s press conference after the meeting…not so gratifying.  A short…

Black Voices, Black Choices: “Children are an investment in our future.”

For many Black families, education is about maintaining the high-quality experiences they had as a child. They know what a great school is because they experienced it themselves and they want that same experience for their children.  Meet Delilah Brooks: What is your dream for your children’s education? I always dreamed my children’s education would prepare them to be successful men and…

Black Voices, Black Choices: “Educating the masses versus individuals only delays the children’s development.”

For many Black families, education is about finding a school that affirms their children’s identity as African Americans. Many schools glaze over the contributions Black people have made to this country. Black families want their children to learn about the greatness of their people so that their children can do the same.  Meet Shawndra Young: What is your dream for your children’s…

When It Comes to the School Funding Lawsuit, Please Don’t Play the “Are they playing the Race Card” Card

It bothers me that whenever anyone has the courage and fortitude to publicly call out racial discrimination, their comments and actions have to undergo a basic test of validity; namely the “Are they playing the race card” test. It always bothers me. And it bothers me that Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool and the five parents who joined the…

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