CPS Principal Elisabeth Heurtefeu Tells Mayor and CEO: “Stop Privatizing Schools”

Last week was a watershed week for CPS principals. On Monday, principals organized against cuts to services for special education students.  On Friday, another CPS principal directly challenged the mayor and schools CEO on teacher cuts and privatizing schools.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool were on hand at LaSalle Language Academy’s Celebration of their 2015 National Blue Ribbon School Award. LaSalle’s retiring principal, Elisabeth Heurtefeu, used the occasion to deliver a message to the mayor and CEO.

Heutefeu aimed her initial remarks directly at Forrest Claypool asking him “not to cut any more language positions in the future” while looking directly at Claypool and extending her hand to get him to shake hands and commit to stop cutting foreign language teacher positions for Chicago’s students. Herteufeu then looked at Mayor Emanuel and said, “I’m free now so I can help you” as she discussed making reforms to the way teachers are hired. She continued, “We need to do a 180 [degree turn] to stop the privatization.” She then looked toward Mayor Emanuel and said, “Sorry” as the audience exploded in applause. Heurtefeu suggested privatization was short sighted and concluded by affirming, “We have to look further and value public education.”

See the video of her remarks below.

4 thoughts on “CPS Principal Elisabeth Heurtefeu Tells Mayor and CEO: “Stop Privatizing Schools”

  1. It is time to advocate strongly for qualified and experienced educators to reclaim education reform, 180 degrees away from what billionaires and corrupt politicians have done.


    1. Wow. From a school leader where the most excellent non-selective public education happens year after year. And she is not, in my experience, outspoken like Mr. take-this-job-if-you-can LaRaviere. Most teachers who make it there spend their entire career at LaSalle Language Academy … no worry that their salary increasing along with their ability and experience would upset the budget. Can that still be achieved? I so wish Mme. Heurtefeu would share the private reaction from the mayor or his team.


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