What CPAA Won for School Leaders in Chicago

What have principals and assistant principals accomplished through CPAA? It's important that we be able to articulate the efficacy of the collective work that we do together through our professional association, CPAA. So check out our list of 2020-2021 accomplishments.


  • We compelled CPS to increase your pay by $15,000 over four years by lobbying CPS board members to support the raise, and through an appeal to racial equity.
  • All administrators at year-round schools will receive additional compensation.
  • The lead administrator at summer school sites will receive additional compensation.
  • Paid remote work during the summer
  • Five additional days off during winter break and accrual of five additional vacation days

Due Process Job Protections and Eligibility

  • Despite more than 70 CPS hearings and investigations of principals and assistant principals, not a single school leader represented by CPAA lost their job in 2020.
  • An AUSL manager was investigated and removed from supervisory duties after CPAA announced findings from our investigation of his abuse and harassment of principals. CPS also announced that it will dissolve the AUSL turnaround school network and reintegrate those schools into CPS networks.
  • CPAA’s General Counsel worked with a Local School Council to facilitate a re-vote to renew a member’s contract after an initial vote to non-renew.

Thanks to scores of organized CPAA members chiming in during the public comment period, CPS made significant changes to the Principal Eligibility Policy, including the following:

  • Removed the provision that allowed the CEO to suspend eligibility “for any reason.”
  • Established an abbreviate eligibility process for assistant principals.
  • Replaced the provision allowing suspension if there is “any” investigation to allowing suspension only during investigations of “serious” misconduct.
  • Included provision allowing a first-year principal to receive a basic rating without eligibility suspension.
  • Included a requirement that the district notifies school leaders if they are suspended or removed, share the reasons for removal, and provide an opportunity for the administrator to address any deficiencies.
  • Changed eligibility determination transparency rights from “a candidate may request feedback” to “candidate is entitled to evidence-based feedback.”
  • The district will be required to submit a disaggregated public report on eligibility results and principalships awarded. 

Pandemic Wins and Accomplishments

  • Quickly and successfully shifted all Illinois Administrator Academy Courses to a virtual format allowing hundreds of school leaders to stay current on licensure renewal coursework.
  • CPS created health exceptions to the requirement that principals and assistant principals report in-person during the initial stages of the pandemic after CPAA appealed to the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • CPAA members compelled CPS to change the requirement that both principals and assistant principals report in-person and, instead, allow them to alternate.
  • Created an alternative reopening plan, and CPS adopted some elements of that plan, such as a phased-in reopening.
  • Compelled CPS to nix plans to issue ratings to principals after CPAA members launched an organized effort to make CPS board members aware of the contradictions and shortcomings of that course of action.
  • CPAA released a report on in-person learning findings which highlight racially inequitable learning conditions.

Principal/Assistant Principal Voice

  • CPAA organized a group of thirty-three accomplished school leaders to meet with CPS board members. After the meeting, the Board shared a detailed list of member concerns with district management which compelled the CEO and CEdO to submit a nine-page report addressing the concerns.
  • We introduced a measure in the Illinois Legislature to restore collective bargaining rights to principals and assistant principals. Thanks to organized advocacy by our members and support from our allies in labor, the bill passed the House and then passed the Senate executive committee. It is now waiting for a vote by the full Senate. 

Other Wins and Accomplishments

  • CPAA highlighted the unreasonable and counterproductive nature of requiring principals and assistant principals to serve as bus-aides for summer school. In response, CPS stopped the practice.
  • Hosted 2021 Summer Leadership Institute After-Party which successfully brought CPS administrators together to reconnect and socialize after 16 months of virtual meetings and remote learning. 
  • Hosted the “Moving Forward Together” Planning Work Session where CPAA organizers facilitated information sharing on best practices and tips for completing plans. Provided an informational one-pager for all administrators to reference. These sessions were followed up with office hours for 1:1 or small group support, mentoring, and guidance.