CPS Residency Policy is Really "Much Ado About Nothing"

Now that the CPS School Board has passed the $150 million property tax increase, which will raise the bill of the owner of an average $250000 home by $84 or 2.4 percent, I wonder how long it'll be before Chicagoans start questioning where each board member calls home? Are all the board members residing in Chicago as required in the CPS Residency Policy? I doubt it. (CPS Residency Policy: http://www.cps-humanresources.org/Careers/residency.htm)

But, I truly believe the CPS Residency Policy is really 'Much Ado About Nothing." And, here's why:

Some people have been complained about the new CPS Chief Administration Officer Tim Cawley being given a 2-year residency waiver to live in Winnetka by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But, who really thinks Cawley will stay in his position past the two years or will not be given a waiver-extention after two years?

I believe the people opposing Cawley’s residency waiver are getting upset for no apparent reason and their arguments are “Much Ado About Nothing.” Why? It's because CPS already allows several teachers in “special need” subject areas and certain staff positions to live outside the city.
Also, let’s not forget many CPS employees are ‘grandfathered’ and exempted from the current residency requirement that requires employees hired after November 20, 1996 to live within Chicago’s boundaries.

Currently, the only positions where one must reside in Chicago are: principal, assistant principal, security personnel, school clerks, and teachers in English, History, Computer Technology, Shop or Industrial Arts, Business Education, and the World Languages of Spanish and Polish. Though, most principals and assistant principals can live wherever they please as most are 'grandfathered' into the old residency requirement.

And, CPS employees in the following 'need areas' are allowed to live outside of the city and they are:

Special Education, Mathematics, Science, Reading, Bilingual, ROTC, PE, and World Language (Exclusively: Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Latin, Farsi) Teachers.

Along with Librarians, Guidance Counselors, School Nurses, School Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Sign Language Interpreters, Occupational & Physical Therapists, and Health Service Nurses.
What I don't understand is CPS has plenty of applicants every year for teaching positions (including PE) and these “qualified” applicants can often be seen forming a long lines outside of UIC at CPS job fairs, why is PE a special need teaching position?

Wasn't it just a few years ago that CPS made PE mandatory only the first two years of high school and PE could be taken as an elective the other two years? Where's the shortage? Is it in the elementary and middle schools? If the shortage isn't in high school, then I believe CPS shouldn't 'blanket them' as 'special need' teaching positions.

In addition, I would think the CPS Investigators are more concerned with students violating the CPS residency policies than employees. If a student is caught in violation, CPS would seek monetary compensation. If a CPS employee is caught in violation, it means CPS loses an employee and the employee loses their jobs.

So, the CPS employee residency policy is really “Much Ado About Nothing” and truly more of a joke than anything else.


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  • Easy enough for people not bound by the residency requirement to say it's "only ...principal, assistant principal, security personnel, school clerks, and teachers in English, History, Computer Technology, Shop or Industrial Arts, Business Education, and the World Languages of Spanish and Polish." Oh, is that all? These American citizens are not entitled to make choices like buying a home, because Chicago's real estate in safe neighborhoods is prohibitively expensive for the salary offered by CPS. No, that $10,000 offered by CPS to help pay for a house doesn't make much of a dent in the monthly payment.

    Since when does an employer have a right to tell people where to live? You might argue... then go find another job. Yeah, well, they might have said the same thing to employees of the Pullman company 100 years ago. I'm delighted to hear people brush aside the residency requirement as if it's no big deal. Meanwhile the people living inside the cage are no different than lions at the zoo.

  • In reply to dbo22:

    I live in Chicago and I agree with you. Did you know 43% of CPS teachers, with an average salary of $72K, live outside Chicago? Why can't other City of Chicago employees live outside the city as well?

    BTW: Did you know the subjects of teachers getting waivers to live outside of Chicga due to the CPS Residency Policy is no longer listed on www.cps.edu? Also, if 800-1000 teachers are losing their jobs due to the (54) schools being closed, wil this mean an end to the CPS Residency Policy waivers? It should as it's simple "Supply and Demand". Is a waiver for 'need basis' teaching subject areas needed if you have tons of out of work teachers in those areas, especially PE?

    What's with $10K CPS doles out to people for a house? I never heard of this, where can I find information on this?

    Also, watching the protesting of schol closings the other day made me laugh for two reasons. One, the CPS teachers aren't going to vote Rahm out because a lot of them wanting more money, smaller class sizes, etc. don't vote in Chicago mayoral elections because they live outside of Chicago. And, a lot of the CPS employees that'll be losing their positions due to (54) closing achools come from neighborhoods with chronically low voter turnout.

    Secondly, the CTU looks to be weakening as there wasn't 6500 protestors downtown as reported by the CTU, it was more like 2700-3000 protestors. Where were all the rest of CTU brothers and sisters supporting the CTU and closing schools? It seems most members of the CTU are only brought to action when their paycheck, evaluations, and hours are affected and not those of others in the CTU.

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