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.