November Board Meeting [Updated]


Updated:  Chicago Public School Board of Education approves changes to ease admissions to elite CPS schools
Tribune:  The Board approved changes
to the entrance policy for the city's premier schools, a move intended
to ease admissions for students who live near low-performing
schools.... What can $350,000 buy?
WBEZ:  The board approved a new CEO, more mentoring for CPS students
most likely to be hurt by gun violence, and a new one-year admissions
policy to the city's top schools. A school tries to buy an addition--and
it just might work. And there is a rare reference to Finland... Parents rally, petition for charters
Catalyst:  The rally marked the beginning of a campaign that aims to
gather petitions signed by thousands of parents in favor of charter and
turnaround schools, to be presented to legislators, elected officials
and administrators "who need to realize that parents and children and
community leaders need and want great schools and great school choices,"
says Jennifer Cline, director of communications for the privately
funded Renaissance Schools Fund. [Click below for previous links]

Chicago's $20 billion pension problem Tribune:  Chicago's
public pension funds are racing toward insolvency in large part because
city officials and union leaders repeatedly exploited the system,
draining away billions of dollars in the last decade to serve short-term
political needs, a Tribune... 
Chico wants longer school days Tribune:  Chicago
mayoral candidate Gery Chico called for longer school days and a longer
school year today and said if elected he'd propose reducing Chicago
Public School's central office by one-third,...
Parents, community groups want answers about new South Shore High School Catalyst:  They
expected School Board action this month to approve a plan that would
reserve 40 percent of the seats for an International Baccalaureate
Program, 40 percent  for a career program and 20 percent for general
Data shows how much Chicago principals make Sun Times:  Before
the new law, extra retirement benefits for administrators were often
rolled into a single salary figure that was submitted to the Illinois
State Board of Education, making the extra payments difficult to
... Education Action Summit Seeks Solution Fox:  An education summit is going to be held in Chicago Wednesday night to address some of the problems facing our schools.


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  • Longer school day, longer school year, hmmm. How does Chico plan to pay for it.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Ay, there's the rub.

    Adding just one hour to the school day means a 16% increase in labor costs--about a half billion dollars. (And this isn't a raise for teachers. If you ask me to work 16% more time, then you must compensate me for that time. Raises would come on top of the increase.)

    Perhaps Chico is planning a pretty hefty tax increase?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    In the article today on pensions, one person was quoted as saying something along the lines that they were not expecting a pension to actually be there when they retired. I believe with 100% certainty that is correct. I am 39 and I will be completely and totally surprised if there is any pension left at all for me or my generation. There will be nothing. I am saving separately because I am not counting on a pension.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    here's the link to WBEZ's audio tape of the meeting

  • I had two interesting discussions with members of the Illinois General Assembly here in Springfield today about the Chicago Tribune article written by Jason Grotto about the very big problems with Chicago's pension funds, in particular the Teacher's pension fund.

    One member told me she had regrets about voting for the plan which delayed payments to the teacher's pension fund after reading the story. I told her that at the time I was in Springfield and the projections in the Tribune article were given to members but really no one was listening. I added another point, do you recall who besides the Mayor, CPS, and the Speaker of the House were urging you to vote for the payment delay. She said a lot of people were, I said one voice in particular do you recall. Well no she said. I told her the very newspaper this story was written in urged the members of the General Assembly to give CPS this so called pension relief.

    She said by god you are right, now they are attacking us for approving something they urged us to approve that's pretty low life. I told her I agreed, but next time do not accept Tribune editiorials as having much of a basis in reality.

    Rod Estvan

  • I will have met the required 34 years of work at age 55 to be able to retire. You missed the point that the problem is not with the retirees - it's with our elected officials using pension money to solve the budgets of today , without regard to the consequences in the future. Any person who does this with their 401Ks would be in the same dire straits that the pension funds are in. Except we had no say or vote on this being done to our pension funds. They were used as piggy banks and now the time is up and they have to pay it back.

  • Of course they can set the hours. But that's not the problem.

    People aren't going to work an extra 5 hours per week without being compensated for it.

    How is a state that cannot pay its bills now going to come up with the money to do that?

  • Actually, Linda, CPS would pay a slightly LOWER rate if it paid the employer portion of Social Security (6.2%) rather than the 7% pension pickup they are supposed to pay to the CTPF.

    Of course, the federal government doesn't allow "pension holidays" for Social Security. When the employer doesn't pay into the SS fund, someone goes to prison.

  • Dear Anonymous, I will check this out! We did talk about using space at the CTU, however right now we are at the Opera House!

  • Yes, TFA's are fast tracked on the principals list!

  • 33% of all principals at CPS are in their first year! They are just trying to keep their jobs and to learn how to be principals!

  • The Whittier fieldhouse/library fight continues! Nothing has been resolved! Ron Huberman lied again! Hopefully, Terry Mazany will be more understanding!

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