AM News: Board Pushes Tax Alternative To Layoffs

image from webmedia.newseum.orgSchool District Considers Property Tax Increase, and Layoffs if It Is Rejected CNC:  The Chicago Public Schools are considering an $80 million property-tax increase as they try to close a budget deficit now estimated at $820 million, and they may have to lay off more than 2,000 teachers and increase class sizes without it, according to internal documents obtained by the Chicago News Cooperative...  Give this voucher plan a chance tribune (editorial):  Because it essentially diverts some money the state otherwise would send to public schools, the program would not add cost to the state. Nor would it impose any cost burden on the Chicago Public Schools; while the accounting is arcane, CPS actually would come out ahead financially in the deal... Neighbor 'just wanted to help' stabbing victim Tribune:  Santana had attended Farragut High School, 2345 S. Christiana Ave., but transferred out of the Chicago Public Schools system in January, apparently to go to school in Mexico.

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  • I have to say I completely disagree with comments from my friend Jackson Potter from the CTU that were in the Chicago News Cooperative article Alexander posted opposing a property tax increase, I am apparently in the camp of Mr. Mazany on this issue. I take this position regardless of whether or not the increased revenue is used to pay for a salary increase for unionized teachers in the CPS. I do believe CPS should honor its contractual salary increase promised to teachers. But I also believe teachers need to come to grips with the overall fiscal situation of CPS and consider negotiating some type of deferred payment of their salary increases in return for promissory notes individually payable to teachers at a date certain based on pledged future tax reciepts. There is nothing that I can see in the school code that clearly would prohibit such notes as long as the CPS debt limit does not exceed legal requirements. There are also other ways to do this with bond debt.

    There are several reasons why I disagree with Jackson's position opposing a property tax increase:

    1.The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, commonly called

  • Ok lets fire all the CAOs and close the offices. Last year they cost $87.2 million (CPS FY 2011 budget at page 321). That leaves $732.8 million to go based on the deficit numbers in the article. Let assume CPS can also get $800,000 from the estate of Mr. Scott, which by the way is more than his net worth at the time of his death, that still leaves $732 million.

    Not so easy is it.

    Rod Estvan

  • No disagreement about the need for accountability. I do have actual numbers from ISBE of money owed to CPS, believe me I do check up on some of the claims CPS makes. By the way the deficit numbers being put out by CPS are not so different compartitvely to many other school districts in the state. CPS is in good shape compared to some school districts, East St. Louis is asking the state to take it over because it can not pay its teachers and provide special ed services. The list goes on and on.

    Have a good weekend

    Rod Estvan

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