AM News: More Budget Cuts On The Horizon

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Budget cuts Catalyst:  School observers speculate that these cuts are being made now so that CEO Jean Claude Brizard can come to the negotiating table with the Chicago Teachers Union and say they've cut as much as they can elsewhere...Moms plan rally against state budget cuts Tribune: This year, though, organizers say they worry the additional hundreds of millions of dollars in reductions proposed by the Illinois House would be devastating...
 Bill could mean more charters in the suburbs WBEZ:  Under the bill, a new state commission will have the power to authorize charter schools if individual school districts don't... School Offers BMW for Perfect Attendance Fox:  Can a $30,000 BMW really motivate students to attend class every day on time? The latest Arlington High School attendance figures suggest yes... Gery Chico to Run for Office Again? Chicago Mag:  After Election Day, Gery Chico--who fell short of a runoff with Rahm Emanuel--stayed out of the spotlight for a while... MORE NEWS BELOW

Kindergarten readiness assessment adds more math Catalyst:  The biggest change to this year's assessment is an expanded math section. (A recent evaluation of the Illinois Early Childhood Block Grant showed that students who attended Preschool for All programs outside of Chicago did not show any significant growth in their math skills.)...  Roseland Children's Initiative kicks off  Catalyst:  With $2 million raised, a recent kick-off rally and a newly opened office, a Roseland project modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone is out of the starting gate... Young filmmakers show being a high school dropout isn't the end of the story Chicago Reporter:  After struggling at her regular Chicago high school, she enrolled at Prologue Alternative High School and took a class on video production... Teachers conference focuses on strategies for more activism on education Catalys:  The conference is an annual gathering that educates teachers about what's happening in their profession and what they can do to help advance it...  Epinephrine bill sparked by death of CPS student Tribune:  A school nurse can administer an epinephrine auto-injector to any student that the nurse believes is having an anaphylactic reaction, even if the student's medical file does not indicate he or she has been diagnosed with the allergy.

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  • 20% cuts at central office and 37% cuts at the district offices. Do the schools have their budgets yet from CPS?

  • If Illinois cuts the k-12 education budget by $166 million once everything is said and done the loss to CPS will be between $29.8 to $33.2 million. CPS and the CTU has been obsessing over SB7 and CPS's grand transition under Mayor Emanuel. It has been asleep at the wheel in Springfield and did nothing at all to help Governor Quinn defend his proposed budget for k-12 education which would have cost CPS zero.

    We also have SB629 SA1 which is still alive, this bill would decrease the amount of supplement state aid payments to certain school districts in counties that are under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), or tax caps. Generally, these school districts are limited in their access to local property tax receipts because of the property tax cap, then again were being penalized under the general State aid formula. A supplemental aid payment was established to fix this problem.

    SB 629 establishes a 65%

  • Sorry, yes I mean the area offices!

  • Alcott and Ogden exist and will continue to exist because outside of NSCP, WY, Lane, Lincoln Park double honors, Payton and Jones, there aren't any acceptable high school options for northside and centrally located students who are working at level and aren't violent. There simply aren't ANY other neighborhood options (with the possibility of Taft and Lakeview as an absolute move of desperation). The only other choice for families who care about their kids going to college is to leave the city. We need Alcott and Ogden. In the next five years, there will be a wave of decently smart kids who can't quite make it into the SE schools. Those kids may choose Alcott or Ogden.

  • All I can ask is that before people start arguing that the budget problems of CPS can be fixed at CPS by cutting more at the top that they produce some actual budget data to justify their arguments. I have put out actual historic budget data on this blog over and over again showing even if CPS cut every administrator outside a school down to about 40 people including the CEO, cut all contracts that were not for maintaining school structures, capital projects, or tuition for charter school students and special education in the private sector, CPS still would not have a balanced budget without more revenue. Please get real folks.

    Charter schools are going to be thrown into fiscal crisis along with traditional schools by the overall fiscal situation of the state and local government. CPS can't cut its way to a balanced budget, it certainly can stop creating new programs including charters and expanding grades at elementary schools. When has CPS ever produced an actual cost benefit analysis of either charter expansion or the creation of new high schools such as Alcott and Ogden?

    What would such an analysis consist of? It would look at cost per pupil of these programs inclusive of start up costs and capital costs vs the average cost per student in the city. It would look at the average ACT scores of students graduating from these program vs the mean in the city, it would look at graduation rates comparatively to city averages, and it could possibly include violence indexing too. It would really see if the benefits were worth the costs.

    But the hard truth is that because of poverty inside of Chicago the district will always have a higher drop out rate, lower average ACT scores, and more violence than upper income school districts on average. We have in the public sector a system of educational out comes driven by social economic status in America, so the real question is how much improvement is actually possible within the constraints of this paradigm? It is a question we as a nation want to avoid because it gets to what can only be called a myth of social mobility, i.e. that education is the key way to achieve more social equality in America. Possibly the educational system is designed to reinforce social inequality in America and all the endless new programs for urban systems are illusions to perpetuate a myth.

    Rod Estvan

  • Not sure where you get "racist". There are parents all over the northside where I live who care about their kids' education of every ethnicity and socioeconomic background. The southside SE schools are fine but way too far to travel to making them a non-option for me or families who live north of Belmont. Would any of you really send your kids to a neighborhood high school? Really? My neighborhood high school has an ACT average of less than 17. No one gets into any college with a 14 or 15 or 16. And the police are always all over the place at that school. Another neighborhood high school has lock downs frequently. No child should have to attend schools like that. Not mine and not anyone's. For our family it is an SE school or we are gone. Call it what you like, but until there are options for kids in this city who are smart, but not perfectly scoring, families will always be leaving or paying for private school.

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