Longer Days Could Start January

Today's news is mostly about the Board meeting yesterday, at which the budget was approved (though still with some uncertain areas) and the Brizard proposal for a longer day/longer year was discussed.  There's also a great little story from Linda Lutton about the effort to bring dropouts back into the system to get their diplomas.

90 more minutes a day, 2 extra weeks WBEZ: Schools will be required to spend part of their extra time on reading, math and science, but they’ll also be able to add recess, more lunch, the arts, music or gym.

CPS board approves tax hike and budget for next year, but challenges remain Tribune: Chicago Public Schools' governing board on Wednesday unanimously approved a tax increase to support a $5.9 billion budget for next year amid growing concerns about the district's long-term financial health and an escalating public battle with the teachers...

Chicago school board approves a $5.9 billion budget, tax increase AP:  The board of the Chicago Public Schools has approved a tax increase along with a $5.9 billion budget for next year. The tax increase will cost Chicago homeowners on average $84 a year.

CPS approves 2012 budget WBEZ: Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley says the proposal fixes the deficit woes for 2012, but after that, things look grim.

CPS board passes budget, questions remain Catalyst: The budget was unanimously approved, even though negotiations over the raises are still ongoing and some of the programmatic and administrative cuts will be determined over the next month and a half.

Property Tax Increase Approved Fox: The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved a property tax hike and its new budget on Wednesday, and despite a huge drop in revenue, the budget expands kindergarten and Pre-K programs, and spends more on charter schools.

CPS Now Wants Longer School Day in January CNC: Only students in elementary schools would see a longer day in January, although Brizard hopes to lengthen the day and the school year for all students by next fall.

School Board passes property tax increase, CPS pushes longer day Sun Times: Chicago School Board members Wednesday unanimously approved a budget packing a $150 million property tax increase as school officials offered elementary teachers raises totaling $15 million to work a longer day.

Luring Chicago dropouts back to school, one doorstep at a time WBEZ: To get an idea of how many dropouts are in Chicago, imagine for a minute we’re at Soldier Field. The stadium is packed. There are 60,000 people here.

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  • The offer CPS made - a 25% increase in work in exchange for a 2% pay increase - is insulting. But it is not just those figures that are insulting. CPS told the Chicago Teachers Union, the legally recognized collective bargaining unit for tens of thousands of teachers, that they would no longer negotiate over a raise. And the very same week CPS plasters the media with a press release designed to negotiate over a raise. At every opportunity the Board disrespects teachers, the Union, and the profession and exhibits a fundamental absence of good faith.

  • How is it 25% more? Are you double counting your lunch that is already paid for yet is taken at the end of the day? The math is really an 8% increase in work time. Give the kids a 7 hour student day and then the 1/2 hour planning time for teachers before school starts is only a 30 minute increase or 8% of clock time for teachers. How the day is broken up is what you should be thinking about. I think you need to get the details and benchmarks before you can say 25%. In the end, you may still be insulted, but it will be based on accurate details. Odds are that they are going off of the shortened 5 hour 45 minute school day. Right?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Teachers currently have a 6-1/4 hour day. The 45-minute duty-free lunch is not considered part of the work day. The arithmetic for this is really quite simple:

    1.5 (the time in hours CPS wants to add to the work day) divided by 6.25 (the current length of the school day, in hours) equals 0.24, or when converted to a percentage, 24%.

    To test it, punch in 6.25 on your calculator then either (a) add 24%, if your calculator has a % key; or (b) multiply by 1.24. The result is 7.75 (or 6.25 plus 1.5).

    One more time, adding 90 minutes to the teacher work day results in a 24 percent increase.

    I think it is patently unfair to ask someone to work 24% more time for 2% more money.

  • It really isn't 25% more. If you count the extra 2 weeks, it's more like 30%

  • lunch is unpaid, not paid.

  • Why hasn't anyone made mention of the fact that at the Lab HS, students are in class LESS time than they are now at some CPS high schools? With the new 90 minutes proposal the kids who attend high school in CPS will be in school 90 minutes a day longer than Lab. I guess the kids at Lab don't need to be in class longer. Perhaps CPS and the mayor are just looking for a way to keep "those kids" off the streets a little longer each day.

  • Insulting is the right word......Strike is the better word.

  • The CTU said no deal for the 2% raise in January for elementary school teachers for the extended day!

  • What is insulting is we signed a contract giving us a 4% raise for the current time agreed upon. Now Rahm/Brizard pretend to be generous and give us 2% less and a longer day. Would they agree to a pay decrease while taking on extra duties?

    Over and above, Rahm sinks to a new low level of pandering by hosting a prayer vigil to ask for divine assistance to extend the school day.

  • in case anyone's wondering where the 29 percent / 2 percent talking points are coming from, here's the email from CTU:

    CTU to CPS: No thanks to offer to teachers to work 29 percent more for 2 percent more in pay

    CHICAGO – In response to Chicago Public Schools CEO J.C. Brizard’s televised offer to the Chicago Teachers Union (which was later amended and emailed) to have teachers and other CPS employees increase their work hours by 29 percent for a mere 2 percent pay increase, CTU President Karen GJ Lewis declined the proposal on behalf of her members.

    “Yes, we fully support a better, smarter school day for our children but teachers are now being asked to work 29 percent longer for only a 2 percent pay increase,” said Lewis. “To that we say thanks but no thanks. For a teacher earning $57,000 a year the increase would mean a mere $3.41 an hour, less than minimum wage. Teachers on average already work 21 hours more than they are paid for; we grade papers, create lesson plans, confer with parents and counsel our students. There will be little time for us to do any of that.

    “Rather than negotiating through the press and setting up political committees, CPS needs to sit down with teachers and paraprofessionals who are in our schools every day and come up with a better plan. Other school districts have found ways to lengthen the school days by good planning, and we welcome doing that as an interim step while we negotiate,” she said.

    The CEO’s proposal further fails to explain how the Board will pay for a better school day that would provide the critical resources teachers and CPS employees need to enhance the quality of education in our schools. The Union was not told how the district will fund much-needed art, music, civics, world languages, recess and physical education classes required to make a school day of any length more effective.

    President Lewis also urged Union members at three elementary schools, where principals are reportedly attempting to implement extended school hours this year, not to sign waivers. “Do not sign any contract waivers that will change the length of your school day,” she said. “If you give away your rights now this will guarantee you have none later,” she said.

  • and here's what CPS had to say about that:

    "We are disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union turned down our offer to give elementary school students a longer school day starting in January, in return for a 2% raise despite the rising tide in support of the longer day and year. We presented the union with an honest compromise that will provide hundreds of thousands of Chicago’s children with more time in the classroom. Every year, Chicago’s students get 10,000 minutes less in the classroom compared to the national average. Our children deserve better and it is time we make the tough choices to do better.

    Yesterday hundreds of parents participated in a rally because they know their children need more time in the classroom to learn and succeed. And today we joined nearly 200 faith based leaders at an event to announce they have 400 petitions in favor the longer school day for kids in their communities. We hope that the union will reconsider on behalf of the children of Chicago.

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