More Cuts At Central Office

Today's news is dominated by the news that CPS is cutting another 200 spots from the Chief Education office.  Anyone have a list of spots or people? Sometimes these cuts are just cutting empty positions, which isn't the same as actually moving folks out.

Chicago Public Schools to cut 200 jobs WBEZ: Although the jobs represent a 25 percent reduction in staff for the department, a budget approved in August calls for another $90 million in cuts for all departments through layoffs, eliminating vacant positions, program reduction and streamlining curriculum.

Chicago Public Schools to cut 200 office jobs to save $16 million Sun Times: At least 200 jobs are being trimmed out of the Chicago Public School bureaucracy, for a savings of $16 million — leaving only $44 million in promised cuts to go, CPS officials said Thursday.

Chicago Public Schools say 200 jobs eliminated Tribune: The Chicago Public Schools has announced the elimination of 200 positions in the chief education office, which will result in a savings of $16 million. Although the jobs represent a 25 percent reduction in staff for the department, a budget approved...

No Child Left Behind Waivers Announced CNC:  In a move that could give Illinois more flexibility over how it holds schools accountable, the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will waive key portions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act for states that commit to certain reform efforts.

CPS School is Last Working Chicago Farm Fox: The Chicago High School for Agricultural Science does work its students like farmers - raising chickens, cows and crops.

UNO Soccer Academy Opening Draws Crowd Southwest News-Herald: The new school is part of UNO's program to address overcrowded Chicago Public Schools, primarily in neighborhoods with large Hispanic populations.

Chicago health charter school opens at new center Tribune: Chicago's first public charter school focusing on health sciences careers has embarked on its first year in a new $24 million building on the city's Southwest Side.

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  • They've been cutting people, not just positions. And it's not just the Network offices either, they're cutting at both 125 and Elizabeth St. The target seems to be CO employees staffed on Lane/Step like teachers rather than flat rated personnel. The focus has come on the Educational side of the staff (i.e. Libraries, OSES, Early Childhood, Education to Careers, etc.) and the mood is very down. Nobody's safe from these cuts and it's not just teachers who are suffering out there.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    This is completely correct. There are offices with far more unfilled cubes than filled ones, there are also empty offices with doors on them where higher paid staff were removed too. It also speaks to a vision of a central office that is very different than in the past. Schools will be much more like ships at sea under a captain and if they complete their mission great, if not the captain is removed and maybe the crew too.

    It is going to be very difficult for principals to adjust to this new reality, they will get very limited guidance and will have to make more decisions at their level. The critical factor will be how many staff reapear as consultants, there are now consulants sitting in seats at the monthly board meeting that only two months ago were occupied by full time CPS staffers.

    So the consulting lines will need to be watched over the next year.
    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rodestvan, I have been following your posts with interest as you know a lot about CPS. In your opinion, do you feel Central Office is headed in the right direction with the consolidation of departments and the closing of overlapping positions? Do you feel there is still a lot of waste downtown where monies could be better used in the schools? If so, what areas would we find this waste? Another quick question: based on the comments I read about you, your replies are very well respected on this board. Do you have inside information from sources letting you know what is happening at CPS ahead of their announcements to the general public?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    As an assistant principal, I welcome this change. So tired of central office getting in the way of educating children, giving wrong information and on your back with no help at all. About time the icebergs stated melting away.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I and other Access Living staff have had discussions with Mr. Brizard and other leading staff at CPS and they have made their vision of principal level accountability very clear to anyone who will listen. I feel that the staffing reductions in special education administration have gone to far, although the last round of SSA cuts may not be as deep as some on this blog think from what I have heard.

    Special education cannot be fully decentralized because of the framework of IDEA and state level administrative regulation. There is also the complex issue of private placements for more seriously disabled students that cannot legally be left fully in the hands of teams at local schools.

    The one problem with going full speed ahead to decentralization is the potential loss of economies of scale. For example if centralized purchasing is wiped out bulk buying power can be reduced. So these are not simple issues and it depend of the function and role of the office that is being reduced.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod,

    As usual you are right on the SSAs...we lost our SSA whose lack of knowledge regarding special education was exceeded only by her arrogance. We are celebratory but dumfounded that this Stepford wife type was rehired(?) /transferred to another network. The assumption by special education teachers is that a SSA would exhibit/possess a higher level of knowledge just to pass the interview process. Obviously, there is no process/requirements to be a SSA in CPS...so sad.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Memos from a CAO to fire the lowest performers at each school have been posted on this blog as has Winckler's philosophy of "churning." Why does this not apply to the SSAs? Oh I get it...it only applies to those making under $100,000 a year. SSAs can be as "dumb as they wanna be" and be guaranteed a job even though they are non-union...very interesting.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    It is being handled with more dignity then with Huberman. People are being given a time frame, not just hello , get lost.

    The sad part is Huberman's henchmen and woman are still employed. Why?

    The principals will be fine they already ignore most of CO directives, just give them another assistant/clerk.

    What you need to keep an eye out is for all the new positions that will be created and the salaries that will be paid to new employees.

    How about an audit for under 25,000 pos to the same consultants from different CO departments, now that would be interesting.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    "What you need to keep an eye out is for all the new positions that will be created and the salaries that will be paid to new employees."

    I agree. How do you save money by cutting positions on one end and at the same time hiring more people on the other end with new titles? There should be an audit of all Central Office positions to see if they are necessary. Any savings should go back to the schools and the students. If the jobs are necessary then I support those people being in those positions.

    Question: Is the hiring of retired CPS employees who are on pensions still being practiced at Central Office?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Some retired administrators, principals are hired as "Consultants" for $300 per day for various projects, for example, when a school is in crisis and the principal is removed/walked out. There is a cadre of people available to "fill in" until the principal is replaced.

  • Names?

  • raise your hand is inviting parents to come to their meeting on extended day

    http://ilraiseyourhand.org/sites/ilraiseyourhand.org/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=198&qid=131719

  • What's the news on the SSAs? We are praying ours is singing, "Take This Job and Shove It"

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I am new to this board. What is a SSA?

  • Brizard's Central Office in complete disarray! Third party agencies report that CO folks don't know who is doing what. That is the news that no one will cover!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Can you site some examples of this? What departments are being reorganized at Central Office?

  • Thats really not new. No one has been covering this since Huberman. No one has know who to report to since him and most of the directors were / are clueless. The strong employees who dared to complain were let go and now the mess continues.

  • Any big names lossing their jobs? Any major departments closing?

  • The newspapers report cutting 200 jobs at Central Office but I see many new administrative positions being offered on e-bulletin. How is the board saving money by cutting positions and then adding new positions? Doesn't doing that make everything a wash?

  • No. It was a "net cut" of 200 jobs. Net cut = positions eliminated - new positions. Not sure how many positions were actually eliminated.

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