Longer Day Budget Settlement / Questions*

Lots of news about the longer school day -- a settlement on the premature implementation of the longer day this year, plus questions about the educational value and the costs of a citywide longer day next year. Plus news that the food services chief has conveniently resigned, and a variety of tidbits.

* UPDATED 4:00pm:  Here's the PDF of the CPS budget briefing that was presented yesterday, for those of you who are interested. Thanks to the person who sent it in.

LONGER DAY

Chicago teachers, district settle lawsuit over longer school day pilot Sun Times: CTU officials agreed to drop their suit in exchange for extra payments within the next 30 days of $1,500 for teachers in schools that started a 1 1/2 hour longer day in the fall, and an extra …

Parents tell Chicago Public Schools board 7.5-hour day too long Sun Times: Angry parents Wednesday accused Chicago Public Schools of playing favorites on the longer school day issue and paying staff to hold spaces in a very long ling to ensure pro-longer day speakers would be able to address board members.

Parents seek money for longer day while CPS looks to budget cuts Catalyst:  Tim Cawley, the district’s chief administrative officer,  said at a School Board meeting that for starters, the district hopes to find “tens of millions of dollars” in savings by buying goods and scheduling workers more efficiently, and cutting down on unnecessary procurement.

Critics ask how CPS can pay for longer school day Tribune:  District faces budget deficits that could reach $1 billion by 2014 Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan for a longer day for Chicago Public Schools students is a done deal, but that didn't keep critics from speaking out against it at Wednesday's monthly Board of Education meeting.

CPS predicts big deficits; critics question cost of longer school day Sun Times:  Chicago Public School officials Wednesday predicted three years of staggering deficits ahead, just as a long line of parents questioned how a deficit-ridden system could afford a 1 1/2 hour longer school day.

Fireworks at School Board Meeting WTTW:  A longer school day and extended year is slated to take effect for Chicago Public Schools, despite public outcry and what officials call a staggering budget deficit. Paris Schutz has the details.

Longer school day critics question how CPS can pay for 7 1/2 hour day with projected budget deficit WGN: CPS spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler said CPS staffers were not holding places but showed up to answer questions for first-time attendees on the process of speaking before the board.

FOOD SERVICE

CPS food service director resigns before planned termination Sun Times:  Brizard told board members Wednesday that he received Louise Essian’s letter of resignation Tuesday, one day before Brizard said he planned to ask board members to fire her.

CPS food services director leaves position Tribune:  Louise Esaian, the Chicago Public Schools food services director accused of accepting improper gifts from district food vendors, has resigned, CPS officials said Wednesday.

ChicagoNow blogger Dahl regrets Tribune’s errors Time Out Chicago:  “[Esaian] was wrong, but the scale was not as damning as she will be remembered with, via a public and journalistic excoriation."

OTHER NEWS

Clemente archery team well ahead of the trend Tribune: The students raised their bows and drew, bringing the strings to the corners of their mouths and holding the strings there as they took steady aim at the yellow-centered targets. There was silence before each archer, members of Roberto Clemente High...

New accountability for Chicago charter schools Catalyst:  Now the district will shorten renewals to four, three, two or even one year, depending on a school’s performance, said Chief Portfolio Officer Oliver Sicat.  ACE Tech’s charter agreement was renewed for only one year “as a result of the school’s chronic low performance since its inception,” according to a CPS press release.

Teen mom high school is reborn Chicago Journal: Looking for a better way, Chicago Public Schools officials brought Kidd-Stamps on two years ago to make big changes at Simpson, and things have been in flux ever since.

CPS Security Guard Has Gang References on His Facebook Page Fox: A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said Bedolla is not actually a security guard, but part of the community watch program. He was hired by a security company that has a contract with CPS. The district said in a statement: "The behaviors demonstrated here are not to be tolerated and upon becoming aware of this, the contractor has moved to immediately terminate this individual."

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  • To Divert or Not To Divert: The Impact of TIFs on Chicago Public Schools - Chicago Policy Review http://ow.ly/9Y0yi

  • The March 28 Board Meeting report at

    http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3168&section=Article

  • New computers are about $600 including support. Say there are 30 computers per school for 600 schools in the district. This is roughly $10 million dollars per year if all computers had to be replaced. It seems the shelf life of a computer is about two years, so annual expenditures on computers could be $5 million, half of the number above. That's just the easy to see hardware, not the network, server stuff, and definitely not the software. So is it really of benefit to students to rely on technology to provide data driven instruction? Imagi8ne the cost savings if teachers received the proper PD on planning around student work.

  • A security guard who is a gang member....no surprise to many of us....wait until the parents who are used as babysitters for the longer day start recruiting in the schools...

  • How about a Safe Passage security guard, hired with taxpayer dollars paid to Rev. Watkins, who appears to be high from time to time?

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    Learn. Plan. Take action.

    Come join residents of the North River Commission for this FREE event as we work to "transform neighborhood schools into the centers of our communities."

    The North River Commission and North Park University welcomes Jennifer Cheatham, CPS ChiefInstruction Officer, Adam Anderson, Chief of Staff of the CPS Office of Portfolio, and Theodore Zervas, North Park University Education Professor to address policy changes affecting Chicago Public Schools, including: (1) longer school days and curriculum decisions, (2) family and community engagement strategies, (3) high school admissions and the CPS Tier System, and (4) the future of the CPS Office of Portfolio in Albany Park, North Park, and Irving Park.

    • WHO: North Park University, CPS School Officials and the Community
    • WHAT: Chicago Public School Informational Meeting and Panel Discussion
    • WHEN: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:00PM Central Standard Time
    • WHERE: North Park University’s Anderson Chapel – 3225 W. Foster Avenue
    • WHY: Inform parents/residents of the upcoming changes to the structure of CPS.

    From 7:00PM – 9:00PM CST on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 the North River Commission and North Park University will partner with Chicago Public Schools and provide a unique opportunity for parents and residents to learn, plan and take action with respect to determining the look and feel of next school year.

    According to Julie Putterman, VP of Education at the North River Commission: "The purpose of this meeting is to inform our constituents of the new policy changes that are taking place within the CPS structure so that residents understand the new possibilities that exist for regular neighborhoods to help improve their schools. The entire evening’s dialogue will allow this event to serve as a primer for NRC’s May ‘Education Visioning Session’ when local residents will re-gather to strategize and prioritize an agenda for the North River Commission to pursue in its efforts to transform neighborhood schools into the center of their communities.”

    Questions from the neighborhood will be forwarded to members of the panel discussion prior to the start of the discussion. These questions will serve as the product of a month-long canvassing campaign that is currently underway and led by the North River Commission, surveying local civic associations, neighborhood groups, and hundreds of parents as flyers for this event are being distributed to the community.

    “The North River Commission, Chicago Public Schools and North Park University expect this to be a fantastic event. It is going to give parents key information that they need in order to make good decisions concerning their child’s education in this time of transition at CPS,” Perry Gunn, North River Commission Executive Director.

    _________________________________________________________________

    *** IF YOU WANT SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ANSWERED, email Pete Kalenik at pkalenik@northrivercommission.org or call (773) 478-0202 ext. 111, with your thoughts, ideas, and concerns ***

    Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/303963822993545/?ref=ts

    For an understanding of North River Commission's current Education priorities, please click on the following link: http://northrivercommission.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79&Itemid=79

    * Thank you to North Park University for hosing this event.
    * Thank you to Albany Bank & Trust Company N.A. for sponsoring this event

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