Welcome back. Hope you had a decent weekend. Today's big education news includes weekend violence, the newly released CPS budget (who needs reserves?), and school by school position numbers. Plus George Will, the conservative columnist, on the CTU negotiations.
Four teens among 13 hurt in weekend shootings; no suspects in custody Sun Times: A 14- and 16-year-old boy were among at least 13 people hurt in separate shootings across the city from Friday night through Saturday evening. The 14-year-old boy was standing on the sidewalk in the 12400 block of South Perry at 8:34 p.m. Friday when a gunman walked out from between two houses and opened fire, police said.
The weight of the city's violence, on one school principal WBEZ: The weight of the city’s struggle with violence falls heavier on some than on others. One person shouldering a lot is the principal of a South Side high school. WBEZ talked with her recently at the funeral of one of her students.
Coffee, Crime, and Chicago Chicago Magazine: Do more coffee shops equal less crime? In Chicago, during a critical period in the city's violent history, the answer is yes: for homicides, at least. The results for robbery, however, are interestingly dependent on race.
BUDGET DRAINING RESERVES
Chicago schools planning 2 percent pay raises, big dip into reserves Sun Times: Facing a $665 million deficit, Chicago school officials released a budget plan Friday for the coming year that relied on the school system’s most drastic raid on its reserve funds in 17 years and includes 2 percent raises for everyone from teachers to central office workers.
Chicago schools budget avoids 'staggering' cuts by draining reserves WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools is announcing plans to plug its $665 million dollar budget hole by completely emptying out its reserve fund, a strategy that violates the Board of Education’s own policy.
Watchdog sounds alarm on CPS plans to empty reserves Catalyst: Civic Federation leaders were shocked by the decision to empty the reserves, says Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a financial watchdog. He stresses that the district is facing a huge pension contribution in 2013-2014 and has no plan to replenish the reserves.
CPS budget bomb Chicago Tribune: Now it looks like his Chicago Public Schools team is rigging a fiscal explosion of its own. The $5.73 billion fiscal 2013 budget that CPS proposed Friday sets the school system up for an almost certain and certainly imminent crisis ... in fiscal 2014.
POSITIONS KEPT AND LOST
Winners and losers in CPS budget Catalyst: Altogether, CPS schools will see a net loss of 182 positions, but 1200 positions closed at 270 schools, largely because of declining enrollment at their schools, while 282 other schools will look to fill about 1000 new positions. Of the district’s 106 traditional high schools, 49 of them lost at least one position and, of those that lost positions, the average number was 11.
New CPS website lets you get inside school budget Sun Times: Did your Chicago public school gain or lose staff in the battle to close this year’s $665 million schools deficit? A new interactive Chicago Public School website may give you the answer as part of a mountain of online budget data being released at the district’s website.
In contract talks, teachers challenge CPS priorities CMW: Prior to the strike vote, CPS had reportedly refused to entertain CTU proposals on class size and other issues, including appropriate staffing levels. The union has proposed providing art, music, and world language teachers for every school, in addition to badly needed counselors, social workers, nurses, and psychologists.
In Chicago, a battle over schools’ future Washington Post (George Will): The name of the nation’s largest labor union — the National Education Association — seems calculated to blur the fact that it is a teachers union. In this blunt city, however, the teachers union candidly calls itself the Chicago Teachers Union. Its office is in the Merchandise Mart, a gigantic architectural Stonehenge, which resembles a fortress located on the Chicago River, which resembles a moat. Which is appropriate.
Public outcry saves Bronzeville charter school—for now Gazette Chicago: YCLA is one of several charter schools funded by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) but run YCCS, a private organization. The teachers decided to unionize so they could ensure management makes the “best decisions” for their students, said Rachel Blackburn, ...
A note to the boss about that little matter North County Times: A few years back, I knew a high school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools who was having some problems. I remember most of it being relatively minor, such students eating chips in class. Exasperated, she headed to the principal's office for support.
CPS cancels summer school Friday because of heat Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools on Thursday ordered all regularly scheduled CPS summer school classes canceled Friday because of the heat. CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard canceled classes for students and teachers, but said school leaders and engineers are expected to report to work, according to a CPS statement.