Shootings, Budgets, Positions

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.

VIOLENCE

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.

MISC

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.

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  • from ctu via tsj

    The Chicago Public Schools will unveil their Fiscal Year 2013 budget at 3 simultaneous hearings, on Wednesday, July 11. This budget, compiled with no parent or community input, will once again be giving millions of dollars to experimental charter schools as well as to continued standardized over-testing. It contains no mention whatsoever of how CPS will fund the longer school day and year. Your testimony is critical at these 3 hearings!

    Come prepared to talk about what funding needs your school has on Wednesday, July 11. All hearings will start at 6:00 p.m. and go until 8:00 p.m. Registration is from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

    Locations:
    Malcolm X College, Bruce K. Hayde Center, 1900 W. Van Buren
    Kennedy-King College, The Great Hall, 740 W. 63rd Street
    Daley College, Theatre, 7500 S. Pulaski

    Also, since last December, the General Assembly's "Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force" has been calling on Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard to testify in open session before the CEFTF. On July 19th, he will. Please attend and bring representatives of your organizations to let him know that neighborhood elementary and high schools deserve priority!

    CHICAGO EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES TASK FORCE MEETING
    THURSDAY, JULY 19TH, 2012 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    at the "UIC FORUM" of the University of IL at Chicago
    725 W. Roosevelt Road (southeast corner of the intersection of Roosevelt/Halsted)
    in MEETING ROOMS D-E

    [The site is public transit-accessible. On-street metered parking is available on Roosevelt Rd and on Halsted St. UIC also has a surface parking lot on the North Side of Roosevelt Rd at Morgan (1000 west - enter on Morgan).]

    Martin (Marty) L. Ritter
    Organizing Department
    Chicago Teachers Union - Local 1, A.F.T. - I.F.T.
    o: 312-329-6283
    c: 312-890-4891
    e: MartinRitter@ctulocal1.com

  • from CTU

    CPS diverted $70 million to city police to avoid paying teachers’ contractual 4% raise last year, then lied to public
    CHICAGO – A newly-acquired secret agreement obtained in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) confirms that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) diverted about $70 million, largely from teacher salaries and unemployment benefits, to avoid paying teachers a promised 4 percent contractual raise last school year. The money was instead given to the Chicago Police Department (CPD), mostly as payment for services previously rendered under prior agreements. CPS then falsely told the media that these payments were “owed” to CPD, and that CPS “had no choice” but to make these payments.
    Records obtained from the FOIA lawsuit show that CPS has been paying about $8 million per year to CPD since 2002 for two police officers to be stationed at approximately 100 high schools to process arrests of juvenile offenders. The officers are supervised exclusively by CPD personnel. CPS provides, at its own expense, computer terminals connected to CPD for the officers’ use. CPS approved this continuing arrangement on February 24, 2010 (10-0224-PR16), authorizing the $8 million annual payments from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2012, for a total cost of $32.8 million.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alex - Please post this story in its own thread, it's HUGE news.

  • In reply to PDec:

    What's the surprise...it is just more underhanded actions by CPS to screw employees and the children.....now when will someone investigate the path of special ed monies?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Neither the Trib or Suntimes is covering this story!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "...now when will someone investigate the path of special ed monies?"

    I would expect that Rod Estvan of Access Living is reviewing the budget now. He'd probably shares his insight with reporters, if they'd ask about the sped money.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Rod is sharp but he can not follow the SPED money into the school. This is where it is comingled with gen ed funds.

  • Headache299
    And here is the July 3, 2011 Sun-Times article entitled “Cops in schools too costly: CPS” featuring the Tim Cawley lie that Rosalind Rossi, without question, without investigation, was happy to print.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/6298235-418/cops-in-schools-too-costly-cps.html

  • Cops over classrooms: Chicago uses teachers’ salaries to pay for school police

    http://rt.com/usa/news/chicago-school-police-million-854/

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