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CPS Denies Widespread Cuts

CPS Denies Widespread Cuts

There's tons of coverage of school-level budget cuts from schools, CTU, and INCS -- but CPS says that there are schools getting increases as well as decreases, and that the real issue is that the staffing decisions are now the principals' (and principals can't take the heat).

Also: Public funds for private preschools. Whitney Young wins something. School bus driver shot (I'm surprised this hasn't happened before).

CUTS?

Teachers union, charter schools rail at CPS budget cuts Chicago Tribune: As principals got a better sense this week of their school's budget for the coming year, officials with the Chicago Teachers Union and privately run charter schools — which rarely agree on anything — both sounded an alarm over the effects of potential funding cuts.

Teachers union says new budget system means deep cuts — CPS says not true Sun Times:  Teachers hired for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s longer school day could lose their jobs under the new type of budget, which is based on the number of students who attend a school rather than a set minimum of staff positions, according to the CTU, though the district says staffing decisions are up to principals. But CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said “the CTU’s allegations are disappointing and not accurate.”

New CPS Budget Plan Shocks Some Schools: Layoffs, Larger Classes Possible DNAI: At local meetings this week, principals and council members are debating how to balance their budgets.

CPS to make $52M in non-classroom cuts CLTV: Chicago Public Schools is cutting more than $52 million dollars from its central office, operations and administration budgets. 100 office positions will be eliminated.

Chicago schools facing cuts under new funding system WBEZ:   Andrew Broy, executive director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, said charters are still crunching numbers but overall, charter grammar schools are seeing mostly level funding or slight increases, while charter high school budgets are overall declining.

MISC

In a first, Chicago math team takes top trophy in Illinois WBEZ:  Chicago public schools have won lower divisions of the state math competition. But in 33 years, they’ve never won the most competitive category. That title has gone to schools like Naperville North, New Trier, or the Illinois Math and Science Academy, which draws top math students from all over the state. This year, the team to beat was Adlai Stevenson, in Lincolnshire.

Private Preschools See More Public Funds as Classes Grow NYT: Almost none of the 4- and 5-year-olds attending the Academy of St. Benedict the African, a parochial school here in the poverty-stricken Englewood neighborhood, are Catholic. But virtually all of them pay little or no tuition, which is subsidized by public funds.

School Bus Driver Describes Being Shot By Stray Gunfire CBS2 Chicago: Joe Bradley has seen a lot in his days driving Chicago Public Schools students, but never a day like Wednesday. “They've thrown rocks and snowballs at the bus before,” he tells CBS 2's Brad Edwards.

Duly Noted: "Separate but equal", The Replacements, Chicago civics lesson Chicago Business Journal: One of the uncomfortable effects of Chicago Public Schools' decision to close 50 schools is that the city has had to confront its de facto segregation.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup

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  • from the trib CPS says 663 will lose jobs as part of closings -- another 600 at risk ow.ly/m3ap8

  • From CPSObsessed:

    231. JMOChicago | June 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Inspired by Christopher Ball’s excellent Fact Sheet on Funding Changes created for RYH, here is a handy worksheet and sample agenda for LSC’s to use for requests for more financial detail from principals who are being coy or opaque about sharing the numbers. ...
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pe4Ax2WSfWJ3lXgAuzjXEKIEYBDpRQgfASTdVeHPunY/

  • I'm just not getting it. The media has reported about the lost positions due to the turnarounds (outrageous stuff) but nothing about the cuts due to CPS no longer funding school positions. Schools have lost millions and so many will lose jobs. Taft has lost $3 million. CPS will fund one counselor - yet Taft has 8 or 9 , so the principal will decided who he can or will buy. Librarians? Gone as well unless a principal decides (if he/she can) to buy one. Why are we not hearing about this? Not sure if this is true, but I read that principals have been directed NOT to tell teachers about the cuts because of potential lawsuits, but these sorry folks will get a registered letter on July 1.

  • I am so tired of seeing this CPS bull**** about how principals are the ones making the decisions of who to keep and who to let go. That it is our fault if someone gets cut. I am at a school where I have an excellent staff and to see anyone go is a huge loss! I have seen the BS that they have fully funded the full day positions and full day kindergarten and that principals have the autonomy to make the decisions of what is best for their school and to staff the school accordingly. The problem is, I don't have enough money to keep my current staff, let alone make decisions of creative things. This is just a line of crap and I am so tired of seeing my own employer blaming us for cuts in teaching positions. We have officially become the scape goats for CPS and it is an awful feeling! When I got my budget, I was in the hole by $200,000 before I allocated $1, yet Tim Cowley sat there in front of us with is smug remarks about how they have given us all of the power to make the decisions and we choose what we want to do. It was pathetic! This system has gone to hell in a hand basket and I can't stay any longer!

  • In reply to principal:

    @ principal I agree with you completely - my school is in the exact situation. We have an excellent staff but not enough money to keep them. The only thing "saving" us is that 2 are retiring. We had been eying two excellent new hires but will now have to go to split grades instead. At least this way we can hold on to the staff we have but it still means letting go of other programs we had in place.

  • In reply to principal:

    Amen!

  • As a long time CTU member I will agree that the principal's job has become increasingly difficult if not impossible during Rham's reign of terror.

  • I'm not sure why CPS can't give a more realistic explanation of their choices.: There isn't enough money. Closing underutilized school is financially efficient. Pushing more decision making to the school level is the most effective and ethical way to allocate available funds.
    The messaging they use must be chosen as the most politically effective. Perhaps it is for the typical Chicagoan and the typical CPS parent.
    If more of a school's potential budget needs to go to pension obligations, that's the way it is. I suppose its easier to demonize Rahm than to read financial statements. I think Rahm would like a lot more money for both police and schools.

  • In reply to Donn:

    I agree with you, Donn. That being said, don't demonize your school leaders and throw them under the bus because you don't have money. Don't make the principals the scapegoats for the budget crisis. Don't try to CYA while you (CPS) puts us directly in the line of fire.

    It is detrimental to the climate and culture of the school and leads to mistrust by staff members and parents. It is completely uncalled for and simply shouldn't be done. Tim Cowley said to all of us at our budget meeting that we were the lever for transformation in the school, yet he (and CPS) blames us for the loss in positions. Not exactly the lever for transformation I had in mind.

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