Fixing Budgets, Changing Ratings

Fixing Budgets, Changing Ratings

Crain's says that CPS has a budget plan that will eliminate the $1B debt. The Sun Times and Tribune have questions about the closings and consolidation numbers. Catalyst has spotted a proposed new school performance scheme that would eliminate the ISAT (no surprise) and create a five-tier rating system (surprise?). Congrats to CTU President Karen Lewis on her bat mitzvah.


CPS close to eliminating $1 billion budget hole Crain's Chicago Business: Despite the lack of pension relief in Springfield, Chicago Public Schools has developed the outline of a plan to completely eliminate a projected $1 billion deficit for the school year that begins July 1.


CPS not offering same benefits to all kids in areas with closed schools Sun Times: As she made her case for closing dozens of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett promised that each child whose school disappeared would be saved a place in a higher-performing school. The CPS CEO also guaranteed new science or arts programs in 19 of the schools taking in those displaced children and great investments in all the receiving schools: air conditioning, libraries and iPads. But after the dust settles, and many school boundaries are redrawn, not all children living in the shadow of a closing school will reap these benefits.

CPS enrollment figures for closing schools reliable? Tribune: Chicago Public Schools touted a smooth start to the school closing process this week by announcing that 78 percent of students at schools being shut down have been enrolled at another school, most at the one designated for them by the district.

Chicago Public Schools students in new schools Chicago Tribune: These 12 closing schools reported that 100 percent of their students have been enrolled in new CPS schools for the 2013-14 school year: Louis Armstrong. Emmet. Maps; 125 South Clark ...

School closings in Chicago—I ain't over 'em yet! Chicago Reader: Which is similar to what Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of the schools, said in a speech last week. "Whatever has happened this past year, it's done. It is time to turn the page." Yeah, easy for her to say. We, the taxpayers, are paying Byrd-Bennett $250 ...

Who cares for Chicago's children? Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the CEO of the Chicago publi school system, quoted Martin Luther King, Jr and preened, "The only consideration for us today is to do exactly what is right for children." Each mayor-appointed board member in turn delivered a ...
A New Era of Possibility for Chicago Students Huffington Post (Andrew Broy): Of course, no one supports charter expansion merely for the sake of charter expansion. Charter schools are successful only if they prepare students academically and provide students with the skills to compete in a rapidly changing economy. On those points, the data are very promising.


100-year-old murals to come down in Trumbull Elementary closing Tribune: Parents and teachers at Trumbull Elementary in Andersonville, one of 49 schools being closed by Chicago Public Schools, were dismayed when word spread this week that crews would be removing two century-old murals depicting Christopher Columbus. 

After parents complain, CPS halts mural removal program Fox: Chicago Public Schools employees have pulled back on a plan to remove 80-year-old murals from a school that is closing.


Proposed school ratings: Scrap ISAT, close achievement gap Catalyst: Chicago Public Schools is floating a new performance policy that would abandon the ISAT, grade schools on their progress in closing the achievement gap and create a five-tier rating system rather than the three-level system currently in place.

Karen Lewis celebrates her bat mitzvah Crain's: Ms. Lewis, who lives in the Oakland neighborhood, attends a conservative synagogue, which she declines to name for fear detractors or supporters will try to find her during worship services.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Boy was yesterday a bad PR day for CPS. Both the Tribune story about closing schools forcing enrollment of students in welcoming schools and the Sun Times story on the boundary changes for some closed schools that will put newly enrolling children in worse elementary schools than what used to exist in their community were really bad PR.

    Try as he did to put a good spin on it even Greg Hinz's little private chat with an unnamed CPS official on the CPS getting to a balanced budget came off somewhat critical with this line: "But the very fact that the CPS has been able to eliminate such a large deficit will raise some questions about how real the projected $1 billion figure really was. And financial experts tend to frown on one-time revenues as ultimately unreliable."

    No the PR has not been good for CPS.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Right-e-oooo . . . . feels like a whole bunch of folks are hoping for CPS's transitions efforts to fail so that they can have the satisfaction of I told you so . . . nice.

    On budget, there's no trick here, just another round of one time revenues that are coming earlier than expected. That may get CPS through 2013-14 with only hundreds of teacher layoffs rather than thousands. Woo-hoo, let's conclude there's no crisis and do nothing again to fix the funding/spending problem. Next year, the teacher layoffs will be in the thousands but hey that's 12 months away right?

  • We finally got our school's budget and now I clearly see how CPS is closing its budget hole. Slashing every school's budget will solve that deficit! Our SBB allotment is not enough to pay for our current highly educated, highly experienced, worth-every-penny staff (we're a Level 1 school) nonetheless anything else like books, technology, paper, etc. Moving from quota positions to Student-Based Budgeting is designed to make experienced, educated teachers less appealing than newbies fresh out of college.

  • CPS has always wanted non-tenured teachers in sped because they are too afraid to report the rampant abuse-no aides, overloaded rooms, no books and unsafe conditions not to mention the lack of services listed on IEPs which are not delivered yet the money is .....?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I have been told, and read that SPED teachers are NOT part
    of the new budget allocations,Apparently they are still on
    what was called the quota system.
    In the interest of accuracy , not confrontation,where did you get your

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Basically special education funds will not be allocated on a per pupil basis but students with IEPs are included in those counts too. The PARF system will continue to be used as far as I know for special education teacher allocation. But I have not seen any written discussion of this issue to verify what I just stated.

    Rod Estvan

  • our network has produced waste of time and money. How can they keep these open and slash school budgets--raising class size and making schools ask for toilet paper donations?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If it makes people feel better I suspect that in the FY14 budget the networks will be reduced in number. The central office as we know it is going to be closed and the new site will be much smaller. It may not even include a Board chamber.

    I would ask school based CPS employees if you have been in almost any CPS central office except for PR and Law to see they are largely empty. Even the CEO's office has empty space in it, special Ed is 4/5s empty.

    CPS is moving to a very lean administrative system and schools are going to be in a sink or swim situation with increasing budget reductions.

    Rod Estvan

  • Didn't OSS just lay off lots of administrative assistants in the past week or two?

  • Whats an administrative assistant?

  • Our Principal said their budget is fine and we will not see a reduction in staff. Are the SE schools exempt from this budget cutting?

  • Many principals are going to replace veterans with "low cost" teachers in order to keep their non-teaching patrons- Student Advocates, Grant Coordinators, Curriculum Coordinators, Post Secondary Coaches, Community Outreach Coordinators, Parent Outreach Coordinators, Restorative Justice Coordinators and the like.

    At some schools non-teaching staff outnumbers teachers. How is that possible?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Non-teaching "patrons" don't produce the test score principals need. One advantage of more emphasis on testing is that it places the focus in the classroom and on the typical student who doesn't use a lot of extra school resources.
    Principals have to worry first on spending their budget on effective classroom teachers. That's how it should be.

  • Doesn't seniority in the building count for anything anymore for those veteran teachers? What does the new contract say??

  • Senority in the building DOES still count. If a principal has to close a teaching position due to budget, then the lowest seniority teacher will be let go and staff placement adjusted. This is assuming that the position cut is one that others in the building have credentials for.

  • anniesullivan

    It is seniority under your assigned certificate in the building. This is why teachers need to be very careful when moving from one certificate to another. Here's an example: A teacher has ten years on her elementary certificate and applies for and is offered a sped position on her sped certificate. Let's say half of the staff assigned under the elementary certificates in the building has less than ten years so half the staff under the elementary certificate would be let go before her position was in jeopardy. But now that she has moved over to sped she may now has the least seniority out of all the sped teachers in the building. So if a sped position gets cut she loses her position and can not get a position under her elementary certificate in the building UNLESS there is a vacancy.

    This teacher will have to apply for vacancies at other schools and if she accepts a position at another school she will still have ten years seniority. A teacher at the new school who has taught there 9.9 years will be let go before this teacher with ten years.

    Years ago a teacher could bump out a teacher with lower seniority on another certificate or even at another school but not anymore.

    This is why teachers need to be very careful if and when they decide to move to another certificate and if they transfer make sure they are not the one with the lowest seniority.

    Also, a principal can decide to keep someone with lower seniority if they have endorsements needed in the school such as middle school, ELL or reading.

    Seniority does not start when you are hired-HR has your seniority date and unfortunately many teachers have found out that they have much less seniority than they thought due to beings FTBs or TATS.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This is how misinformation gets spread. . . First, it's not just seniority and certificate that matter. The first consideration is certification, then it unsatisfactory performance ratings, then its status (probationary teachers go before tenured) and within status its by rating, then tenured teachers by rating. Within these tiers, seniority rules.

    Second, the way Ms. Sullivan describes within school bumping is absolutely wrong. More senior teachers remain so long as they have any certificate on which they can teach and are not the least senior. Thus the a more senior teacher who has taught SPED for 20 years but who has a Type 4, will bump out a less senior early childhood teacher even though she has not taught early childhood ever.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    annie sullivan

    I should have stated tenured teachers but I assumed the posting only referred to tenured teachers.

    I stand corrected on the certificates in the building ....I was given this information at a CTU delegates seminar and it was repeated to me by administrators at two different schools. I absolutely thought this was true.

    I would like to see this in writing. Do you know where I can access this information?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Page 272-4 in the red union contract book describes the process, although I'm not sure it talks about certification first.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    been told by a person in CPS-HR that: 'then tenured teachers by rating...' is not true. Only if you are unsat tenured--any other rating higher than unsat tenured does not put you out.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Again, refer to union contract book, pg. 272-4, this year rating (unless unsatisfactory) doesn't put you out, but next year, rating will matter. Given how tight budgets are, would not be surprised if principals "misread" next year's rules for this year and axed some more "senior" (more expensive) teachers and cited ratings as reason.

  • In reply to anon:

    what happens if tenured and in June 2014 you have ratings that are basic or needs improvement? Are yo out period?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    They have the option to pink slip you and replace you with a less expensive teacher. Of course, fewer people are going into teaching, so they might keep you, will depend on the job market.

  • In reply to anon:

    There are lots of cheaper teachers out there who want jobs--now, next year and the year after. AUSL has 150 ready to go. Experienced teachers with per pupil are difficult to fund / keep/ period.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Oh! Yeah!...AUSL.... because it worked so well at Sherman..... and please post a list of AUSL schools with test scores before and after AUSL

  • Fulton District is DYSFUNTIONAL—nearly 25% of the elementary school closed! Shonda Huery, CAO, a mercenary with no CPS experience and allegedly mentally unstable, hired bully, thug Lorenzo Russel, Deputy of Fulton District, to terrorize the Network.

  • In reply to johnbrown:


    Don't sweat it! As Rod poster above and as its being talked about in my network and confirmed at other networks, there will be a drastic reduction in the networks this summer. Look for a more centralized command structure coming from 125 or wherever else they will call home.

  • Closing schools? Bullying? Mentally unstable? Sounds like this is exactly what Emanuel wants.

    Don't forget, he doesn't care about improving schools, rather he is trying to make money off of them for his supporters.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dr. Mahalia Hines showed up on Total Christian Radio (Internet) on Monday and advocated against libraries by saying she didn't think students "necessarily needed libraries," but touted the advantage of classroom libraries as a substitute. She also said she wasn't sure there was inequitable funding, because the federal government funded all students at the same rate. She kept making statements about the teachers not deciding, but their union deciding. She persisted in saying that she doesn't hear about the students in any conversation, and when someone called her on it, she said she didn't say it. She claimed she didn't know about the Stand for Children Jonah Edelman tapes.

  • fb_avatar

    Well said! That certainly proved Canada's stupid foreign policy

    and the minister shut his wide mouth after hearing all other

    countries attending the CHOGM. Canada is promoting terrorism to be

    a close ally to US. This is very wrong and they just want to grab

    the Tamil votes which are mostly Liberal.

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