School-Level Budget Cuts (Derp)

School-Level Budget Cuts (Derp)

School-level budget cuts are coming out in a few places and they're not pretty (I have a Network Budget Meeting deck below but is there a list of school cuts citywide?). Parents are key, says Trib editorial page (again). There are 50 overcrowded schools, but no -- it won't work to send kids from overcrowded schools to ones slated to close. The New Teacher Center.  Virtual charters. Retaining kids who can't read.  


CPS Budget Cuts Hit Schools Hard: Amundsen Loses $780K, Roosevelt Down $1M DNAI: As schools go public with their 2013-14 budgets, deep cuts are revealed.

For a look at what principals are being told, see also this Network Budget Meeting Deck - 2013-06 someone sent me.

Emanuel not ruling out raising CPS property tax limits Tribune: The mayor's comments came the day after his hand-picked school board president, David Vitale, was asked about the possibility of raising property taxes beyond the current limit and acknowledged that the district is talking with state lawmakers about several revenue options.

Property Tax Hikes To Close CPS Budget Deficit May Be Necessary Chicagoist: School Board President Davit Vitale would only tell the Sun-Times “it’s our responsibility to ask” Springfield to lift the cap.


Parents have to be involved in their kids' education Tribune (editorial):  This isn't just about the quality of teachers in the classroom. It is about the quality of parenting in the home. And that's what we found most interesting in her announcement... Educators rely on parents as indispensable allies. When parents don't enforce homework, when parents don't turn off the television, when parents don't make education a priority, their children fail.

Parents behaving badly  WBEZ:  After witnessing too many parents freak out at kids' sporting events, Buffalo Grove trustee Mike Terson recently put up signs in a local park urging moms and dads to behave themselves.


Chicago Public Schools faces overcrowding at same time it closes schools for underenrollment WBEZ: Every corner of Peck Elementary School—from the entry ways to the closets—is used by someone throughout the day. The music teacher’s “office” is on a corner of the stage. The social worker meets with students in the projection room. The bilingual coordinator works in a closet-sized room at the top of a stairwell.

Amidst CPS closings, many schools remain overcrowded WBEZ: Officials say many Chicago Public Schools have too few kids to keep operating. But here is something you likely haven’t heard: For every one school the district is closing, there is a severely overcrowded school where many where parents and administrators are begging for expensive additions.


Teacher Mentoring WTTW:  The New Teacher Center is an organization that teaches teachers how to sidestep the pitfalls of early career burnout. Read a web article and watch an extended interview with Ellen Moir, founder and CEO of the organization, who is working to battle the teacher retention crisis in America.

Laws help limit junk foods in schools EurekaAlert: District policies and state laws help reduce the availability of sugar- and fat-laden foods and beverages in elementary schools, according to a study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Group drops plan for online charter school Tribune: Virtual Learning Solutions has dropped its fight to open an online charter school in the western suburbs for now. President Ted Dabrowski said Wednesday the group has withdrawn its appeals to a state commission in light of the state's new one-year...

Report Reveals 1 In 5 Schools Considered 'High-Poverty' Progress IL: Barbara Radner, associate professor and director of the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University, added that the fact schools are becoming poorer is a serious problem with significant policy implications.

Should We Retain Kids to Raise Reading Achievement? Part II Tim Shanahan: In my last entry I was asked whether it was acceptable to retain special education students. My response was that I had always opposed such retention based on an extensive body of research (some of which is listed below). However, I also admitted that the most recent research, relatively high quality research, was finding positive results for test-based retention in Florida.




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  • How dare they cut teachers -overcrowd classrooms and not close the network offices! Rahm--stop punishing students and parents!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That is an undeniable shame. Almost every two or three years, the network, region, whatever they call them this time around, gets revamped with a bunch over overpaid people. Our network has 15, the Chief and ILTs. They took teachers out of the classrooms a whole bunch this year and taught them UbD. The book costs $26...we could have done that on our own. And then CPS changes its mind, and starts another new program, and the old gets tossed out, and they waste a whole bunch of money. And on and on this goes. And teachers will be laid off. Shame on CPS.

  • In reply to goodteacher:

    Good teacher you are on the money. What you've highlighted is the ongoing instability of CPS. Five (5) new CEOs/Superintendents in 5 years has made change our only constant. The annual budget crisis has been an ongoing issue as well. What's next, back to regions?
    The worst part of all is The high level C.O. appointees with no clue. The 2 ladies running networks and central office departments have very limited high school experience and it shows. Barbara is in for a couple years or less, then she will roll out with a huge payday. The larger problem is mayoral control and the appointed board. Maybe it's time to allow educators and a public elected board to do what's best for schools. This would eliminate most of the personal agendas and politics of appointments and contracts which has not helped at all. I heard even Rahm's buddy Reverend Brazier put someone in (under the new female chief) who doesn't have a clue. Hopefully this will end soon for the sake of education.

  • hey trib--there will be no copies of student test scores to their parents since schools have to cut paper, ink and copy machines to buy toilet paper--or do we want parents to supply this too?

  • Parents are already asked to bring toilet & Xerox paper to CPS schools, even at higher-income schools.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    To the librarians out there.... are you aware that CPS is no longer funding librarians? Unless your principal chooses to "buy" you, you're out. I'm wondering how many will find out on the last day of school.

    And one counselor per school, one clerk, one AP. Are principals sharing this news?

  • In reply to Cleo:

    Actually, there are no AP positions. The only positions every school gets are: 1 clerk, 1 counselor, and 1 principal.

  • In reply to Cleo:

    Principals are not allowed to tell teachers or staff about layoffs until sometime in july. Take that for striking on rahm's watch.
    Hey, where is retired principal?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I am here! The CPS Law Department always instructs principals to not tell any teachers or staff members that they are about to lose their jobs! Then the principals have to read a script written by CPS when they do. Why? Because of possible lawsuits. P.S.- I am so glad that I am retired!

  • Welcome back! I really appreciate your comments and Rod Estvan.


  • RP-with per pupil budget: If a teacher is suspended with out pay, does the school get that money back into the same school budget? A sub will be purchased for the suspended teacher (maybe) and schools now must pay for subs out of per pupil budget, but subs are cheaper than teachers. So is a teacher suspension a kind of money windfall for the school? Does this also motivate principals to employ less expensive teachers by working on removing more expensive ones since BBB says principals have all this (pretend) choice? CPS should have funded quota positions since this can become an nightmare now. age discrimination to start.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    With the new contract, there is no more teacher suspension without pay. The first 3 write ups are simply a meeting with the union rep and it is documented with things to improve on, but there is no longer suspension without pay.

    I have found this actually much less confrontational now. It helps to have a conversation with the teacher/staff member where they are not being penalized, but can hear expectations. My experience this year with it has been really positive and I think my staff members would agree.

  • In reply to principal:

    it takes 3 write ups--then what? Do you meet with CTU delegate or school delegate? what happens if teacher written up does not agree or continues bad behavior?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Funding for substitutes will be included in the per-pupil funds allocated to schools. If schools do not spend all their Sub money, they can re-allocate it to other needs. Long-term leaves (exceeding a pay period) will be budgeted out of Central Office. Principals should secure a Temporary Assigned Teacher (TAT); cost of the TAT will be covered by Central Office. If a cadre or day-to-day substitute is used, Central Office will not reimburse the school for the substitute costs.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    believe it when ya see it - cuts to CO and networks yeah right
    pleeeeeze--1 network is having a BIG party at the zoo for their network--everyone must dress up but no one has to pay.

  • Is that because the budgets won't be final until then or because they don't want teachers taking their sick days?

  • teachers can take sick days--especially the pb days they will lose school budgets are due June 26. talent mangmnt has to sort out who will be laid off-there is an order to it. budgets were late coming out, need LSC approval, and many position cuts--no matter what cps con-unications says.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    new--school MUST pay for teacher subs now--out of an already slashed budget--every teacher who takes off--sub cost comes out of the school budget.

  • I am still confused. Certainly principals have talked to talent management and know who is being cut to create the budget, right? So why wait to tell people?

  • its a time of confusion. pecking order-it can sort down to having 1 more day of employment or for a pat, % points in evaluation. dont want to tell teacher s/he is out and it is the wrong teacher. These things must be done delicately

  • Thanks for clarifying. That makes sense. Since reach performance tasks are due in tomorrow (gotta love how slow cim is), how long will it take battelle to figure value added score for a pat, which will figure into %pts ?

  • yes-you got it. Cps is top drawer.

  • dist299reader,

    you say principals are not allowed to talk about this? please elaborate. I know some principals have told staff what is going on. Good for them. How many librarians and counselors are getting RIFed? and will find out next week?

    Isn't there are rule that there should be a counselor for every 300 students?

  • In reply to Cleo:

    If a principal has shared this info, it is not good. Budgets must be approved by Networks and then LSCs. A lot can change in a week. They might be informing the wrong person or attempting to hire for positions that they don't need.

    Revealing this info can lead to lawsuits and other issues. If the principals lauded lose their job or receives disciplinary consequences, the same people congratulating will be dancing on their grave.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    Or CPS could actually make students a priority instead of business development, testing, charter systems, and bank debt service.

    That might lead to lawsuits, but less destruction of young people's futures.

  • Until talent management readies an official layoff letter, principals cannot say who is gone--now this can be kind of figured out and if LSC is savvy, they will know. Staff-LSC should know what is going on per the principal. Until school budget is approved-loaded-then one cannot find out how many counselors,etc are rifed.
    The professional assoc for counselors has a rec for counselor : student ratio, but CPS has not paid attention to this.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I saw the budget report at the LSC meeting. The principal was very clear that he has to make cuts based on the budget summary page passed out to the public.

  • It might vary from school to school. You have to follow the order, unsatisfactory, then long-term subs, then pats/tats, then tenured. In some schools that might be pretty straightforward. In other schools, where there are many pats, then not so simple. Principal may have given all pats the same rating, but has to wait for school wide value added score from nwea to be added to k-2 teachers, librarians,etc. OR individual value added score from nwea for home room teachers grades 3-8 AND value added score from performance tasks to the rating to know which pat has to go.

  • In reply to anon:

    And certification factors in too. If there is a first year-non-tenured teacher who is ESL certified and a 15 year tenured teacher who does not have ESL in a building where kids need ESL or Bilingual services, the tenured teacher goes first. Certification trumps seniority if the population requires it. We have a lot of teachers in my school who are going to lose their jobs even though they have between 15-25 years in, all because they never got ESL endorsed. Our school is pretty much completely bilingual and every single one of the teachers who have come in the last 5 years have ESL, bilingual or Sped.

  • As I wrote above, I do see a potential problem for second grade teachers. The contact says they should have school wide score for their rating, but how are the teachers to know if school wide score was used , not their individual score? B/c second grade individual scores are messed up due to the fact that they took MPG in fall and MAP in the spring. And are we sure that second grade scores are not used in the school wide score as well? Seems like cps is open to a lawsuit on that.

  • Go to
    and click on CPS Interactive Budget Report. You can get a school-by-school (or school type by school type) break down of the proposed budget.

  • With the transition to student-based budgeting, how can CPS possibly claim to have maintained class sizes? Maintaining class sizes will now depend on how many teachers principals choose to retain or hire with their fixed amount of money. If there is a rule about class sizes, and budgets are being drastically slashed (In my school, the cut is over $1,000 per student), then the claim on the budget page that CPS is maintaining class size seems meaningless.

  • There is no 'rule' about class size in CPS. (There used to be with the old budgeting formula, thats dead.) One elementary school is going to 42. High schools are looking at 50 or more. The more you crowd classrooms, the more teachers laid off. The more teachers laid off, the more you get your budget balanced to the horrible deduction you have been given.

  • You think principals have choice? The new budget is static. The principal must match teacher salary to what was given by CPS. Before, CPS covered teacher positions and it did not penalize the school's budget what the teacher salary was. Schools now have pay for their own subs too for EVERY teacher in the school with this horribly reduced budget. Makes one thing about Lincoln Pk HS; laying off experienced (expensive) teachers due to the IB program snafu, to maybe help with this horrible budget. parents will have to contribute more to their schools-money and toilet paper donations.

  • I think this might be the nail in the CPS coffin for middle class families who value public education. I bet they're outta here for years to come. Tipping point?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It certainly is the nail for middle class parents. One is the preschool which many middle class parents cannot afford to shell out $425.00 a month PLUS a babysitter's fee. Many middle class parents have enrolled their child in the free pre-school and after observing what a good school it was then decided to keep their child in the school.

    It is the dagger in the heart for parents of children with disabilities.
    Parents of pre-school children with disabilities in Beverly-Mt Greenwood have been told that their children will have to be bussed into gang territory because CPS will not pay to bus them to Blair (safe neighborhood) because it is over the new four mile limit. What BS...the real estate agents are doing the Harlem Shuffle in anticipation.

  • "over the new four mile limit"

    Wait. What?! Where's the right of CPS to limit the distance if the SWD's need is not going to be met within 4 miles of home? Anyone have the policy on this? Rod?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think OSS requires SWDs to be placed as close to home as possible, unless the team decides (probably a burden placed on the parents and guardians) if the programs within a 4-mile CAN'T meet the student's needs based on the IEP. Not sure.

  • No, if you live in Beverly-Mount Greenwood and have a 3-4 year SWD your child will be sent to Hughes which is so unsafe the people in the neighborhood have opted for charters-that is why there is space. Where is the safety route for these children- on a bus into an area with frequent gunfire? All of the four mile BS is so CPS can fill up empty schools-come on OSS we are talking a two mile difference between Blair and Hughes.
    Parents need to demand that their 3-4 year be educated at the neighborhood school and if there is no program then one needs to be created either in the school or in a rented facility. There is a precedent
    for this and in CPS.

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