Board Meeting Protest Day

Board Meeting Protest Day

Protesters plan to be heard on CPS finances Tribune:  The Chicago Teachers Union said parents, students and teachers will picket outside the district's downtown headquarters. A separate coalition, organized by parent group Raise Your Hand, plans to rally at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall and is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release money from tax increment financing districts to restore cuts to art, music, gym, technology and foreign language programs.

U.N. asked to examine Chicago school closings for human rights violations WBEZ: The “letter of allegation” sent Tuesday evening to Geneva, Switzerland, asks U.N. officials to investigate whether the closing of 49 Chicago elementary schools violates children’s human rights.

Budget squeeze in Chicago schools pushes some classes online WBEZ: Members of the Local School Council at Dyett High School say their principal has advised them he can’t pay for enough teachers with the budget he was issued from Chicago Public Schools. That means many classes—including art, music, Spanish, social studies, and even gym— will be online.
Maldonado Won't Back Down From Plan to Move Military School Into Ames DNAI:  Some parents, teachers and activists are angry that the alderman is making another push for the plan.
Colleges offer nearly $400M in scholarships to Chicago PublicSchools students The Republic: College scholarships totaling nearly $400 million have been offered to high school students who attended Chicago Public Schools. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the amount Thursday.
Award-Winning Chicago Teacher Gets Pink Slip in Round of 2113 Layoffs In These Times: On the heels of the decision to shut down 50 Chicago public schoolscame a massive round of layoffs on Friday of 2,113 school staff, including about 1,000 union teachers. Combined with the 850 staff and 545 teacher layoffs in June,
Stop cheating Illinois’ children Sun Times (oped): We’re seeing layoffs in big and small school districts throughout the state. Districts that have for decades had to “do more with less” have now reached their breaking points.
Teachers Hit The Books To Master New Education Standards NPR: School systems nationwide are scrambling to prepare teachers to implement new education standards known as the Common Core.
How Did Sequestration Impact K-12 Schools? Politics K12: One possible reason for the lack of anxiety: States are generally much more fiscally fit than they were in past years, Griffith says. "People tend to look at the bottom line for all education spending and most states had a decent budget year. ... They increased education spending and that might cover up the sequestration cuts."

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  • Once again The Chicago Public Schools is lying about the about the claim that because on increasing pension obligations, CPS is forced to layoff over 2,000 workers. CPS knew the increase would occur in 2010 when CPS struck a deal with the Illinois Legislature to provide three years of pension underfunding (pension holiday) from 2011-2013. In 1995, the City of Chicago, struggling with financial problems, sought and received Illinois General Assembly approval to divert property levies that were earmarked for The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund. From 1996 to 2005, Chicago collected $2 billion in tax revenues intended for teacher pensions, but spent the money elsewhere. In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly granted CPS' request to postpone another $1.2 billion in payments as pension relief (pension holiday). The City of Chicago has taken $3.2 billion earmarked for The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund and now because pension payments by law must be made has caused the CPS so-called $1 billion deficit? CPS currently owes about $600 million annually to CTPF due to the many years of underfunding (pension holiday), but last year paid only $200 million. CPS didn't make any contribution for 10 years from 1996-2005 because the CTPF was funded over 90%. Since 2006 the CTPF funding has been below 90% and by law CPS has to pay into the fund. The CTPF is currently funded at about 61%. The City of Chicago and CPS caused this problem back in 1995 by taking the tax levy funds away from the CTPF and now Rahm Emanuel and CPS wants to cry wolf? Give me a break!

  • Everything you wrote is true and it was all legally authorized by the Illinois General Assembly. Teachers and administrators who pay into CTPF have endorsed and in many cases voted for members of the Assembly that legally authorized these actions.

    Just two months ago another CTPF pension holiday bill was attempted and failed to pass. This bill was supported by the CTU, the city, and CPS. There is plenty of blame to go around isn't there.

    Rod Estvan

  • On another issue. Alexander linked Cinda Klickna op ed piece from yesterday's Sun Times, it was worth reading and made a strong argument for an amendment to remove the flat tax provisions in the Illinois Constitution to lessen school district's dependency on property taxes. But let's stop for a moment to reflect on who Ms. Klickna is and where she comes from. She is the current president of the Illinois Education Association who taught at Southeast High School in Springfield Illinois.

    Springfield Illinois is in Sangamon County, in fact it takes up a good part of that county. Sangamon County collects, on average, 1.87% of a residential property's estimated fair market value as property tax. By comparison Chicago collects only 1.72% of a residential property's estimated fair market value. Springfield School District #186 has a tax rate of 4.7369% and CPS's rate is only 3.422%.

    Since President Klickna op ed took Chicago's layoffs and linked them to the issue of reliance on property taxes she could have at least researched CPS a little. If CPS's rate were equal to Springfield's CPS would be generating many millions more in revenue and hundreds upon hundreds of teachers would not be laid off in this city.

    While President Klickna is right about the need for our state to decrease it's reliance on property taxes to fund schools and is right for the need for a fair graduated income tax system. She is totally out of touch with how low CPS property taxes currently are.

    Rod Estvan

  • Is it possible to have a multi-tiered property tax system? One rate for homes appraised at less than say, $500,000, another for more expensive homes, and finally a HIGH rate for multi-million dollar homes like Penny Pritker's that was granted numerous exclusions from zoning ordinances?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Under existing state law there can only be one rate for residential homes regardless of value.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Is a change in this law worth pursuing? At the very least perhaps the law could be altered to create a second rate for owners with multiple residences.

    Is there anyway to tax or charge fees against property owners like Pritzker who thumb their noses at zoning ordinances and push for unfair variances?

    The money IS there... it is just locked up in the coffers of the ultra-rich and secured by law.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The property tax code is huge, but there is a provision that limits the number of homes or condos one owner can claim as residential propertiies. As you know commerical property is taxed at a higher rate.

    Property tax law is a very specialized area and lawyers like Mr, Madigan and Cullerton who both practice in that area are very well paid.

    Rod Estvan

  • Thank you Rod and retired teacher for getting the truth out...

  • Any news on what is happening at the network level? Has CPS finally gotten smart and decreased the staff within networks so that teaching staff can be saved? What about eliminating summer school? I am teaching 8th grade summer school this year and 99% of my students have told me that they don't mind going to summer school it beats sitting at home. The reason they are ALL there is because of grades or attendance not test scores! Most of my students scored 80% or above in Reading and Math.
    What a waste of money

  • CPS doesn't care about teachers or students. Never forget that. The Network offices are needed to facilitate the firing of teachers and as a place to stow those with connections and clout who can't hack the classroom.

  • Is anyone going to protest the issues at Roosevelt High School? Will anyone speak out? Principal Trujillo announced to all of us that NO ONE would be losing their job... is leaving 16k out-unlocked in a closet to be stolen- the day before prom!!! Please read this email that went out to all staff :


    Trujillo began calling people tonight. So far two people have been cut. Trujillo is on vacation in Mexico. He left a voice mail for one teacher. When she called him back he said, "I have my family all around me, I'll call you tomorrow."
    Another teacher picked up and when she asked about his promise at Truman on the last day of school, that no one would be fired, he said he can not go into it. "I am out of town, and this call is very expensive."

    You know what else is expensive? Leaving 16 thousand dollars that doesn't belong to you on top of your microwave.

    I am angry because this is on TOP of the 10 positions lost in June. How will Roosevelt function with so few staff?

    But I'm particularly angry about the lies and deceptive practices surrounding this administration. Its disrespectful to cut teachers on July 23 when you've known about it and you know they will need to look for a job. It's disrespectful to lie to our faces and then fire us after the CPS deadline when you KNOW your teachers have been holding their breath all summer and just now felt they could relax. He does not care about us, he does not respect us as professionals. And to him parents and students are just a nuisance. He only cares about himself and serves only his own ambition.

    It seems he can't even fire people on time. Perhaps you did not know that over 1/3 of our faculty did not even get their 4 required observations. I'm told he personally conducted 5 observations all year.

    I have no confidence in his leadership ability either as a school leader or an instructional leader.

    We need to share our stories with each other and not keep secrets. This is how we can present a united front when under attack, and prevent him from using his lies against us. He should be shunned by all faculty members in the fall. Dont talk to him except to perform your job, and even then keep it to a bare minimum.

    As a faculty we must refuse to serve on the ILT. I respect the teachers on the ILT and the work they do, but the problem is the ILT is appointed by the principal and has no legal powers. If you're interested in school leadership, please run for the PPLC, which is democratically elected and has powers protected by state law. PPLC members are protected from principal retaliation like delegates, lsc teacher reps, and ppc members.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    How are PPLC, LSC,PPC, and union delegates protected? Wasn't Lourdes Guerrero an LSC member who was retaliated against and cut by her principal? I hope you are right, but I think you are wrong. There is little protection for any individual holding these positions.

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