Layoffs, Finger-Pointing, Duncan

Layoffs, Finger-Pointing, Duncan

Happy Monday.  There were lots of interesting school-level layoff comments over the weekend, and an interesting Morning Shift segment on the impacts of the layoffs and the new school-based budgeting systems this morning, plus news from today and over the weekend rounded up for you below:. If I missed anything, let me know.


CPS layoffs, drop in city's bond rating tied to state pension crisis, Emanuel says Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday pointed a finger at the state's pension crisis in two recent doses of bad financial news: 2,000 Chicago Public Schools layoffs and a decline in the city's bond rating. "This is avoidable in a sense," Emanuel said.

Chicago Schools Hit With New Round Of Layoffs NPR: Chicago's school district is laying off 2,000-plus workers, more than 1,000 of them are teachers... Chicago Public Schools is blaming this round of layoffs on the schools' $1 billion budget deficit and the lack of pension reform.

Euphoria is over for CPS schools that won reprieve, kept doors open Sun Times: An uncertainty has set in about what the upcoming school year could look like, given budget cuts at some of those schools. Indeed, the 2,100 layoff — including teachers and other CPS staff — announced last week reinforces that murky picture.

CPS calls teacher’s mom to tell him he’s getting laid off Sun Times Gage Park High School teacher Xian Barrett learned he was one of 2,113 Chicago Public Schools employees losing his job Friday morning from his mother. Why the principal called his emergency contact instead of his primary number, he doesn’t know. But Barrett returned the message his mother relayed from his principal and was read the script thanking him for his service — but pink-slipping him.


After massive layoffs, CPS suggests teachers contribute more for their pensions WBEZ: Chicago’s school district says ballooning pension payments are driving the crunch. This school year, the district’s pension obligation triples, to $600 million—a cost to be paid for with money that would otherwise fund current education needs in schools.  The pension tab amounts to about 12 percent of the district’s total operating budget.
CTU Blames CPS Budget Deficit, Layoffs On District's Failure To Raise Revenue Progress IL: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and officials from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have not shown a good faith effort to pursue revenue as a means of offsetting the district’s staggering deficit, according to Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

CPS Laying off 2,000+  CPS Obsessed: Well, it’s a sad day for many staff members affected by school closings.  Sad especially because these people taught in areas where families were leaving the neighborhoods because they we’re necessarily a great place to live or housing changes reduced the family population.  But those who stuck it out have been hit hard with closing schools and now layoffs. However our budget situation is also sad.  There isn’t enough money right now to set up our school system the way (I think everyone would agree) it needs to work effectively.

CPS Layoffs: Rahm Blames Pension Shortfalls for Teacher Cuts DNAI: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said money that the school system will owe its retirees is harming its finances.
Mayor grapples with weighty problems that he inherited Sun Times: “Even though Rahm isn’t personally responsible for all of these events, he becomes a lightning rod for this displeasure. Rahm Emanuel is losing the African-American vote. And independent voters are gonna be swayed by school closings and bond ratings.”

US Schools Chief Arne Duncan Labors to Straddle Political Divide Wall Street Journal: In a miasma of partisanship on virtually every front, education stands out as an issue where partisan lines are bent in strange directions and odd-bedfellow relationships are forming.

Change Agent in Education Collects Critics in Connecticut Town NYT: Paul G. Vallas, a state-appointed superintendent in Bridgeport, Conn., faces the prospect of being driven out by a vitriolic crowd unhappy with his agenda.

Poll: Parents don’t support many education policy changes WashPost: Most parents with children in public schools do not support recent changes in education policy, from closing low-performing schools to shifting public dollars to charter schools to private school vouchers, according to a new poll to be released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers.

Down in the Delta, Outsiders Who Arrived to Teach Now Find a Home NYT: An influx of young, university-trained arrivals affiliated with Teach for America has flowed into the Delta, planting roots and hoping to make a difference.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • New Trier Board should hire Xian to make amends for their alumnus.

  • CTU's Jesse Sharkey and Catalyst's Sarah Carp discuss layoffs, budgeting, what parents/teachers/CPS might do next

  • If You’re Born Poor in Chicago—Or Rich—You’re Probably Going To Stay That Way

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Actually, Mother Jones followed up on the geographical skew of that study, and found that things were tough all over - except in those square states where there is an economic boom directly relating to the arrival of fracking.
    So, as soon as we start messing up the environment, poisoning our drinking water and ruining the genetics of our descendants for generations to come, we'll be able to catch up.
    We'll just be spending most of the pay raise on hospital bills.
    Thanks Governor!

  • Do LSC's have the legal authority to refuse their budgets? WBEZ Afternoon Shift discusses this and other issues

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    LSC's have the legal authority to approve or reject a budget.

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