Budgets, Turnarounds, & Field Trips

Budgets, Turnarounds, & Field Trips

Welcome back! You didn't miss much. Today's news includes a scathing editorial against CPS for its budget practices, a handful of stories about the turnarounds that are going to be considered on Wednesday at the Board meeting,sad news about kids shot on their way home Sunday, and a WBEZ story about field trips for teachers. Check it all out below and get more updates throughout the day at @district299

BUDGETS

CPS uses another gimmick to balance budget Tribune (editorial): Last year, Chicago Public Schools officials tapped out reserves and turned their pockets inside out to fill a projected $1 billion shortfall. They closed schools, laid off teachers, slashed classroom and central office spending. District officials warned that they had run out of budgetary rabbits to yank from hats.

TURNAROUNDS

CPS has 3 schools on 'turnaround' list Chicago Tribune: After closing nearly 50 schools last year, Chicago Public Schools officials are taking a measured approach on school actions this year, placing just three schools on track to have their staffs overhauled because of subpar performance.

Dvorak Elementary Supporters Furious About CPS Turnaround Plan Progress Illinois: A passionate crowd begged the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district at a community meeting Wednesday night to spare Dvorak Technology Academy from having its entire staff fired and replaced next school year.

At turnarounds, a revolving door for most teachers Catalyst: At 16 of the 17 schools that underwent a turnaround between 2007 and 2011, more than half of teachers hired in the first year of the turnaround left by the third year. In the 10 schools that were turned around last year, a third of the faculty left by the start of the current school year.

Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois joined the long list of states that have received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday, which means its school districts won't be punished financially or labeled as failures

UNIONS, POLITICS

Teachers Union Pres. Lewis urging Ald. Fioretti to run for mayor
WLS: Fioretti was at the City Club again sounding like a candidate for mayor, saying Emanuel is creating two cities: one rich, one poor. Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was there talking to reporters afterward, taking her own shot at Emanuel.

Teachers' Strikes Catching Fire from Oregon to Minnesota Labor Notes: In all three districts, strong community support helped the teachers win a stronger contract. A year and a half after the Chicago Teachers Union revived the strike with a seven-day work stoppage that became national news

SAFETY

5 children injured in South Side shooting CLTV: Witnesses say the group was walking home after playing basketball at a nearby school when someone pulled up and asked if they were in a gang.

TEACHERS

Field Trips Just For Teachers WBEZ: Science teachers huddle over bacteria colonies at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The museum plans to train 1,000 area educators to be better science teachers in the next five years.

Snapping Turtle, Snakes Part Of The Fun For Whitney Young Science Teacher DNAI Info: Science teacher Todd Katz started an endangered species program at Young.

Note that national education news is in the previous post today.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup

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  • Needless to say the Tribune editorial from April 19th was correct in relation to what CPS is doing with its property tax receipts. Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation put it succinctly when he was quoted saying: "You're [CPS] borrowing from the future to pay for this year's expenses." But there is more to this story than just that and this story goes all the way back to 1979 when CPS in effect went bankrupt and the Chicago School Finance Authority was created. I wrote my second MA thesis on that experience and its siting on a shelf at St Xavier University today.

    One of the reforms that was put in place in relationship to CPS finances was this passage in the school code that applies only to CPS in Article 34. It reads: “The budget shall be balanced in each year within standards established by the board, consistent with the provisions of this Article.” (105 ILCS 5/34-43) All other districts in Illinois can have budgets that are formally declared to be deficit budgets and they are required to develop a plan to balance the budget within a statutory defined period of time.

    So what CPS does is to create a balance budget by hook or crook.
    CPS also has statutory limitations on its use of what are called tax anticipation warrants (105 ILCS 5/34-23) and so what CPS is doing is evading the use of a tax warrant by as the Tribune states “grab[ing] several hundred million dollars in property tax revenue that would have flowed into its 2016 budget and count it for the 2015 budget.” CPS also has statutory limitations placed on it in relation to the issuance of notes, bonds, or other obligations in lieu of tax anticipation warrants. (105 ILCS 5/34-23.5)

    So there is more to this story than the Tribune editorial board understands.

    Rod Estvan

  • more news: 5 new middle IB programs coming: Agassiz, Ebinger & Pierce plus Seward and Moos http://ht.ly/w03Ln @CatalystChicago

  • They can find $10 million for furniture and $$$ to buy/rent 1N Dearborn they have so many empty buildings with furniture they can use-just look at the Coleman School. Loaded with space and furniture.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I am not sure you understand what the Tribune is really discussing here. CPS is proposing increasing school funding by $250 per-pupil for the next budget cycle, not decreasing it. That comes to approximately $98.7 million. CPS has neither the money for this increase in per pupil spending nor for the move to its new offices.

    But to be honest the $10 million for furniture is really nothing compared to the $98.7 million increase in per pupil funding.

    Rod Estvan

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