Keep 25 Year-Old LSCs, Or Dump Them?

Keep 25 Year-Old LSCs, Or Dump Them?

No real news on Karen Lewis' health other than that she's still in the hospital. LSCs are 25 years old (should we keep them another 25 years?).  Oriole Park is crowded.  The kidney donor has to move from Evanston or lose his job. Nationally, there are education issues on state ballots in 11 states and Baltimore unions and administrators are moving to process teacher misconduct cases more quickly.


Emanuel fleshes out pre-election plan for expanded preschool Chicago Sun-Times: “Early childhood education helps create a strong foundation that benefits students throughout their entire education,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was quoted as saying.


Karen Lewis' health scare puts mayoral contest in flux Chicago Sun-Times: It would apply to women, too, of course, even strong-willed teachers union presidents gearing up for a campaign for mayor. CTU President Karen Lewis' hospitalization for as-yet unspecified health concerns continued to reverberate Tuesday.

CTU: Karen Lewis being evaluated at hospital Chicago Tribune: Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said Monday that “the mayor wishes Karen well, and that she makes a full and speedy recovery.” Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the Chicago Public Schools, said district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett “is keeping Karen in ...

Chicago Teachers Union mum about Lewis' health scare Chicago Sun-Times: For the second straight day, the Chicago Teachers Union refused to spell out the health crisis that landed its president Karen Lewis in the hospital. “Nothing yet,” CTU spokesperson Stephanie Gadlin wrote in a text message to the Chicago Sun-Times.


Emanuel allies block elected school board question from city ballot Chicago Tribune: Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, at a City Council meeting last year, is pushing a nonbinding referendum question that would ask Chicago voters to weigh in on employers being required to offer paid sick leave.

Chicago's Local School Councils 'Experiment' Endures 25 Years of Change EdWeek: Chicago's experiment in local democracy was not completely unique. But the Windy City's school governance model was unusually strong because it gave local parent-majority boards the power to hire and fire their school principals.


In Chicago Public Schools classrooms, 36 is a crowd Chicago Reader: Just so you know, Oriole Park is one of the bright lights in the Chicago Public Schools constellation—a high-scoring neighborhood school whose student body is largely made up of the children of cops, firefighters, and teachers.

Foreign language push features new state credential Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools expects to announce its plans for the biliteracy effort next month, spokesman Joel Hood said. DuPage's Glenbard Township High School District 87 plans to participate, said spokeswoman Peg Mannion.

Schools move to protect athletes, but they don't provide trainers Chicago Tribune: When Georgia public high schools were asked five years ago to devise a policy to govern sports activities during periods of high heat and humidity, one school's proposal stood out: It pledged to scale back workouts when the heat index reached 140.

Kidney donor’s CPS job in jeopardy – again CLTV: A man who generously donated his kidney to a grocery store clerk in 2010 nearly lost his job as a social worker after Chicago Public Schools realized he lived in Evanston. He thought he had been given a waiver when CPS decided he could keep his job. But now a different CEO at CPS says “rules are rules.” He either has to move to Chicago or lose his job.


Education Measures on Ballot in 11 States EdWeek: The initiatives could have a significant impact on school funding, class sizes, the use of technology, and teacher evaluation and tenure systems. Voters in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and New York will see proposals that would increase funding for public schools paid for through a new tax or bond.

Ed. Dept. Churn Brings New Faces to Key Initiatives PK12: We're closing in on the twilight of the Obama administration and, at this point, many of the folks originally in charge of major initiatives, including Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind Act waivers, and School Improvement Grants, have left the building—literally.

Common Core tests now a ticket out of college remedial classes Seattle Times: A new agreement among the state's public colleges will raise the value of a couple of Washington's high-school exams.

How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground NYT: Inside the Obama administration’s standoff with Republicans, the food industry and the nation’s lunch ladies over the future of the cafeteria.

With Black Students, Some Schools Are More Ready to Punish Than Help NYT: My son’s school seemed to see him as a bad child, not a child with needs the school could help to address.


Study: New York preschool push benefits wealthier families first WPost: The push to provide universal preschool to the city’s 4-year-olds has so far disproportionately benefited children from middle- and upper-income families, according to a report released Wednesday that the mayor’s office is disputing. See also WNYC.

Union president addresses Baltimore County school board about length of time for misconduct investigations Baltimore Sun: The head of the Baltimore County school administrators union said the majority of misconduct cases against administrators can "be resolved more expeditiously."

California Prep School Shaken by Arrests of Headmaster and Woman, 21, on Drug Charges NYT: Thomas Woodrow Price, headmaster of Branson School in Marin County, Calif., was found with heroine, cocaine and enough methamphetamine for the pair to be accused of possession of that drug for sale.


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  • As you picked up, the city council put an end to the advisory referendum nonsense by packing the next two ballots with other meaningless advisory referenda. Maybe, some day, the voters in Illinois will get out the message to stop manipulating them. Maybe it will have to take an Ebola outbreak in the legislature, first, though.

  • Either Coyne is aloof, doesn't understand, or he’s lying about the CPS Residency Policy. EVERY CPS employee knows about the residency policy and is asked to sign a statement at the time of their hiring stating where they live. (Coyne was hired in 2002 well before he donated the kidney in 2010 and he's been working for CPS 12+ years while living in Evanston).

    If a teacher or staffer, like Coyne, is hired in a ‘need basis subject’ area they can attain a 3-yr ‘renewable’ residency waiver provided the employee continues to work in a need basis subject area or their area is a still a need basis subject area.

    Unfortunately for Coyne and others receiving residency waivers, one of the repercussions of the CPS strike (which landed CPS teachers raises for three years, closed 45-50 schools, and forced major budget cuts) a few years ago was the loss of 7000 teaching positions (according to the CTU). And, how can there be a need basis for almost any subject area if there’s a huge line of teachers and staffers in those areas without a job?

    Coyne knew the rules and so does many other CPS teachers and staffers violating the residency policy. if CPS teachers and staffers are allowed to live outside the city, so, should al the other city employees. The argument for allowing CPS teachers and staffers to live outside Chicago is CPS should get the best employees to help the children regardless of where they live. But, the argument against that is shouldn’t Chicagoans get the best police officers, fireman, electricians, engineers, etc as well and all of these city employees are forced to live in Chicago.

    Coyne's big mistake was not getting his supposedly' lifetime waiver from Ron Huberman in writing.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The only way we will ever know if the residency rule is needed is to eliminate it for all city workers.Then let people live where they want.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    But then why should one derive a living from city taxpayers without one being one personally? Maybe a city income tax should be imposed on those who earn income in the city.

  • In reply to jack:

    Dear Jack
    Are you saying taxpaying city workers would leave?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    How did you get that one backwards? I said, since you recommended abolishing residency requirements that first the city impose Fioretti's commuter tax, at least on those who derive their living from city property taxes but apparently don't want to pay toward them.

    Sure, rbusch, you can move to Maywood, but either pay the Chicago tax or try to get a job in the Proviso Twp. district.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack you seem to think rush hour isn't a two way street.Lets say Chicago imposes a commuter tax on those who work in the city but live elsewhere.Would you also , in the spirit of fairness, favor Bedford Park collecting a similar tax on a truck driver from Englewood?.
    How about teachers from Beverly paying a tax to ,say, Orland Park
    because they work in district 230? remember CPS gets over50%
    of its total Revenue from State and Federal sources.pretty good since they only educate about 30% of the states students.Plato got it
    right .i suggest you read the allegory of the cave. in today's terms the Chicago Syndrome

  • In reply to rbusch:

    I made only my point.

    By the same token, if someone wants to work in District 214, they should live in or pay taxes to Wheeling, Prospect Heights, or Arlington Heights. So, yes to your District 230 example.

    If you have a problem with the commuter tax proposal, bring it up to the proposer, Bob Fioretti.

    If you want to get beyond the tax point, I do have a problem with people who think they are above the community teaching people in it, for the culture gap problem and the like. Similar to complaints about all white police officers not understanding Englewood.

  • In reply to jack:

    What about teachers at New Trier? Can they afford to live in their own district?

    So are you saying only African-American police from Englewood should police Englewood?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    The response to your property or state tax point is that the marginal amount from any settlement of a strike is going to come out of the property tax, so the public employees should pay their share of that. Usually federal and state amounts are based on some formula.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes Jack they sure are based on a formula,One which will soon be
    torn apart if SB16 passes the ledgislature.It is a fast read, only 400 pages, when you finish we can compare notes.If by the "Community" you are using PC code for the getto. I had 41 years teaching there, how many do yopu have?

  • In reply to jack:

    jagk- So you support the removal of suburban deadbeat Tim Cawley?

  • In reply to jack:

    The "Chicago Syndrome" is alive and well.

  • Financial Viability of Chicago Charter Schools/The Civic Federation

  • Preschool expansion via 'social impact' bonds |

  • Chicago Schools Under Fire Over Dirty Conditions, Rotten Food @robojo features awful lot of CTU & ILRYH sources

  • Here's what the appellate courts said about Tim Cawley in a separate case involving two other CPS teachers violating the residency policy and what led to Coyne's situation:

    "After disciplinary proceedings against the two (CPS teachers found in violation of the CPS Residency Policy) commenced, the teachers did not attempt to dispute the allegations concerning their residency. Rather, they argued the policy had grown “stale” through years of lax enforcement, while CPS had allowed certain employees, including social workers and Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Cawley, to maintain their employment with CPS, despite living outside the city.

    Separate CPS hearing officers sided with the teachers, but the Board of Education rejected the hearing officers’ findings, and moved to terminate.

    The teachers sued and the like the board, the trial judges and the appellate court sided with CPS.

    The appellate court justices also determined the Board of Education acted within its rights to terminate Crowley and Pruitt.

    They found the attempt to compare the teachers’ situation to “an at-will, high-level employee not covered by a union contract,” like Cawley, was “particularly inapt.”

    “It is elementary that the Board can apply different employment standards to the [Chief Administrative Officer] of one of the nation’s largest school systems than its rank-and-file teachers,” Delort wrote for the panel.

    The panel further determined CPS was justified in establishing different requirements for social workers and teachers."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The fact that the courts have applied a double standard, isn't the point. Jagk is stating that he thinks individuals paid by city tax dollars SHOULD reside in the city, not that he has to by law.

    Cawley himself said in June 2011 that in 2 years he should be ready to move into the city-

  • In reply to district299reader:

    My point is that CPS gets more than 50% of its revenue from non local
    sources.Who is paying that?My district gets 16.5 % the other money
    83.5%comes from local property taxes.And CPS has one of the lowers tax rates in Cook County.I should take this with a grain of salt

  • I agree with jagk, everybody should have to live in the municipality in which they work. Why should outsiders get a free ride on the infrastructure I pay for. By the same token, I should be charged a toll once I leave the city limits.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Maybe we should all be forced to shop within our districts, buy gas in our neighborhoods only, and drive only on streets within our districts also?
    I believe the communists tried this in the Soviet Union. Employees had to live within the districts they worked in. It didn't work out so well for them.

  • In reply to displacedteach:

    If fact, the rationale given by politicians for imposing a home rule retailer's occupational tax (which is what you think the sales tax really is) is that the locals won't be paying it, but, instead, outsiders going to the mall or restaurants. So, in effect, it isn't any different than a commuter tax.

    However, school districts are not home rule municipalities and don't have the power to impose a retailer's occupational tax. But you could have looked that up before posting.

  • In reply to jack:

    You got that right,Jack.Orland Park is swimming in money because
    of that tax.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I don't need a flamer to speak for me.

  • Since the proposed commuter tax for non-Chicago residents who work in the City came up as part of this discussion I think there are some things that people need to consider:
    1. ARTICLE VII SECTION 6 of the Illinois Constitution on home rule powers of towns with populations of more than 25,000 does not provide for taxation powers beyond its borders especially anything to do with transportation. Since 1969 with the creation of the Illinois Department of Transportation it has been established that it is the State of Illinois under the Constitution that controls taxation relating to transportation.
    2. When NY City established a commuter tax under its home rule authority it was over turned. In 1999, a New York State Supreme Court justice upheld and even extended the State Legislature's repeal of New York City's tax on commuters who live in the state yesterday, ruling that the city could no longer collect the tax from residents of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or any other state. In addition, NY Justice Cozier agreed with the plaintiffs from Connecticut and New Jersey, ruling that the Legislature's attempt to repeal the tax only for New York State residents violated the United States Constitution. He said the selective repeal also violated the Constitution's commerce clause, because repealing a tax as it applies to residents of one state but not to others could disrupt interstate commerce.
    3. Because any Chicago commuter tax would have to include residents of Indiana it violates the US Constitution. If the tax was applied only to suburban Chicago residents it would likely violate ARTICLE IX of the Illinois Constitution that requires "any law classifying the subjects or objects of
    non-property taxes or fees, the classes shall be reasonable
    and the subjects and objects within each class shall be taxed

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The tax would not be on "transportation." "Transportation" is something like running a trucking company. The tax would be on "income."

    Article VII sec. 6 gives home rule units the power to tax, except as limited by the General Assembly by a 3/5ths vote.

    Chicago used to have a "head tax" (technically an employer expense tax), which Emanuel only recently abolished. I don't think anyone contended that it was unconstitutional.

    Illinois and Indiana have tax treaties on how workers who live in different states pay income taxes. I don't think anyone has argued that Ford workers who live in Hammond are exempt from income taxes.

    So, if what Fioretti is suggesting is unconstitutional (like his Congress Hotel and Felony Franks escapades) just bring back the head tax or impose an income tax. I'm sure some argument could be made that it will be used for property tax relief while making outsiders pay their fare share (even if totally bogus).

    Anyway, I mentioned this only as a prerequisite to rbush's proposal to abolish residency requirements, as this isn't a tax policy blog.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack the model for the proposed law is the NYC law that failed. This law will likely fail too and more than 3/5s of the members of the General Assembly do come from outside the boundaries of the city. Is there any question that all members of the Assembly from the suburbs would oppose such a tax and that down state legislators would join them in shooting it down similarly to what happened in the New York State Assembly. A city income tax is not illegal but it isn't clear that a city in Illinois has such a power to levy it without approval of the IL Gen Assembly, NYC has such a tax that has never been challenged.

    For NYC residents making over $500,000 per year, the top marginal income tax rate is 3.876%. If you own a business in NYC, there’s an additional “unincorporated business tax” (UBT) of 4% on pass-through entities and sole proprietorships. Corporations are assessed a “general corporation tax” of 8.85%. New York state’s “flat tax rate” on corporations is 7.1%. (A trading business is exempt from UBT, as that is portfolio income.) But there is no imposed income tax on non-owner employees who do not live in the city.

    An employer head tax is perfectly legal in Chicago because it does not separate out city residents and non-residents. Illinois and Indiana do have income tax agreements, and so does New York with the adjoining states, but not withstanding those agreements the commuter tax was found by a NY judge to violate the US Constitution as it related to commuters crossing state lines and has not been over turned.

    Rod Estvan

  • Rod thank you for that response.
    Jack, there is a popular misconception that if the residency rule
    were lifted the middle class PC code for white city workers, would
    flee the city my contention is that we will never know while the stockyard
    fence keeps them corralled in Chicago.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    I am a CPS teacher and I have a lot of friends who work for the city in other departments/areas. A significant number of the people I know would move out of the city if the rule changed.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Basically, then, how do you explain that the vast majority of police and firefighters live in Edgebrook and environs or Mount Greenwood and that area?

    As Tevye might have said "Lord keep the [central city] ... as far away from us as possible." Don't think that they would not have moved to Palos, Orland, or Glenview if they could do so and keep their jobs.

  • In reply to jack:

    That is my point we will never know .

  • In reply to rbusch:

    I also knew someone on the CPS payroll who lived in Morton Grove, but suddenly "had to move to Old Town." Although she claimed it was to "move in with her boyfriend," she didn't have one.That, of course, was a while back, and she ended up one of the teachers sitting at HQ until finally purged, when she moved back to Niles and apparently got a job at some parochial school.

    Anecdotal, but makes the point.

  • Residency rules are more than just about taxes and salaries and on whom and where they are spent. They are an effort to ensure that workers have a stake in the success of a community. That purpose could be considerably diluted in a City the size of Chicago but I think that stake - that something we call civic pride -- overcomes logic and is important consideration in having a residency rule.

    Who should have a greater stake in the success of a communities like Rogers Park? People in Evanston and Lincolnwood or people in Englewood? Do people in Sauganash really have a stake in how well the people of Grand Crossing do? Other than a shared civic pride created by an artificial border, nothing compels that connection. Yet that artificial border does exist. And in surprisingly large measure, it creates civic pride and a connection and belongingness, granted not necessarily attentiveness, even among vastly disparate neighborhoods.

    Residency rules aren't just about keeping tax dollars in the community. There are about maintaining a sense of community.

  • Plato sure got it right.

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