More Budget Info [Updated]


I may be wrong but I’m not sure I’ve seen this CPS Budget Memo online anywhere else (



I’m working on the Huberman PowerPoint if anyone can spare a copy (for credit or on the DL). 


UPDATE:  Here (

FY2011 Budget Presser r1.pdf

) is the PowerPoint Huberman used in his press conference, for those of you who want to scan it for issues and observations. 

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street


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  • The pension is not the main thing causing the debt. The Tribune reporter just doesn't understand the fuzzy math. The reason why the pension increase percentages look high is because the district failed to pay into the pension for so long.

    That's the board fault and the union leadership's fault for concede on the pension holidays.

  • In reply to xian:

    CPS has had no pension holiday. CPS did not have to pay into the fund for many years because it was at its 90% funding ratio. During that time, CPS increased teachers salaries and benefits, which are extremely generous. The Unions made a choice to seek more benefits for current employees. Current teachers are enjoying the fruits of that choice.

    CPS's pension contribution (which is driven in part by the fall in the value of the Pension Fund's investments) is $587 million. Call that what you will what you will, but that's nearly all of best case and 2/3s of the worst case deficit reported. It's clearly the major factor at work here.

  • In reply to xian:

    The dirty little secret here that teachers and public school employees don't appreciate is that they only pay 2% of their gross income toward pension and a relatively small amount for their other benefits, while racking up hugely expensive retirement benefits (hundreds of thousands of dollars in sick day payouts, pension enhancement programs, 75% of the average of the 4 highest years for life beginning as early as age 60).

    Those with nothing but Social Security are paying 6.25% of their income. Their employer is paying 6.25% as a match . . . just for those paltry benefits. School employees pay 2% and CPS picks up 7%. Moreover, all of this is done on a pre-tax basis.

    If the private sector tax payers really under understood what school employees get in pension and other benefits and what their contributaions are, there'd be hell to pay.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Anyone care to guess what the average annual teacher pension is in Illinois?

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Dear all CPS employees, Ron Huberman and the Chicago Public Schools are lobbying the Illinois General Assembly for pension reform. Who would it affect? NEW EMPLOYEES- Ron Huberman and CPS wants a two-tier system, new employees would have no pension but a 401k plan and you will pay higher health care cost. CURRENT EMPLOYEES- They will raise the retirement age from 55 years old with 20 years of service to 62 years old with 20 years of service for you to retire. Eliminate the 3% cost of living raise (that you would have received at age 61 years old) and you will pay higher health care cost. CURRENT RETIREES-Eliminate the 3% cost of living raise (that you would or are receiving at age 61 years old) and you will pay higher health cost. Ron and CPS wants to drop the rate from 90% funded when CPS has to pay into the CTPF to 80% funded. Ron and CPS wants to pay less money to the CTPF that CPS already owes the CTPF for the next three years! All 2008 and 2009 retirees are still only getting estimated pensions and not their full pensions as we speak! If you want no pension, remember social security will run out of money pretty soon because all of the baby boomers are retiring! P.S.- When teachers accepted their positions as teachers they were guaranteed their pensions! If you don't want yours, then go to CPS and CTPF to donate your pension money to the rest of us!

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    One last thing, they want you to start paying State taxes on your pension in addition to the Federal taxes that you already pay!

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    CPS and the state need to step up and fully fund teacher pensions. The average CTPF pension in 2008 was $36,000 - hardly a Cadillac plan.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Dear judgeJury81, your pension is provided for by the laws of the State of illinois!

  • In reply to chijas:

    And that is fine, but what I am telling you is that I am willing to forfeit my pension for the good of my students. That, my friend, is my overall point. I am okay with funding my own retirement with IRAs and such. To each his/her own.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    On my household income, including what I consider fair teacher wages, that just isn't an option.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Like I said, to each his/her own.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Let me set the record straight for the comment below, NoBS odes not have all of the facts. Teachers used to pay 7% of their salary for their share of the pension contribution. CPS negotiated the pension contribution in place of a raise either in the late 70s or early 80s. Also medical benefits are a % of the employee's salary. As salaries increase the cost of insurance to empoyees increases. You pay for other insurance, auto, car and life based on the premium for the policy you select not how much money you make.
    NoBS said:

    The dirty little secret here that teachers and public school employees don't appreciate is that they only pay 2% of their gross income toward pension
    Posted on February 27, 2010 10:45 AMReply

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Do a side by side with the private sector . . . it's a dirty little secret . . .Moreover, that was negotiated decades ago and in the interim teachers have been seeing very large benefit and salary increases (relatvie to the market) of 5-7% per year. You don't knwo how good you have it and your crying about have to make share sacrifice is likely going po alot of people when they understand just how good you have it.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Dear CPS employees and retirees, Governor Quinn's pension task force have come up with these proposed changes in our pension plan. The pension plan would freeze, and guarantee, pension benefits already earned, but would set somewhat lower benefits going forward for CURRENT CPS employees and new hires. Retirement ages would increase, while accrual rates and annual cost-of-living (3% after 61 years old) bumps would decrease. None of this would affect current retirees, whose pensions are constitutionally GUARANTEED for life. Mayor Daley, Ron Huberman and the Chicago Public Schools also support this plan.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    So what? The Board agreed to it. Where I come from, a promise is a promise. You don't take back what you've agreed to, and the IL Constitution protects public employees' pensions.

    I've got no problem forking new employees into a defined contribution program. I doubt the union would have a major problem with this either. The Board might though, as those teachers in a defined contribution plan would no longer be paying into the pension fund so keeping that 90% would be even harder.

    At the end of the day though, if the Board didn't want to pay these benefits, it shouldn't have agreed to them. It could have negotiated higher pay, more sick time or other considerations instead, but it didn't. So this is very much their problem.

    And no, I'm not a teacher nor an employee of CPS, simply someone who believes that promises should be kept even when it hurts.

  • I don't understand why those at central office who actually support children would continue to allow us to be played off against each other. There's still the enormous Testing, Performance Management, and New Schools spending (including the capital outlay) that never seem to come up in the Board's analysis.

    If we take back all the money from the failed programs and the areas of central office that do nothing except protect the CEO and the Board from the public's opinion, we can maintain both vital central office programs and day-to-day student instruction.

  • In reply to xian:

    You could close all of Central and Area Offices and you would not make up the current deficit (and no means to contract, pay vendors, hire and pay employees etc.) and you'd still have no means for making up the billions in red-ink projected over the next few years. Doomsday is here folks. Take your heads out of the sand and start thinking about the really fundamental fixes that are necessary.

  • People fail to see the big picture. It isn't Huberman's two cars nor is it long standing pension debt. So much money in Chicago that should be going to schools is instead put in Daley's hands via abuse of the TIF system. It's the many CTAs, MBAs, and other paper pushers who have been brought over to CPS at over $150,000 a year. CPS has been playing fast and loose with the numbers for sometime and that's going to make it very hard for people to trust them when they cry poor yet again.

  • Alexander, there is a good article in the current Reader Newspaper written by Ben Joravsky entitled "Off Track: Chicago Public Schools eliminates the already skimpy pay for assistant track coaches, we have some alternate suggestions." P.S.- Dear JudgeJury81, why don't we just take away your 401k, social security, your house, your saving and checking accounts while we are at it to help out the schools?

  • In reply to chijas:

    thanks, RP -- here's the link to the article, in which joravsky notes how little assistant track coaches make and how much central office bureaucracy there is (still) in the superintendent's office

    eye opening to see how many offices and staffers there are

  • In reply to chijas:

    some of you may not have seen the updated version of the original post that started this discussion, which includes the powerpoint that huberman used last week:

  • In reply to chijas:

    I'm willing to concede the 4% cost of living raise and fund my own retirement...rescind the residency requirement.

  • In reply to viking47:

    I would too! I like your idea of rescinding the residency requirement. However, that doesn't really help those of us who own our homes. But, I can definitely see your point. That would be a great bargaining tool. We make a concession, the city must make one as well.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    We don't need to make concessions. We need to fight for truth in governance.

  • In reply to xian:

    WTH does that mean? Knowing Ron Huberman's every waking thought as it happens isn't going to prodcue $700 to 900 million needed to solve this problem. You're like a representative of the "party of no" -- just deny the problem exists and see if you can ride it out through an election. Get your head out the sand or wherever it is hiding and get your mind off these ridiculous platitudes . . . Teachers are the largest part of the work force and largest expense. . . They need to make concessions to close the gap . . . thinking like this is what drove the middle class from the schools and destroyed the public school in tghe 70's and 80's . . . that required two full-decades to begin to reverse. . . backward thinking like this will likely produce the same result . . . and then you'll cry your crocodile tears while the real adults clean up the mess.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Show me one lick of data that shows that teachers are getting one measly percentage point more of the operating budget than we were ten years ago.

    Otherwise, you are just making stuff up.

    If being a real adult is being an anonymous abrasive on an internet website, count me out. We actually break ourselves everyday for our students. What is it that you do besides make up ironic names for yourself and insult good people?

  • In reply to xian:

    Are you kidding? That is a measure of what, exactly?

    Show me what group of hardworking private sector employees have received 5 to 7% increases 7 years (with a comparable boost in employer pension pick up contributions), reduced health care contributions for the last 3 years and only a 2% retirement contribution? Tell us who they are!

    Nobody denies the good work of many teachers or their dedication. But claims to martyrdom will not make $700 to $900 million suddenly appear. Nor will it buy much sympathy among taxpayers who can't sell their homes, are not working in record numbers and who have had to reduce their spending to stay afloat.

    Insult me all you want but the truth sometimes has pebbles in it and sometimes the anonymous guy has to tell it.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    You are projecting my friend. You have been insulting in every post thus far. I merely asked you to refrain.

    The share of educational money that goes to salaries and pension has dropped each year and we are on the lower end nationally, let alone internationally.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    I find it interesting that some of the posters to this thread are convinced that CPS teachers have an outstanding pension benefit package compared to the private sector. While there is truth to that idea for most employees, it is not true for those of us who have been fortunate enough to have been executives in the private sector, and I am not talking just about CEOs.

    I was a officer in one of Chicago

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    My guess is that trench warfare from teachers is that last thing the school system needs. It may come but with it will be a huge cost . . .It will be the road to ruin for teachers and the schools and maybe the City.

  • In reply to xian:

    According to "Consumer Reports: Money Advisor" February, 2010 issue, the Social Security system faces challenges. In a May, 2009 report by the program's trustees, its obligations to retirees will begin to exceed its income from payroll taxes starting in 2016. But by drawing on its reserves, it will be able to meet its full obligations until 2037. Then the reserves will be exhausted and the system will have only its income to support it. The nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) floated a few options in a study this past October: 1. Lowering some future benefits 2. Raising Social Security tax rates 3. Removing the cap on the maximum income subject to tax (currently $106,000)4. Raise the age at which people are able to start collecting benefits. That's happened before, back in 1983 when the age for full benefits was raised in increments from 65 to 67 for anyone born after 1937.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    Daley has taken $250,000 in property tax money that should have gone to the schools and instead has used it as a private slush fund to pay $35 million to help United Airlines move into new offices downtown, $6 million to help MillerCoors do the same, $8 million to lure the French Market to the Ogilvie Transportation Center.

    Ron Huberman has been bringing over large numbers of CTA employees and other non-educators at $120,000 a pop.

    CPS's budget this year contains a $422 million dollar increase in the mysteriously named "Other Charges" category.

    CPS has just under $700 million set aside for contracts with outside vendors.

    A teacher pay freeze doesn't even make a dent. Sacrificing for their students is something teachers are routinely called on to do, but I'll be dammed if I'm going to sacrifice for The French Bakery or United Airlines.

  • Actually, pensions are guaranteed under the IL Constitution. The state just passed up a chance to have a convention in 2008, so it will be at least 8 years before public employee pensions are at risk again. The Amendment process is difficult and unlikely to succeed in the meantime.

    You may be happy to have a job, but what about a teacher with 20 years time in? Doesn't she deserve the pension she has worked for? The one that was promised?

    No one held a gun to the Board's head and made them agree to these "ruinous" benefits. In fact, the pensions are only "ruinous" because CPS didn't make contributions when times were good and the fund stayed above 90% naturally when any fool could look over the horizon and realize that a storm was brewing. And in fact, they did look, and kicked the can down a road figuring they could cheat their way out of it later.

  • You're right. I said CTA employees. I should have said CTA employees, MBAs, and others without any background in education or success in much else that they have attempted. Thank you for clearing that up.

  • Right on Rod!

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