AM News: Did State Just Bail CPS Out?


Daley attends rally against violence
Tribune:  The full impact of gun violence on Chicago Public Schools students during the past school year is still becoming apparent…  Laying off low-rated teachers helps kids Sun Times (letter):  At
a time when state and district budgets impose difficult choices for
leadership, staffing decisions must be made in the best interest of
students, not adults… Youth’s death shows limits of school’s progress
Tribune:  Earlier
in June blood marked the grass outside Brian Piccolo Specialty School
in West Humboldt Park where a 15-year-old boy was slain. Officials
there hope the tragedy won’t taint the progress they have achieved in
the past two years…  Group claims Chicago Public Schools fail to evaluate students for special education Tribune:  Equip
for Equality, the state’s federally mandated watchdog for people with
disabilities, said in its complaint that “hundreds of children between
the ages of 3 and 5, who have been referred for evaluations, wait many
months to receive a response to their request for an evaluation, or
worse, never receive one.”… Country music star leads Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade Tribune:  Students
and parents from two Chicago schools — Nettelhorst Elementary and the
Chicago Waldorf School — marched, along with a group of more than 30
veterans from all branches of the military holding an American flag
that stretched the width of the street…  NOTE:  CPS officials are briefing the press on the impact of state funding add-backs this morning (see press release below).

Officials to Provide Budget Update Following

Action Restoring Some State Funding



WHO:             Chicago Board of Education President Mary Richardson-Lowry

Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman

of Parent and Community Groups


WHAT:           Press


WHEN:           Monday,
June 28, 2010, at 10 a.m.


Math and Science Elementary School

                        6006 S. Peoria




Chicago Board of Education President
Richardson-Lowry and CPS CEO Huberman announce the latest fiscal outlook for
Chicago Public Schools following action last week by the Illinois State Board
of Education that will restore some education funding.


Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Back in the day, before Rob Huberman, Arne Duncan and before Barbara Bowman-Chief of Early Childhood, there was a really great Early Childhood Department that managed what used to be the State Pre-kindergarten Program (SPK). The students were evaluated in a timely fashion.

    There were full day programs included parent involvement and participation.
    where children flourished.

    The staff included a classroom teacher and an assistant. The satellite staff included parent involvement team who met with the parents on a regular basis; curriculum coaches who worked with the teachers and

    Social Workers and Certified School Nurses who were early childhood specialist and only worked with the SPK students. They had the time and resource to work closely with the teachers, the child and the parents on social emotional and health issues. This team had way more time to give attention to the children. The team facilitated and participated in timely evaluations of the State Pre-kindergarten students.

    The coaches, assistants, social workers and nurses were all in one office by regions with an administrator. Everyone had easy access to one another. If a curriculum coach was in a class room and saw something they felt needed attention they could reach their colleague with ease.

    Then came the changes that destroyed Early Childhood at CPS; changes created by Arne Duncan and Barbara Bowman. Dick Smith needs to talk with that old team and fix what they broke.

  • CPS Backs off Doomsday Budget Plan, Larger Class Sizes
    Updated: Monday, 28 Jun 2010, 12:10 PM CDT
    Published : Monday, 28 Jun 2010, 12:10 PM CDT

    FOX Chicago News

    Chicago - Chicago Public Schools are stepping away from a doomsday budget plan that would have put as many as 35 students in one classroom.

    Schools CEO Ron Huberman said the district is getting more money from the state, so he's able to pull back a little bit from the worst-case scenario.

    CPS still faces a shortfall of $300 million.

    Under the new plan, full-day preschool is preserved, and kindergarten through eighth grade class sizes will not be changed. In Chicago public high schools, class sizes will go up from 31 students on average to 33.

    In the district's regional magnet and gifted programs, there will be teacher layoffs that will affect the quality of what have been elite programs.

    There will still be 1,200 teacher layoffs for the coming school year, and that means the fight for the rest of the summer is going to be a battle over a 4 percent pay raise for Chicago teachers.

    Huberman said if the CTU and its new leadership agreed to forego the raise, it would save the district $135 million and would reduce those planned layoffs.

    FOX Chicago has left messages for new CTU President Karen Lewis to see how the union feels about the developments.


  • But the state is not paying their bills and owes school districts for the just ended school year.
    Not all are out of the woods, sad to say.

  • In high schools, the regular class sizes for english, math, foreign language, social studies, business education, general science and home economics is not 28 student, it's 31 students? CEO Ron Huberman said he would not cut any elementary teachers positions, just high school teachers! I wonder why? Elementary schools class sizes will remain the same. CPS teachers, DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR 4% raises! CPS will whack the elementary school teachers later!

  • sun times article includes huberman push for teachers to give up their pay increase and lowered layoff estimate now down to 1200 or so,chicago-schools-class-size-huberman-062810.article

  • The state is a financial wreck, yes. But CPS, first and foremost, has priority problems. I guarantee that if Huberman sat down for a weekend meeting with a dozen teachers we could find that $327 million he seems to think is "missing". And we could do it without negatively affecting students or teachers. Go ahead, Hubie - take me up on the offer. We'll work *with* you to solve this budget crisis. Give us that chance.

    You know he won't.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I'll join you. I bet we will find even more that he didn't know was missing.

    Hey, I bet we can go one step further and get the state budget balanced.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    wbez version of the story

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    i'll look for a video -- meantime here's the CPS explanation for what it's going to be able to do:

    CPS Able to Restore Some Projected Program Cuts,

    Difficult Financial Picture Still Looms

    Restoration of a limited amount of state funds will allow Chicago Public Schools to save enough teaching positions to restore board-funded full-day kindergarten programs throughout the District and avoid elementary school class size increases.

    The announcement by CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman follows action by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Governor to restore approximately $57 million in categorical funds. Those funds combined with the District

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    "...the ripple effect of the additional funds will also allow CPS to limit high school class sizes to no more than 33 students, Huberman said."

    No more than 33 students? Now THAT is something I want to see on the NW and SW sides. Good luck with that, Hubie.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    If my school is programmed with 33 students per class that will be a significant reduction in class size (hallelujah!), but we won't have enough teachers or classroom space for that. We'll have approximately 500 students in the auditorium each class period because every other space in the building will be full. On top of the positions we'll lose to budget cuts CPS is predicting a drop in student enrollment for next fall resulting in even fewer teachers than the budget cuts inflict. All this despite the fact that our feeder schools are massively overcrowded and our enrollment has remained steady or gone up every year for the last 10 years.

    Making across the board cuts in every school without regard to their current enrollment and implementing ridiculous enrollment predictions in neighborhood schools? That's nothing short of brilliant. Thanks, Hubie!

    I'd like to invite Mr. Huberman to visit my school each week in September and October to witness the fallout that will take weeks to eventually resolve. CPS won't allow us to hire new teachers until the fifth week of the school year. Of course, by the time we have our "new" teachers in place the first quarter will be over and our students will have missed at least 1/4 of their first semester. What a great start to the year!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:


    I don't understand these numbers. According to the CPS press conference today, the budget deficit has fallen (in the last week) from $427 million to $370 million, or by $57 million.

    Because of that $57 million decline, the Board is now expecting to cut 1,200 teachers instead of 2,700 teachers, which means 1,500 teaching jobs are saved. (Good news!)

    Let's see: $57 million divided by 1,500 teaching jobs means each position costs...$38 thousand.


    How can that be? A first-year teacher in 2010-11 will be paid a $47,268 salary (not including the pension pickup).

    Fuzzy math the Board of Education uses.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Hang on a minute here - this is CPS. They never mess anything up. Do you mean to tell me that those numbers they cite are either a mixup based on fuzzy math or an intentional deception?

    I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    And if we agree to not take our 4% it would save $135 million which in turn would avoid the remaining 1,200 on the chopping block.
    So how did $57 million save 1,500 and $135 million will save 1,200 ? Whose feeding him these numbers? Does he think we're that naive?

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    My sources tell me the state did not make a payment to CPS. Plain and simple. If they did, why is it hush, hush. Why hasn't the Sun Times or Tribune reported on it. There was no motion on the floor in Springfield last week or any other week to give CPS a specific amount of money. Maybe the state paid what they owed??? Hooterman is hoping that CTU agees to give up the 4% increase so that way he won't have to open the contracts...... therefore exposing the bogus CPS budget. The fuzzy math is definitely intentional and the propaganda is real. For months we've heard about the 1 billion dollar deficit and now, all of a sudden the deficit is 400 million........get outta here!!! I hope people use the same rational thinking when voting the mayor out of office.

  • In reply to Danaidh:


    It should be obvious that vast discrepancies exist in the budget.
    This makes me wonder if the board even controls its own money.
    Is city hall calling the shots regarding expenditures to a point that the board
    Is kept in the dark?
    Now with new, smart, honest union officials taking office perhaps a little
    Bit of panic is developing in the halls of Clarke Street.

  • In reply to Danaidh:


    CPS class sizes will remain the same and that high school class sizes will rise to only 33 instead of 35. This means there will still be teacher layoffs but it won't be the projected 2,700 instead it will be about 1,200.

    This news is nothing to jump for joy. There are still many unanswered questions and underlying problems that have not been addressed.

    The first thing to consider is that the changes are contingent upon:

    "that the state would pay the district the $352 million it owes CPS, and that future state payments would be on time. "

    This is a critical nuance that cannot be overstated, The state of Illinois is in even greater financial duress than the city of Chicago. For example, the Teacher Retirement System, which administers the retirement benefits Illinois (non-Chicago) administrators and teaching personell is only about 60% funded. Which means, the TRS cannot pay off money which is owed to them. The estimate is that the state is $60 BILLION dollars short. This means we have an unfunded liability of $60 billion.

    A big reason why the state of Illinois is in such dire financial trouble is size of government. As my previous blog post mentioned, a bigger government (yes making schools bigger is bigger government), makes the economy worse. The bigger the government the more in tax payer money we have to use and the worse the economy gets.Teacher layoffs would be just a start to make the CPS smaller. Notice, I did not say lower the quality of education. I'm recommending to trim the fat: greater pension reform, getting rid of free breakfast to students, etc (see my list of 8 things the CPS can do to cut costs).

    Proponents of keeping teachers jobs will be at least somewhat glad that the number of layoffs appear to be smaller than original. However, unless the state of Illinois solves some of the root causes that got us into this mess in the first place, look for continued turbulence in the CPS.

  • In reply to CPSfanDotCom:

    Are you related to Juan Rangel of UNO?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Much of the discussion in Ms. Rossi's article: "CPS school class size to return to normal levels: Huberman," is based on the CPS budget office's analysis of the ISBE budget that was passed by that body on June 24, 2010. This document can be seen at

    I am glad CPS believes in can contain class size increases, but I am not glad that the CPS budget department is drawing the conclusion that that the state will pay the district the more than "$352 million it still owes the system, and that future state payments would be on time" (From Ms Rossi's June 28 article). If the Governor is able to transfer the past due funds to CPS, then they will be coming from somewhere, but where?

    By the way only last week the amount the State owed CPS was stated to be "more than $400 million," (Rossi, June 15, 2010) and the amount I heard mentioned by CPS was that it was owed on June 17 was $420 million. So if we are going from $400 plus million to $352 plus million in 13 days, then CPS must have received in the last week at least $48 million from ISBE.

    That is certainly possible, but it would be helpful for the public if Ms Rossi explained to her readers how what the State owes CPS dropped in a few days by 12%. The CPS press release Alexander posted a short while ago also uses the $352 million figure for what the State owes CPS, but it does not say CPS has received any payments from ISBE to lower than figure.

    I think it is likely that Ms. Rossi never cross checked the figure of what CPS is publicly claiming the State owes it in any way, even with her own articles from one week prior. Changing numbers in relation to what CPS claims the State of Illinois owes it by millions of dollars without any explanation does not exactly inspire confidence in the numbers CPS is current throwing around for its total deficit.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!! There was NEVER going to be a doomsday scenario. The financial records and the CPS budget does not suggest it. I've been saying it for months, check the budget, the REAL budget that CPS and the media will not show you. ASK the new CTU president if she has a copy of the ENTIRE budget, not the Hooterman budget. I challenge anyone to show me how in 1 week there is suddenly money to fund preschool, keep programs, and maintain the class size at 31. Unfortunately the teachers who will be laid off are sacrifices. They must loose their jobs in order for Hooterman to save face.

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