Here Comes Full-Day Kindergarten

Here Comes Full-Day Kindergarten

Full day kindergarten expansion, CPS budget cuts and layoffs (see interesting WTTW segment), plus which UNO schools did better or worse than the city average for Hispanic kids?

More CPS kindergartners will have full day in class this year Chicago Sun-Times : Despite $68 million in net classroom cuts, many Chicago Public Schools kindergartners will double their classroom time later this month, the mayor and schools …

Chicago Officials Tour Kindergarten Classroom Benefiting from First Year Ever … eNews Park Forest: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd-Bennett toured the new kindergarten classrooms at Tonti Elementary School, one of the new schools benefiting from CPS instituting for the first time ever a full day of kindergarten

More CPS kindergartners will have full day in class this year
Chicago Sun-Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who announced plans to mandate a full day of kindergarten for CPS children, and CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett led a tour of Enrico Tonti Elementary School, 5815 S. Homan, one of six elementary schools that received a new modular.

Impact of CPS Layoffs Chicago Tonight: About 3,000 teachers and staff have already been laid off    this summer in a massive downsizing effort by the Chicago school district. What’s the big picture impact for student education?

CPS Budget Cuts: Burley Parents ‘Resentful’ of Reliance on Parent Funds DNAI: With deep cuts to school budgets, parents are hesitant about footing the bill for teachers, art programs
2013 ISAT Top Schools (with Common Core Standards) CPS Obsessed: I was curious about how UNO schools perform versus general Hispanic students in CPS given the recent news about the school.   As with charters as a whole, “it depends” whether you end up at an UNO charter that performs better, same, or worse than CPS as a whole for Hispanic students.

Chicago Sees Pension Crisis Drawing Near New York Times: Even sooner, the Chicago Public Schools, which draws from the same tax base, is required to find an extra $338 million for its pension fund, and more every …

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  • In relation to the Chicago Tonight program on CPS layoffs. I would say that Ms. Zopp speaking on behalf of the CPS Board came off much better than either the current CEO or Board President has in similar situations. She did not indicate a deep knowledge of the Board budget, but none the less came off reasonably well. It's not surprising that budget knowledge was limited because after all the Board has not had a meeting of its budget audit committee to discuss the proposed budget in detail. So I doubt that most Board members have drilled down into the details of the budget much beyond the power point presentations that Tim Cawley has given.

    When Carol Marin asked as difficult questions as her editors could come up with for example asking Terry Mazany if he could explain why the CTU and CPS are putting out different numbers of the budget reductions whether it is $68 million or $160 million? Mazany totally declined to answer the question and went on to talk about state funding for education and referenced the Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) recommended levels of funding. Kristine Mayle from the CTU discussed the need for revenue and somewhat dodged the pension issue except to now oppose pension holidays the CTU had supported just three months ago and note CPS' failure to make up those delayed payments.

    I heard Ms Mayle discuss corporate taxes, fair taxes (a reference I believe to a progressive income tax proposal), and TIFs. Ms. Zopp really did not engage in the taxation issue from what I heard. No one mentioned Chicago's property tax rate and seeking to move the rate beyond the statutory cap.

    Mr. Mazany still seems to be pushing for increased state funding for CPS, which seems unrealistic. But much to his credit he did indicate that so called pension reform would not resolve CPS budget issues because they pre-existed the increased payments CPS is required to make to the pension fund. I saw no inclination to push property taxes beyond the current cap and come into alignment with average school district tax rates in Cook county. What I saw was a massive denial the CPS fiscal train wreck that will be coming, to her credit Mayle did push the revenue side of the discussion, but overall the focus of the discussion was still on the adverse impact of the layoffs and cuts this year not on the very real possibility significant cuts could very well become a yearly fact of life for CPS.

    Rod Estvan

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  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Russo- While you seem to have taken your carnival barking down a few notches as of late, linking to this bad facsimile of Michael Savage is even worse then your old schtick.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Mr. Sand writes "But the only school reform Lewis advocates is higher taxes on Chicago’s property owners and she describes it as a tax hike on upper-income whites." I have never seen President Lewis talk much at all about the CPS property tax rate so I am unclear where Mr. Sand got this information.

    To be honest I think she has been quite timid on that issue. Apparently Mr. Sand knows very little about CPS property tax rates relative to school property tax rates in Northern Illinois. Maybe Mr. Sand is confusing President Lewis with myself, suburban Republicans, south suburban Black Democrats and others including the Chicago Sun Times editorial Board who have pressed on this property tax issue.

    The other tax issues Mr. Sand attributes to President Lewis are generally true, for instance the financial transaction tax that New York City has or a progressive income tax which is used on a Federal level and by many states including Republican run Wisconsin. I for one agree with her on these issues as do many people in Chicago who did not sign on to the UN complaint over school closings.

    Because "UNION WATCH" is so ideologically opposed to teachers unions that publication really has little concern with the fiscal health of public school districts. It's primary interest is breaking unions. I am glad Alexander linked to the story because it shows how weak right wing fringe journalism is in America.

    Rod Estvan

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