More Layoffs, Plus Lewis For Mayor?

More Layoffs, Plus Lewis For Mayor?

Without having given any mention of during the leadup to the Board meeting (that I know of) earlier this week, CPS announced 1,100 layoffs yesterday. That’s a lot of folks, though much less than last year.  Maybe it was a fiscal year thing that everyone knew about but me.  Meanwhile, Lewis and Preckwinkle are both mulling mayoral runs.  Lewis seems to be trying to goose Preckwinkle to go for it, or maybe she really wants to run herself?


Layoffs of 1,150 teachers, school workers announced Catalyst: Even before releasing next year’s proposed budget, CPS officials announced minimal details Thursday on plans to lay off 550 teachers and another 600 employees, such as clerical support staff and teaching assistants. CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the cuts are directly related to projected declines…

Chicago Public Schools lays off teachers, others MyFox Chicago: Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says the district is projected to have 1,780 teaching vacancies in the fall, 1,420 of which are full-time slots. She said the teachers given pink slips can apply for positions made available by retirements and transfers.

CPS to Lay Off 550 Teachers, 600 Other Staffers DNAinfo: CTU president Karen Lewis called the layoffs “yet another brutal attack on public education in Chicago,” claiming it continues the “decimation” of neighborhood schools since CPS closed nearly 50 elementary schools it deemed underutilized last year.

More than a thousand teachers teachers and other staff laid off in Chicago WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools officials told 550 teachers and 600 more school staff Thursday that they’re out of a job. The number is significantly smaller than last year’s nearly 3,000 layoffs, which were due mostly to the Board of Education’s decision to close 50 schools.


Preckwinkle faces the glare: Will you run for mayor? Tribune: Still won’t rule out campaign against Rahm Emanuel Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle squinted into the bright lights of the TV cameras lined up in front of her Thursday, searching for each reporter who volleyed her variations of the same question: Will you run for mayor?

Karen Lewis “Seriously” Considering Mayoral Run NBC Chicago: Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis has met with election attorneys and is expected to make a final decision in August about whether she will challenge Rahm Emanuel for Mayor. A source close to Lewis said she’s seriously considering a run.


Quinn signs anti-bullying bill Sun Times: If only a brand-new anti-bullying law had been in place when Mariah Reeves’ torment began several years ago in the sixth grade, she might have been spared depression and suicidal thoughts and hospital stays.

Obama alums join anti teachers union case Politico:He also successfully defended the for-profit public school management company K12 Inc. against a lawsuit brought by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Neighborhood still challenging Lincoln Elem addition, PUSH coalition joins in CPS Obsessed: I had NO idea this Lincoln Elem expansion was still being debated/contested. Even more interesting, Jessie Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH coalition is joining. “Jackson said that kind of spending is part of a pattern:  residents in white, wealthier neighborhoods are given more access to better schools, and the concerns of their local school councils are heard.” as reported in the Sun Times.


Oklahoma: Suit Challenges Repeal of Core Curriculum Standards NYT: A group has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed law that repealed Common Core education standards in the state.

Why A Group Of Teachers Protested Outside The Gates Foundation, Ed’s Biggest Charity KPLU: Approximately 150 teachers took those concerns to the foundation’s front door Thursday evening for a rally and a march through Seattle’s downtown streets.

Poll finds Common Core opposition rising EdSource Today: An annual poll of Californians’ views on education contains bad news for teachers unions and for advocates of the Common Core standards, good news for backers of charter schools, mixed news for preschool supporters and a warning for State Superintendent Tom Torlakson in his re-election campaign against Marshall Tuck.

Bill simplifying teacher firings now law EdSource Today: Gov. Brown ended three years of high-decibel battles in the Legislature on Wednesday by signing a bill he helped shape that should make it quicker and easier to fire teachers accused of the most abhorrent forms of misconduct.

Move Over Books: Libraries Let Patrons Check Out The Internet NPR: Libraries in Chicago and New York will soon let people check out Wi-Fi hot spots, but will that actually help bridge the digital divide?

A black man with a college degree is as likely to be working as a white college dropout Box: It’s clear that more education tends to lead to better employment outcomes. Bachelor’s degree holders have a lower unemployment rate than high school graduates, who have a lower unemployment rate than high school dropouts.

A Love Letter to Chicago Public Schools South Side Mom: I love the school where a parent finds free used tennis balls and puts them on the feet of all the chairs in the classroom of a special needs child who is noise-sensitive.


New York Schools Chief Advocates More ‘Balanced Literacy’ NYT: Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants schools to adopt aspects of a method that the Education Department turned away from several years ago.

Tracking the de Blasio administration’s education promises Chalkbeat: Six months ago, Bill de Blasio took control of the largest school district in the country. At the end of his first semester, here’s a recap of what he said he was going to do with it—and what he and Chancellor Fariña have done so far.


Filed under: Daily News Roundup


Leave a comment
  • When are Rahm, BBB and the CTU going to realize that they have a huge problem--Alicia Winckler? Ask any teacher or principal about her destruction of Sub Center. How about the revolving door known as the Talent Office? She has cost the CPS millions in settlements because she has not followed the contract in laying off employees!! How much longer are they going to support her? Given her track record, she must have some dirt on higher ups. Wake up and move her out today!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "She has cost the CPS millions in settlements because she has not followed the contract in laying off employees!! How much longer are they going to support her?" I am assuming you got this information from the CTU and it was based on analysis of employee settlements appearing in CPS Board reports with BBB became CEO. Is there a written report to this effect that you could link to this blog?

    Rod Estvan

  • Does Lewis really think her act will play outside union hall?

    BTW, who is she supporting in the governor's race, given that the only accomplishment Quinn claims is fixing the state pension mess (doesn't directly affect CTU, but they know where is going) and the Sun-Times pointed out that Vallas is Vallas--not only former Chicago CEO, but advocate for charter schools in places like New Orleans.

  • In reply to jack:

    The politics of the demagogue will always play well with some outside the union hall.

    If Preckwinkle doesn't run, the CTU needs a way to attract attention without a strike. So Lewis running for mayor might make sense, even if it's unlikely she will win. The CTU getting behind anyone other than Preckwinkle or Lewis for mayor probably won't generate much interest.

    The risk to the CTU is Lewis running and losing by a substantial margin. That would be seen by many as handing Rahm a mandate. Estimating how her polarizing approach and reputation plays out in a general election must be difficult for the experts.

    It gets complicated for the CTU if Preckwinkle doesn't run.

  • In reply to jack:

    Who'll vote for Lewis? Her CTU membership? 20%-30% of them 'high-tail-it' out the school doors when the last bell rings to get to their homes in their suburbs, IN, and WI.

    Is Lewis counting on the Black vote, which is traditionally a poor voting turnout? C'mon.

    Lewis is like the teacher who keeps threatening to go to the back of the room to control troublemakers, but, never does.

    Lewis' mouth lost many of the white vote with her anti-white rhetoric. Does Lewis know 49% of her membership is white?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    On your second paragraph, the only Black politician behind whom anyone would coalesce was Harold Washington, and it took getting 34% in a 3-way primary, but now someone would have to win a runoff. Emanuel won on the South Side last time, and made good the only promise he made them--to rebuild the Red Line.

    Theoretically, the surviving Shaw brother is also there to split that vote.

    But I was thinking more that Lewis's mouth offended taxpayers, rather than any racial group.

  • In reply to jack:

    That's true. I think many people have forgotten that a young Richie Daley took 30% of the vote from Byrne to allow Washington to win.

    But it's a different times. Many whites and Hispanics voted for Obama. Hispanics may be the decider in this election. They're not mentioned much, I think because it's unclear how they will vote.

    Despite the recent poll, my gut tells me that the more unified the black vote, the more there will be a tendency for Hispanics to vote for Rahm.

  • In reply to Donn:

    In the last election the SW side (Ed Burke's area) voted for Chico, and Del Valle got one area around Logan Square. It sounds like you are assuming that there would not be a Hispanic candidate this time. In that case, since Mosely Braun did not get any of the map, it probably doesn't matter what the Hispanic vote is.

    Again, I'm assuming economic groups rather than racial ones, such as that the unions supported Chico the last time, but that wasn't enough.

    I'm also assuming that in other ways (such as the CTA) Emanuel is doing more to tee of his neighbors on the north side, but they don't seem to be supporting any organized opposition.

  • Are you at the schools to see that teachers 'high-tail' is out? I am. Yes, there are a few who swipe out at the bell, but very few. The others have come 1-2 hours ealier to or stay later at school to work and tutor students for no pay.
    The CPS residency policy has been since 1996 -18 years. Not so many CTU members live in WI or IN anymore.
    All but one black ward came-in for Rahm. It is the black vote that helped Rahm win with (only) 44%. So not a poor turnout as you say. CTU and PUSH have organized voter turnout and registration for the next election.
    Lewis is clearly 'all over' that classroom on educational issues and about Rahm-which is her job. She has every right to use the tools at her disposal to get attention for her dues paying members. White teachers would vote for her before they would vote for Rahm.
    Give Preckwinkle time-as she requests and deserves. She is no patsy for the press or for Rahm.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    No, Rahm had about 55%, or there would have been a runoff if he didn't get 50%. Maybe you are saying that Rahm got 44% of the Black vote. In any event, Mosely Braun couldn't have received too much of it, to have ended up with 9% of the total vote.

    In the meantime, all the politicians who were coy last time didn't stay with it (such as Danny Davis and Rev. Meeks), and Preckwinkle and Emanuel are pretty much of the same political orientation (Lakefront Liberals, although Toni's lakefront is 8 miles south). Toni is threatening to raise county taxes for pensions, just as Rahm is city taxes. In such case, if the only differentiator is Karen Lewis's backing, that is not going to help.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I doubt Jack knows a thing about what actually goes on in schools. I live less than 10 minutes from my home IN CHICAGO and usually arrive home at 5:30. So many out there on the CPS teacher vilification bandwagon, which insults the thousands of HIGHLY QUALIFIED, HARDWORKING, DEDICATED teachers in the system.

  • In reply to Southsidesue:

    If your suggesting that most teachers leave work at 5:20 that's just not true. But there are certainly thousands of hard working teachers in CPS.

    The point that lower energy people don't belong in most urban ed is jobs is valid, however. A 22 year old who places a lot of emphasis on time off is less likely to be a high achiever. That's how the city ended up with a teachers union that pushes for the shortest school day and year possible.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I've seen many teachers flying out the doors when the last bell rings. And, many of the same teachers who were ticked with the longer school day because they had to give up their other jobs, mostly those coaching at suburban or catholic schools. Why are these, definitely not 'all-in', coaches allowed to zoom out the doors when the rest of us stay at our schools to work or coach at our won school? This is partially why CPS sports is in the dumpster as you have teachers drawing $85,000 salaries with benefits and they're coaching outside of CPS.

    The CPS Residency Policy is only used when CPS wants to get rid of a malcontent employee. I know of 3 heads of the departments (Lane, Lake View, and Taft) and 1 new AP (Prosser) at four separate northwest side high schools who openly tell others they live in Antioch, Aurora, Evanston, and Round Lake Beach and CPS does nothing about it. And, the irony here is all 4 of these residency violators are supposed to make sure their underlings abide by the residency policy.

    CPS investigations was sent numerous complaints by myself and other colleagues about all 4 of them and they've done nothing about it. Instead, CPS Investigations claims they don't have the manpower to check on the violators. BS!!! The main reason these residency violators aren't canned is because firing them wouldn't bring in any money for CPS, only catching students violating the residency policy does. And, all 4 have major connections at CPS.

    It's time to either enforce the residency policy are get rid of it altogether as when it's enforced, it's selectively enforced. In fact two malcontent teachers recently lost their appeal on getting caught in violation of the policy. Both stated about the rarity of the enforcement and how it's not enforced on all violators, just a select few.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Here's the link to the lost appeal and read it for yourself:

  • Only about 20% of the registered voters voted, and Rahm got 51% of them, so basically 10% of the City elected our Mayor. If even half the black and Hispanic voters come out to vote, they can and will pick our next mayor.

  • Rahm would be very wise indeed to take a Lewis run seriously.
    D299R correctly pointed out that the last time he ran Rahm
    didn't exactly capture the excitement of voters.

  • "Her CTU membership? 20%-30% of them 'high-tail-it' out the school doors when the last bell rings to get to their homes in their suburbs, IN, and WI." That clearly isn't what could be called a generous comment.

    The hostility expressed on occasion towards teachers on this blog by posters is sometimes astounding. From my teaching experience I would say that the 20 to 30% estimate for immediate door hitters at the close of the instructional day might be true.

    But these teachers are not all the same by any means. There are the burned out teachers often over age 40, there are also the stressed out mothers and fathers trying to be good working parents for their own children. A good principal knows the difference, between these two types of teachers and deals with it.

    I preferred to work at school,after the bell and hated taking home work. This actually cost money when my children were young because Judy as a Hospital administrator never could get home before 7pm. Taking on coaching was really not possible for me until my children were older.

    I think posters need to be a little more generous towards teachers.

    As for President Lewis running for Mayor, if she were to somehow win I think it would turn into a very bitter experience. The realities of political power are tempered by the fiscal situation of the City and CPS. I think she would also have to impose austerity in order to keep things running. I do think if she were elected she would make decisions favoring our city's poorest citizens, which would very possibly make it impossible for her to be elected a second time once the more wealthy Chicagoans realized their interests were being impacted.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    What exactly, Mr. Estvan, are you saying about “teachers often over age 40”?

  • Why do principals continue to allow the 'immediate door hitter' to work at their schools and coach at another school?

    For example, I will not name the PE teacher, but, he's a 'door hitter' at Lane Tech College Prep. As soon as he got tenure, he stopped coaching altogether at Lane and started coaching wrestling at Evanston HS and for the past four years at Antioch HS. This 'door hitter' was named Head of the Lane PE Dept. for the 2013-14 school year as well. What's the thought process behind elevating this teacher, who clearly isn't all-in for Lane, getting more authority?

    In addition, this PE teacher was hired as a Chicago resident and somehow attained a residency waiver to move and live in Antioch since 2008. He isn't grandfathered with the old residency policy as he was hired after 1996. FYI: The residency waiver says an employee, working in a need basis subject area, can't get a waiver after being initially hired as a Chicago resident and then moving outside of Chicago. How's this allowed to happen?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I can't speak to the residency issue, but if CPS wants to keep him as a coach, they should pay him more to coach. He fulfills his contract by working 8-3. Coaching is a second job after teaching, it isn't part of the deal. If you work a 9-5 day and then leave for your second job that is your right, as it is his at 3 p.m. Coaching can be good money. Why anyone in their right mind would teach in CPS when they could get a suburban job that pays more, if it does pay more, is beyond me. He's a smart guy to go where the money is.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    It seems you're under the belief high school PE teachers are hired for their expertise in PE first and foremost, not because the reason they were hired as PE teachers in the first place was because they can lead one of a school's sports teams and teach PE as well.

    Who hires a high school PE teacher to just be a PE teacher and not coach sports at their schools?

    Is the PE teacher the next Jillian Michaels or Jack Lalane?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Hey D299R since you seem to know so much about other
    teachers why don't you research the pay coaches get at Evanston.
    Then report on the pay they get at Lane?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    I don't have to research what coaches get paid at ETHS, they get paid way more than CPS coaches. probably double the amount of those working on CPS varsity teams. That's not the issue.

    The issue here is prospective PE teachers saying they'll be 'all-in' to coach for CPS as part of their agreement to land a PE position at a CPS high school. Then, once they get tenure and a coaching job outside CPS opens which pays more money, they leave coaching for CPS. But, they continue to hang onto to their CPS PE teaching position, which could go to another PE teacher willing to stay and coach for CPS. This is the issue and it's a major problem for CPS.

    Let's take a look at Lane Tech College Prep High School. Most recently, Lane had (12) PE teachers and (11) of them either coached at another school, didn't coach at all, or taught after school driver education. All of the (11) had tenure and all were making $78,000+ with the highest salary being $94,000. You're going to tell me that's good for Lane's athletic program? $94,000 to teach five periods of PE without coaching? It's no wonder CPS is broke.

    And, please stop giving me the excuse that PE teachers are like regular teachers and it shouldn't matter if they don't want to coach as they don't have lesson plans and don't grade papers. In fact, Lane had (33) of their regular teachers coaching at all levels for Lane because there was a shortage of coaches at Lane because their PE teachers didn't want to coach there. Lane's PE teachers were dubbed the 'Lazy Lane 11' by Lane's regular teachers.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Was that agreement in writing? The agreement that they'd coach as part of their salary? Would you accept a contract on a house without every detail being spelled out in writing?
    If CPS, either the entity or parents, want staff to teach or coach after school then that needs to be spelled out contractually along with the stipends provided for each after work hours job. When suburban schools hire a teacher, they have all the jobs, tutoring, coaching, supervising a school play spelled out in writing regarding what it pays.
    I'm sorry, but I simply do not believe that any student is entitled to a sports program or any other kind of program after school. If I want my kids to participate in something like that, I have to pay for it. Chicago parents should be no different. Want a football program? Then shell out several hundred dollars a year to pay for it. Or have the district put that all staff are required to do equal amounts of before-after school additional work for additional $ in the contract. CPS is lucky it has anyone willing to teach within its system. Its an awful place. No wonder everyone leaves.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    Nope, no CPS contracts outlining coaching responsibilities were given out, just a mutual agreement and understanding at the time of the their hirings. The lack of contractual agreement to coach for lane and CPS was how each of the 'Lazy 11' got out of coaching after they got tenure as a PE teacher. This type of thing is coming back to haunt CPS Sports city-wide as these type of teachers are replaced by security guards and other non-certified personnel.

    It's too bad the 'Lazy 11' don't leave, but they just have it too easy to leave.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Go to the 'payroll search' on Better Gov't Assn. website and start plugging in the names of the 'Lazy Lane 11' (to find their names go to the staff directory on Lane's website):

    BTW: All of the 'Lazy Lane 11" have their Masters degrees, but, none of them use it in their current positions. This puts taxpayers on the hook for an additional $2500-$3500 in salary.

    These are the 2013 salaries of the 'Lazy Lane 11' and none of them coach at Lane, (this doesn't include the $15,000-$20,000/year they get in pension and medical benefits).


  • In reply to district299reader:

    D299R relax and remember that the Board decided years ago
    to let virtually anybody coach.Unless you are one of the Lazy lane 11 how in the hell do you know why they do not coach there?
    Please excuse me for not worrying about the Lane faculty.My buddy taught wood shop there for 30 years and was dumped along with most of the shop teachers.He got a position at Harper where he was beat up twice and lasted one year.My advice to all lane teaches is thank god you are at lane

  • In reply to rbusch:

    The biggest problem here is how you, other teachers, and CTU reps cover for each other, even though, it's clear the 'Lazy 11' are playing the system and aren't 'all-in'.

    Also, please don't get me started on shop teachers. Most were getting paid for an extra 6th period, or another 20% of the base salary, up until the 2012-13 school year. And, the 6th teaching periods were the last period of the day as part of a triple period, broken down into two classes to seniors (sophs had one period, juniors had two). For instance, seniors would have a 6th and 7th period auto shop and another 8th period auto shop with the same teacher and doing the same things. And, most seniors left after 7th period on work study or they didn't need the 8th period as a graduation requirement. Basically, a useless class for all, except the teachers who made an additional 20%.

    Now, let's get back to why the 'Lazy 11' aren't coaching and how I know. It's common knowledge in the Lane community, the 'Lazy 11' brag about it, and the current principal is trying to get rid of the 'Lazy 11', but, the CTU is protecting them.

    I don't feel sorry for the shop teachers who were cut. Lane is long past being a shop-oriented high school and the shops were kept open at Lane for way too long. Your buddy should have seen it coming, just like the Lane drafting teachers did as 3/5 of them retired two years ago.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Your buddy must be Mike Burglar, not Burger. "The Burglar' fleeced his wood shop at Lane dry before he left and took anything not drilled into the floor. He had numerous warning resolutions and was ALWAYS at odds with Lane's administration; dating back to Principal Norman Silber, who hired him, to principal Keith Foley who cut him. If 'the Burglar' got beat up, it's because he probably instigated it as he physically challenged students from the time he was hired at Farragut until the say he retired. A real big mouth, jerk.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    d299r Actually I got my information from a couple of ex-Harper security guards.

  • In reply to rbusch:


    So, a security guard told you about your buddy Mike Burglar getting beat up and not your buddy, himself? You don't remember this post from above?

    "Please excuse me for not worrying about the Lane faculty.My buddy taught wood shop there for 30 years and was dumped along with most of the shop teachers.He got a position at Harper where he was beat up twice and lasted one year"

    BTW: Besides having stick fingers, 'The Burglar' used his wood shop to run a cabinet making business for himself out of it and used CPS materials, something many shop teachers still do which includes the remaining auto shop teachers who run their own personal Jiffy Lubes for teachers and administrators. Did you see the investigation on CBS2Chicago about the auto shop teacher at Juarez HS who was caught having cars towed into his shop?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Here's the link to the CBS2Chicago investigation of the Juarez High School Auto Shop teacher:

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This adds up to $957,839 in Lane PE teacher salaries going to the 'Lazy 11' who don't coach any sports at Lane.

    That's an average of $87,076 to teach FIVE periods of PE/day and nothing else. (FYI: I AM JEALOUS!!!)

    For 181 school days, the 'Lazy 11' on average pull in:

    $64.14/hour based on 7.5 hr. school day

    And, an astounding $9621.60/month

    And, this is counting the $11,000 to $20,000 each is getting in medical and pensions benefits, an additional $121,000-$220,000 in employee compensation. (Plus, 10 sick days and 3 business days/year)

    But, it gets better as one of the 'Lazy 11' got a CPS Warning Resolution for getting caught having a Lane student do his lesson plans.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It should read "isn't counting the $11,000 to $20,000 each is getting in medical and pensions benefits, an additional $121,000-$220,000 in employee compensation. (Plus, 10 sick days and 3 business days/year)"

    Total compensation is between $1,078,839 to $1,177,839. for the 'Lazy 11' at Lane.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    And, it gets even better in terms of costs to the Chicago taxpayer.

    Since you need a sub for every time one of the 'Lazy 11' takes off from school, that's another $22,165 to pay for subs.

    10 (sick days) + 3 (business days) X 11 ('Lazy 11') = 143 total days

    143 X $155/sub pay/day = $22,165.

  • Herein lies the problem. You are talking about one specific principal who we can all identify by your "clues" and applying it to all principals. Is this not the same as hearing about a few poor teachers and applying it to all?

  • A poor few teachers? You mean those violating the residency policy because they think they're above the rules?

  • I am always amazed at the "high tail" it out comments here and other places. Yes, my school had several people who would leave between 3:10 and 3:30. But those were also the people there between 6:30 and 7 a.m. You know, when virtually every single other person who has time to monitor our comings and goings is still asleep in bed.

  • What happened to the Dunbar principal? I heard she was walked out last Thursday after he keys and ID was confiscated. What did she do and who is the principal now?

  • What happened to the Dunbar principal? I heard she was walked out last Thursday after her keys and ID were confiscated. What did she do and who is the principal now?

Leave a comment