RYH Statements at CPS FY17 Budget Hearings

Budget hearings were sparsely attended this year, with the operating budget hearings held downtown during daytime hours instead of in the community in the evening, as done in past years.

RYH spoke at all 3 hearings. Here are the testimonies:

Wendy Katten, Raise Your Hand Director, at the CPS FY17 Operational Budget Hearing, August 19, 2016

My name is Wendy Katten and I’m speaking on behalf of RYH for IL Public Education.

CPS Budget Hearings This Week

There are a number of CPS budget hearings this week with capital budget hearings at 3 schools Wednesday evening and operating budget hearings at CPS headquarters on Friday during the day. The operating budget hearings have been in the community after work hours in the past but this year, the Sun-Times reports that "CPS defended the Friday daytime budget hearings, saying that they accommodate the schedules and availability of board members “to ensure a robust community input ahead of the Board vote later this month.”

Statement on FY2017 CPS Budget

Despite CPS claiming that they have made no cuts to the classroom, district schools have been cut by $179 million. The FY2017 budget adds to the pain that chronic underfunding of Chicago’s school system has inflicted. The need for long-term sustainable revenue to fund Chicago and all public schools in Illinois equitably and adequately is more acute than ever.

District schools cannot repeatedly be asked to do more with less. More families will leave Chicago and CPS if these cuts continue. This is no way to run a city’s educational system.

CPS cuts 508 teachers 521 support staff after claiming "no cuts to classroom"

Unfortunately, 345 schools lost a position this week and 148 schools lost 3 or more positions. Neighborhood high schools were hit especially hard again losing a net 8% of their budgets following three years of losing between 10-12% of their budgets. This is not only due to people leaving the city but due to the district opening so many new schools in areas of declining enrollment over the past 4 years, diluting resources greatly.

CEFTF & CPS 10 Year Educational Facilities Master Plan UPDATE

Below are notes from Joy Clendenning. She attended the CEFTF Master Planning Committee Meeting on July 14, 2016. She includes perspective on the 10 Year Educational Facilities Master Plan as well as information on how you can provide feedback.

Illinois General Assembly
Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) Master Planning Committee
July 14, 2016

Parent testimonies from the 7/27/16 CPS Board Meeting

Thanks to the 7 parents who spoke at the Board meeting this month about the real cuts to their schools versus what has been reported, and the need for support from the Board for city revenue ordinances that have been proposed to help offset cuts at all of our schools.

Testimony from Andrea Tolzmann, Pulaski International

My name is Andrea Tolzmann from Pulaski International School. Thank you for hearing me today as I ask for better transparency from CPS when reporting to school stakeholders.

Lots of confusion around school budgets!

Due to the way CPS shared information about school budgets this year, there's been a lot of confusion about the amount of money cut at individual schools and across the district as a whole. WBEZ and DNAinfo are now reporting that schools lost $140M (despite CPS saying classrooms will be protected) but many schools are telling us that the numbers still don't reflect what was actually lost. It’s important to note that CPS is still short roughly $300M to balance their budget.

CPS Finally Releases School Budgets

School budgets are finally out and LSCs will have until 7/22 to approve budgets. While CPS made the announcement that there will be no cuts to classrooms, many schools will, in fact, have to make cuts, due to a roughly 7% cut to student-based budgeting from fall 2016 and lower enrollment projections for many schools, as well as what appears to be a 4% across the board cut to special education funds. Special education positions will no longer be allocated from central office but funds will be rolled into school budgets.

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