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.

IL Drops PARCC for High School Students

In a surprise announcement yesterday, the IL State Board of Education said it would replace PARCC with the SAT, which would be given to high-school juniors. The state still plans to use PARCC for 3-8th grades.

This is good news and shows that organizing can make a difference. High-school students opted out in large numbers across IL after parents, teachers, and school administrators pushed back heavily against the use of PARCC. Colleges that require standardized tests for admissions use the SAT or ACT, not PARCC.

Testimony by Cassie Creswell at State Assessment Review Committee Hearing on PARCC- 7/7/16

on behalf of the More Than A Score and Raise Your Hand

PARCC is a deeply problematic test. The organizations I am speaking on behalf of today have concerns about (1) the validity and reliability of the PARCC test and the automated algorithms used to score it, (2) the interpretation and use of PARCC scores and (3) the cost of PARCC, especially given the proposed expansion of the PARCC testing program.

K-12 Funding Package Gives Partial Relief to CPS

After a year of deadlock, our state passed a stopgap budget that will partially fund services for the next 6 months. They also passed a K-12 package for the year that will offer some relief to CPS. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that school funding won’t be held up from the state, and there will be some increase to CPS and other low-income districts this year, but the amount is not sufficient to meet the full deficit at CPS and we won’t know the true outcome until budgets come out likely mid-July.

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