13 Days Until School Starts. Will the Mayor Restore Funding?

In addition to the 67 (actually 68)  elementary schools that lost an art position and the 42 high schools that lost 86 English  positions, today we’re taking note of elementary and high schools that had to cut librarian positions.

Elementary schools:

Albany Park Multicultural,  Altgeld, Azuela, Belmont,  Bennett, Bright, Carroll, Carter, Carver, Casals, Chicago Academy, Cragin, Castellanos, Darwin, Decatur, Dodge, Edison, Fairfield, Field, Finkl, Fleming, Foster Park, Garvey, Gregory, Jenner, Hamline, Keller, Kinzie, Lawndale Community Academy, McNair,  Miles Davis, Mireles, Mitchell, Nettelhorst, O’Keefe, Robinson, Rogers, Skinner North, Stowe, Wacker, Washington, Whitney, Wildwood. And these schools lost part of their library staff but will still retain some staffing:  Armstrong,  Barry, Goethe, Hedges,  J.Thorpe, De Dominguez,  Falconer.

High Schools:

Al Raby, Amundsen, Bowen, Clemente, Corliss, Farragut, Gage Park, Lane -2, Fenger, Fenger, Foreman, Harper, Hope College Prep, Hyde Park, Julian,Kelly, Kennedy -2, King, Lincoln Park High School,  North Grand, Orr, Robeson, Von Steuben, Walter Payton, Washington,

While slashing traditional public schools, CPS did manage to increase funding to charters for FY2014  by $85 million. Some of this is due to new enrollment and some is due to the switch in per pupil budgeting. Also, CPS put out an RFP for new charters yesterday. Priority areas are  Albany Irving, Ashburn. Logan Square (high school), Pilsen-Little Village, Midway, Sauganash,  


Given that CPS has cut funding to traditional high schools by 14% (Catalyst reported) perhaps next year’s “space utilization crisis” will be seen in high schools after they are further defunded and destabilized.  Catalyst also noted that charters got an overall increase of 12% with an enrollment increase of 10% while neighborhood elementary schools got an overall decrease of 3% with an enrollment increase of 4%. Traditional high schools show a projected enrollment decline of 2%.

Call the Mayor's office and tell him to restore funding to our schools: 312-744-3300. Ask him to return some of our property tax money that's sitting in TIF accounts and/or revise the budget to prioritize classroom spending and avoid non-essential increases to Central Office.and to stop defunding traditional public schools. Also, send these emails to your alderman, state representatives and US representatives. They need to be informed about what is happening to our  public schools.

On a positive note….thanks to all the parents who have donated used books toBooks First. You have helped bring over 4,000 books to schools at CPS with no library and high homeless rates. Here’s a note from the parent who is organizing this:

We've collected 4,000 books which will help 600 of the most underserved CPS kids...and many, many of them came from people involved in Raise Your Hand. We're onto our 3rd school. The Principal just lost the $2,000.00 which she hoped to use to create a library. The elation in her voice when she heard that we'd have 2,000 books to her this year was just incredible. Take care.

Email booksfirst01@gmail.com if you want to donate books.