We are alarmed but not surprised about the announcement today that CPS will be making $200M in cuts that will in part impact operations at the school level. This crisis has been years in the making, and while we could spend hours detailing all the terrible decisions that have been made along the way to get to this point, now is the time to push for sustainable solutions so that all parties – the state, city and CPS-can adequately address this situation and put our school district on a path towards health and not further austerity.
There are a few cuts that CPS has proposed that make sense. It seems they have finally realized that they need to put a hold on some charter spending and have put a hold on charter start-up costs as well as some AUSL costs. However, the real problem is authorizing new charter schools in the first place when there is already a surplus of charter seats. We also think they should put a hold on the proposed selective-enrollment high-school that has been announced.
In addition, we are very concerned over CPS’s proposal to "right-size" special education staffing, consolidate engineers, cut sports programs, and more. And while CPS does plan to reduce funding to Network Offices, we have suggested other Central office department be reduced, including Offices of Innovation and Incubation, Accountability, and Family and Community Engagement. Yet, even if these cuts are made, CPS will not be able to come close to solving their financial problems without real sustainable revenue solutions from the state and city.
Please join us on 7/13 at 6:30pm at Eckhart Park Fieldhouse – 1330 W. Chicago Avenue to talk about budget solutions in person.
Here is some more info from the CPS document on what they plan to cut from this WBEZ article:
Eliminate 1400 positions across CPS (350 are currently vacant):
- $17.4 million to Network Offices -- new teacher development & start-up funding for any new turnaround schools
- $15.8m by eliminating startup funding for newly approved charter, contract & alternative learning options
- $11.6m reduction to PD funding at turnaround schools
- $11.1m reduce facility repair & maintenance budget by 25%, share engineers across more schools, “eliminate some outsourced positions by limiting access to unused space at some schools”
- $9.2m shift HS start times 45min. later; reduces transportation costs somehow
- $3.2m in funding to elementary school sports teams (5300 coach stipends cut)
- $2.3m change magnet school transport policy to pickup students w/in 2 miles of homes
Again, please join us on 7/13 to get informed and take some action steps around sustainable funding.
Email us if you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other articles on the cuts: