Remarks from Deb Hass to CPS Board
CPS may have a new vision, but it has no plan.
The repercussions of CPS’s “no plan” for facilities are increasingly visible. The data I shared for receiving schools show that between 2013-14 -- the first year after the mass school closings -- and last year, receiving schools saw an enrollment decline of 8.1 percent compared to a 2.8 percent loss in other district-run schools.
Thousands of children faced the trauma of losing their school and then the trauma of student-based budgeting -- losing teachers, counselors, and other supports. Those children deserved sustainability. They deserved a stable, comprehensive education. What did they get instead? No plan.
CPS lost 11,000 students last year alone. Yet since the closings, it has opened almost as many charter and privately run contract schools as it closed, including one a few blocks from Kelly, a neighborhood high school whose community said loudly and clearly, it did NOT want you to dilute resources and risk creating two underutilized, under-resourced schools. What kind of plan creates a mess like this? No plan.Read more
Yesterday we learned that the CTU set at strike date for October 11th. 95% of the 90% of members who voted authorized a strike. Now there will be an intensive 10-day period of bargaining between CPS and CTU. Our hope is that there will be a rapid and fair resolution before a strike takes effect.Read more
The citywide parent group, Raise Your Hand, has worked for an entire year on a research project studying what education experts say is important for schools and school systems to be successful. The findings are summarized in a handy parent guide.
Parents/Guardians want their children to become life-long learners, problem-solvers, self-confident individuals and active participants in our democracy. Learn how to ask the right questions about your school and how to talk about high quality education with our guide on "What do all kids need for strong schools."
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.Read more
Access Living published their annual review of the CPS Budget analyzing the impact of the CPS Budget on special education and students with disabilities, and makes a series of recommendations.Read more
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.”Read more
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.Read more
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. And while there was partial relief from Springfield, much of this funding is not sustainable and does not cover a still $300M budget hole that CPS has not yet addressed.Read more
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. Budgets are due today, 7/22, so if you want information on the status of your school budget you should contact your school directly or an LSC member. If you know the actual amount lost, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.Read more