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CPS borrows $729M for capital projects with no plan to fill $215M budget hole
The deadline for the House to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the $215M funding bill is today. The House is not in Springfield so the Governor’s veto will stand leaving a hole again in this year’s budget of $215M.
There have been conflicting messages from CPS and the Mayor on cuts. At this month’s board meeting CEO Claypool said if the state doesn’t come through with the money, an amended budget will be voted on in January to reflect $215M in cuts. We’re also hearing from principals who say they’ve been told to expect cuts in January. Yet the mayor says in the article below that “the wolf’s not at the door yet,” and they have until June to make cuts. It would be nice to have some transparency on how much CPS has in the bank but it’s impossible to get this info from the appointed board.
At the same time, CPS borrowed $729M for capital projects yesterday. WBEZ published the list of projects recently. Our schools definitely need improvements,but this seems like a hefty sum given the lack of operational dollars to run our schools adequately and inequitably.
Meanwhile, we are hearing that the Senate plans to kill the elected school board bill in January despite this bill passing in the House 110-4 and being supported via referendums by 90% of Chicagoans. Legislators have told us that Senate leadership is in agreement with the Mayor and doesn’t think that Chicago should have a fully elected school board where the Mayor doesn’t choose the CEO. We’ll have more info on this after break and updates from our sister-org, RYH Action. We thank everyone who has worked on this important issue thus far.
Updated RYH testing info sheet
We’ve answered some of your questions about the future of standardized testing at CPS and the state. There hasn’t been much communication from CPS but we’ve been doing our research to keep you informed.
Check it out here: Standardized Testing in CPS: 10 Key Questions
In other news
New York Times: It Turns out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education
Our comment: It’s clearly wrong to cheat for a spot in a selective school and making the parents pay seems fine, but CPS has created one of the most stratified, inequitable high school systems in the country, sorting students by test scores into a few schools with excellent resources above the rest. We need to look at the bigger picture. Eight students got cheated out of a spot, but thousands of students get cheated out of equitable resources yearly in our system of winners and losers.
Many schools are still doing wonderful things against the odds at CPS. Check out our CPSuccess Tumblr for regular updates on the great things happening at district schools. We also share and elevate #cpsuccess on our Twitter account, @CPSuccessCHI.