Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CPS Fears $267 Million Shortage In State Funds

A report by Mike Flannery:
A big battle over budget cuts looms over the Chicago Public Schools. It could mean layoffs for hundreds of teachers. It could also mean that dozens of innovative and popular charter schools will be forced to close their doors. CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports.

Sources tell CBS 2 that state education funding payments to the Chicago Public Schools are four months late and $120 million behind. CPS fears the state could come up $267 million short by the end of this school year. Next year could be far, far worse.

Among programs on the chopping block, sources say: all after-school programs, early childhood education, bilingual education and some sports programs.
Read the whole thing or watch the video!

BTW, a bit of a sidenote but I was at the Aldermanic meeting last Thursday with the Chief Administrative Office of the Chicago Public Schools and they recommend that Gillespie Elementary be taken off the turnaround list. Not yet sure what this'll mean for Deneen that still have Save Deneen posters in the windows.

Hopefully these lean financial times won't affect those schools in any adverse way.

ALSO, well this part is upsetting only because CTA is in the same boat!
Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart says of the proposed hundreds of layoffs, "It's devastating. I think they're devastating public education as we know it."

CBS 2 has learned that Schools CEO Ron Huberman will be asking the Chicago Teachers Union for contract concessions, or else he'll have to lay off hundreds of its member teachers.

Stewart said our report took her by surprise. She insisted the union would absolutely not give back any contract concessions, even if hundreds of teachers lose their jobs.

"The teachers union will give no concessions," Stewart said. "No concessions. Next question!"
What do you think? Is this mere posturing with the teacher's union giving in at some point? Isn't it just better to just say in the face of layoffs that the school board and the teachers union will continue to negotiate?

This aspect is even more problematic I would imagine:
Marilyn Stewart's tough talk reflects the internal politics of the teachers union. Older veteran teachers control the union. And as they contemplate retirement in the next few years, they vehemently oppose pay cuts and also oppose giving taxpayers any break in the amount that's supposed to go into their pension fund.
I hear the groans right now!

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