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Drugs in schools

Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students.

In the News: Tuesday, April 6

In a press release yesterday, CPS officials directly challenged a report by the Chicago Reader that raised questions about administrative pay hikes and Central Office cutbacks. In short, the district says pay raises highlighted by the Reader occurred in a budget passed before financial troubles set in.

All of these cuts occurred in the context of CPS’ $700 million to $1 billion budget deficit – due to changing economic conditions and State actions, the majority of these cuts have occurred after the creation of the budget book.

Related: Chicago students plan to protest CPS cuts on Thursday. (Examiner)

* State Treasurer’s list shows some small, unclaimed checks are owed to Chicago schools. (WBBM)

* Chicago Reporter data mine finds 29 sex offenders were living too close to Chicago schools.

In a press release yesterday, CPS officials directly challenged a report by the Chicago Reader that raised questions about administrative pay hikes and Central Office cutbacks. In short, the district says pay raises highlighted by the Reader occurred in a budget passed before financial troubles set in.

All of these cuts occurred in the context of CPS’ $700 million to $1 billion budget deficit – due to changing economic conditions and State actions, the majority of these cuts have occurred after the creation of the budget book.  (See below for entire press release.)

Related: Chicago students plan to protest CPS cuts on Thursday. (Examiner)

* State Treasurer’s list shows some small, unclaimed checks are owed to Chicago schools. (WBBM)

* Chicago Reporter data mine finds 29 sex offenders were living too close to Chicago schools.

 

In state news

* The Tribune reports that the Department of Children and Family Services has diverted more cases of neglect and abandonment to probate court.

Though Cleaster Johnson is disabled, unemployed and raising three other grandchildren, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services saw her as a suitable caretaker of her 6-year-old grandson. But instead of recommending that the case be heard in juvenile court, where she could become a foster parent eligible for a monthly stipend and free medical care for Christopher, child-welfare workers steered her to probate court to obtain legal guardianship, Johnson said.

No one explained, she said, that going to probate court meant she would bear the financial burden of caring for her son's child and that DCFS would have no long-term obligation.

* Governors State lands $7.1 million federal grant for teacher prep programs. (ENEWSPF)

With the TQP grant, GSU alternative certification students will work with mentor-teachers in south suburban classrooms for a one-year residency period. They will be paid $30,000 during the residency period, with that salary coming via the federal grant. Teacher candidates will work in high-need, low-income school districts and, after certification, will agree to teach for three years in the partner district. The grant provides funding for about 170 residency placements over the next five years.

* Newton High senior, serving on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council, thrust into de facto position of school funding lobbyist. (Effingham Daily News)

 

In national news

* Several states are making key changes to teacher tenure. (Ed Week)

The recent efforts differ in several ways from prior waves of reform. With the lone exception of Florida, the states seek to change the tenure-granting process, rather than abolish it. The revisions are also being coupled with movements to tie tenure to student academic achievement, reflecting an increased emphasis in national policy circles on the importance of gauging teachers’ impact on student learning.

“More has happened in terms of tenure reform in the last six to 12 months, probably, than has ever happened before,” said Patrick J. McGuinn, an associate professor of political science at Drew University and the author of a recent paper on teacher tenure. “Some of this is simply the result of advances in the collection of student-achievement and teacher-performance data. That’s totally changed the debate about tenure.”

* Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker, noting the major disparities between school districts, challenges the importance of a new Education Trust report that examines funding disparities within school districts. To help make his point, Baker examines demographic data for Chicago.

 

 


CPS Press Release -- April 5, 2010

CPS Officials Correct Recent News Report on CPS Budget Facts

Many Chicago Public Schools Central Office and Citywide employees have been displaced as a result of tough decisions we have had to make to address our budget deficit.  We understand that this has created real and significant impacts to families who have counted on their earnings from CPS.  

We also understand the importance of transparency for the actions that we take.  So, we will continue to publicly share our progress towards managing the deficit with respect to actions taken with employees. Over the last six months, CPS has had numerous press conferences to outline the changes described below.  The timing of this fact sheet is to dispel a recent media publication that inaccurately represents real cuts to Citywide and Central Office positions, as well as individual salaries. 

To summarize actions taken to date:

  • Since January 2009 (when the current administration began), we have reduced the number of positions in Central Office and Citywide departments by over 800.  We have clearly laid out through press releases and other information that we committed to reducing Central Office and Citywide positions by 1,000 by the end of the fiscal year.  These actions are out of necessity to preserve school-based positions and protect classroom-based learning to the greatest extent possible. 
  • We have reduced the number of positions earning over $100K salaries in Central Office and Citywide departments by over 40.
  • Collectively these position reductions have resulted in over $40 million in annualized savings.  Additionally, we have made $100 million+ in non-personnel and programmatic reductions – the bulk of which have come from Central Office and Citywide departments. 
  • Additionally, we have not administered any merit increases for non-union Central Office and Citywide staff in the last two calendar years (2009 or 2010).
  • And, non-union staff took 6 unpaid holidays between the middle and end of 2009 and will take an additional 15 unpaid holidays and furlough days through March of 2011.

It is important to clarify why only using the budget book can lead to misinterpretation.  The FY2010 (current school year) budget was developed throughout early 2009 and approved in the summer of 2009. The nature of the almost $6 billion budget is to form an accurate roadmap of projected spending for the following school year.

Once a budget is passed, the annual budget book is a static document that does not change over the course of the year. However, in an organization with a budget as sizable as CPS, it is to be expected that over the year the actual spending in any particular line item may vary slightly from the budget. This is particularly true in difficult budget years, where new conditions force changes. 

Because of the difference in timing between when the budget book is produced and cuts made throughout the year, other changes can occur.  Calvin Davis is an example of these shifts.  A merit increase was approved for all non-union CPS employees in FY2008 (not under the current administration, and prior to the announcement of State cuts).  There have not been merit increases for non-union CPS since then.  He received a merit increase in September of 2008 – which was after the production of the 2008/2009 Budget book.

Another example of a change that occurred during the middle of the budget year was the appointment of CEO Ron Huberman. Mr. Huberman was appointed and approved by the Board of Education as an employee effective January 28, 2009 at a salary of $230,000 per year. This appointment can be found in the Board Report No 09-0128-RS5 from the January 2009 Board meeting.   Since Mr. Huberman’s appointment, his salary has decreased as a result of the six furlough days taken during 2009 and the fifteen furlough and unpaid holidays that Mr. Huberman will take during 2010 (a 6% salary decrease that brings his total compensation to approximately $216,000).

All of these cuts occurred in the context of CPS’ $700 million to $1 billion budget deficit – due to changing economic conditions and State actions, the majority of these cuts have occurred after the creation of the budget book. Throughout this process, CPS has remained committed to protecting classroom learning to the greatest extent possible. As a result, the majority of all of the reductions that have occurred to date have focused on non-classroom based Central Office and Citywide positions. 

2 comments

Sam wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

In the News: Tuesday, April 6

Well, this changes everything! Thank you for the clarification. I wonder how much it cost to get someone to explain it.

Forensic Audit Necessary for Transparency!!! wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

In the News: Tuesday, April 6

Chicagoans should demand a forensic audit of CPS. It is our tax money. If transparency is what Huberman's CPS is said to be about by Huberman and Ms. Bond, well open up the books! Otherwise, don't trust them. The idea that Daley runs Chicago Public Schools like is department of streets an d sanitation is abhorrent!!!

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