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Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

Winners and losers in CPS budget

CPS leadership is proposing a budget that does not include massive layoffs, but that doesn’t mean that some schools aren’t losing teachers and other staff.

This year, for the first time, CPS posted a searchable database that shows school-level and unit-level information on budgets and positions. These numbers show how staffing ebbs and flows among schools.

Altogether, CPS schools will see a net loss of 182 positions, but 1200 positions closed at 270 schools, largely because of declining enrollment at their schools, while 282 other schools will look to fill about 1000 new positions. 

Neighborhood high schools continue to be hit hard by plummeting enrollment, due mostly to more choices being available for students. In fact the number of high school students has gone up slightly over the past five years, but the share of them in charter schools has also risen.

The result: Of the district’s 106 traditional high schools, 49 of them lost at least one position and, of those that lost positions, the average number was 11.  Even when a neighborhood high school is closed or phased out, CPS officials don’t seem to expect the staff to grow much at the “receiving” school. For example, though Crane High is closing, Wells High School, which is slated to enroll students from Crane’s neighborhood, will get only one more position next year.

About 36 percent of elementary schools will lose at least half of a position. Some of the loss is due to CPS adjusting its magnet and magnet cluster program positions so that they are based on enrollment instead of a standard allocation.

But the elementary schools that are losing a substantial number of positions are mainly small schools that serve student populations that are more than 90 percent black. Like high schools, many of those elementary schools are experiencing drops in enrollment, mostly due population shifts and new charter schools.

The CPS data also show budget and position changes in central and citywide offices, but because this is a new administration with new organization and departments, it is difficult to get a clear picture of those moves. One big shift is that engineers are being moved from school-level budgets into a citywide office.

Once that is accounted for, there are about 200 fewer positions in central and citywide offices. The biggest loss of staff is in the citywide education department, which will be down about 100 positions. The citywide education department had a variety of staff, including literacy interventionists.

Some of the reductions come because the district is eliminating entire departments. Yet their responsibilities are often moved to other departments that are getting more staff. For example, the Office of Academic Enhancement, which managed the magnet and selective enrollment admissions process, will be closed down, and 23 positions will be lost. So too will the Office of School Improvement, which had five positions.

However, the Portfolio Office, which will run turnarounds and the selective school admissions process, will get an additional 26 positions. 

The position files in Excel can be found here: 

excel_position_files.xls431 KB


Meg Lofton wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Chicago Publis Schools fired 850 teachers

What would you call not making massive layoffs when Chicago Public Schools just fired 850 teachers. That is a lot of teachers. CEOs always do not cut from the classrooms. The teachers who are left should be happy; because they get a 2% raise; and the teachers the CPS fired; have to go to the unemployment line; and get $10,000 a year. No life insurance; no health insurance. Can't pay their rent; can't buy food. Can't buy gas. It is ashame that the Chicago Teacher's Union let CPS get away with firing 850 teachers without cause. Most of those teachers were tenured teachers. Just closed their positions out; and fired them. Well; the reserve is down for this year. The economy is going to be even more worse next year. All these teachers unemployed is going to be more unemployed. Next year those who are left; you are going to get cut too. It is a very sad feeling to not be able to handle your bills. What can you do with $10,000 a year? Nothing but cry every day; and hope for a miracle. This is pitiful. Also that longer day mess has made a mess. If they didn't have enough money; then why buy more. If things had been left alone; then these poor teachers could have kept their jobs. This is just greed for some. When these kids start not getting it; stop passing these test; schools cheat this year to try and make it; then everyone's eyes will be open. I see it in a vision. Next year a bigger mess.

northside teacher wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago


perfect!!! you got it right! every year cps becomes more hypocritical and chaotic while they act they are making a difference!! they just make a mess!if you take that 10k and buy health insurance you have nothing!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

The talent office will get an

The talent office will get an additional 94 positions.
That's where the teacher positions ar going!

Laid Off wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

With sincere respect to Ms.

With sincere respect to Ms. Karp, the closing of 1,200 positions qualifies as a massive layoff. That's about 5% of teachers and career service personnel.

Few of the "new" hires in the roughly 1,000 new positions will go to veteran teachers.

How many hundreds will go towards fulfillment of the CPS contract with TFA? I'd like to see Catalyst look into that relationship.

rodentface wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Winners & Losers

-466 positions, high school teachers & career service
+263 positions, elementary school teachers and career service
+293 winners, network staffers
+699 winners, facility operations & maintenance
+127 winners, Human Capital, Payroll, Portfolio Planning & Analytics

OTHER WINNERS: High Flying High School Magnets
+5.7 positions at Lincoln Park
+4.0 Whitney Young
+3.9 Payton College Prep
+1.5 Northside College Prep

OTHER LOSERS: Neighborhood Schools
-47.5 positions at Clemente
-21.6 Gage Park
-21.1 Farragut
-17.4 Morgan Park
-13.5 Amundsen
-11.5 Kelly

CPS Parent wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

What we aren't discussing

I'm not sure why ANY school that can restrict enrollment is getting additional money within this budget. For example, Selective Enrollment Elem + High Schools and Magnet Schools, and Charter Schools (due to the ability of some to avoid accepting Spec Education students or "counsel out" performance problems.)

Charters don't feel like they have enough funding? Sorry, that is the compromise of being a charter. The promise of a charter is to be able to function with less cost and more flexibility. That is the whole reason for charters to be in existence. They should NOT be funded at the same level as neighborhood schools.

Let's just confront the reality of what is not being discussed around budgets. Neighborhood schools that have to take everyone and anyone need more money to operate than magnet or SEES-related locations. Period. They have to deal with more of the issues around: poverty, safety, lack of a family's access to resources/technology, transience of the student population, disparities in the classroom related to language and ability, etc. Those schools need more extra support resources, smaller class sizes, etc. the most. But middle and upper class Chicagoans (and I will admit to being in that income category) do not want to see their tax dollars applied to schools that have higher populations of the poor. If we want to live in a world class city, we need to pony up and invest in education...for all of the city's kids. It is the MAIN path to overall community safety, security, productivity, etc. To scratch and claw over these scraps...this is demeaning to the city and its citizens. For shame...on all of us, but especially Brizard and Rahm.

Rahm (and, by extension, Brizard) want to break the unions. That is what is happening. They can't get what they want by negotiating head on, so this is the cards they are playing. To bleed them dry and push the city towards charter schools. I'm your unicorn...a white, middle class parent who could afford to send our children to private schools, but is determined to help our neighborhood school work. As someone said to me once: "If I see someone in a ditch, I get out of the damn car and help them. I don't drive by and think, wow. Sucks to be them." Naive? Perhaps. But determined. I like the flexibility of charter schools, as long as they are accomplishing the goals that they claim to be. Many are not. I like the tenure offered by CTU when it prevents good teachers from getting bounced because of their point of view or a poor principal. I don't like that the CTU is also forced to defend poor performers (their hesitancy to help clean house turns parents against them, but doing so would alienate members. They need to figure that stuff out.) I think pensions are horribly outdated, but if I had to face a classroom of 35 students every day with no aid and little admin support, I'd demand mine. Make my classroom smaller and give me more respect and I might consider switching to a Defined Contribution plan. Yes, CPS administration and the Board has its issues (what in the world was Rahm thinking in putting NU's ex-pres on the Board after he messed up THAT university and Evanston relationship, as well as making it a bloated mess?). The union has its issues. But Rahm/Brizard's plan to scorch neighborhood schools to make their point is unspeakably, flat out the WRONG direction to go in. For shame.

Tamara wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Reply to Meg

Meg is so correct.. no one cares about these teachers on unemployment line, and unemployment no longer lasts a full 2 years so you take a minimal wage paying job because now as an older worker, you are passed over and hope for the best..... but I am sure all of those CEO's of CPS past and present will not have to worry how to feed their children, how to pay their rent, how to clothes on the backs of their families because they can all pat and rub each others backs every day as they move around from job to job screwing up everyone's lives in the wake and calling it progress.....

Anonymous wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

CPS Parent

And they will reap what they sow. Chicago will be the worst for it. You are so right CPS Parent. It's not about the kids, it was never about the kids. I admire your 'stick-to-it-tiveness' but if I were you, I'd run like hell out of town. Do pass GO. Do not pay $200.00.

CPS Parent wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago


I understand your concern. But I'll also share something with you.

I was the first person in my family to go to college, and then on to graduate school. And what motivated me more than anything to reach for that was one thing that I always kept in my mind: my mother, standing up in front of our town council and school board and parents' meetings to work tirelessly for, not only her own kids, but to pull up the whole community. I still have the picture taken of her, hand on her hip, passionately speaking to the town council when I was in the 6th grade. She taught me that you don't run away. You improve things for everyone and you start with public education. Because public education is the ONLY thing in the United States--the ONLY thing--that has the potential to level the playing field and allow anyone, even the poor kid of a high school graduate to end up teaching at a university. Capitalism as it is practiced in the US will not level the playing field. Even museums and theaters and public parks will not level the playing field (they will make life worth living, though.) ONLY PUBLIC EDUCATION has the potential to bring this country back to any semblance of a country where anyone can rise up through hard work and diligence.

So no. I won't run. Not yet. Not as long as my kids will be watching how and when I work for the common good. Because that is the lesson that I want them to learn that no private school can teach to them.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

Yes, CPS needs to make some

Yes, CPS needs to make some changes, however, if you change everything at one time how do you learn which strategies were successful or unsuccessful??? They are doing too much at one time. Can we get smaller classroom sizes, more teacher aids, technology in the classroom, and afterschool enrichment activities. Instead CPS feels teachers are robots and slaves that should work endlessly and be grateful for having a job at all.
Teachers have mortgages, car notes, tuition, and childcare bills too and if you are a single parent it is hard to make ends meet. CPS paints teachers as unconcerned money hungry selfish monsters. Why don't they talk about the teacher that comes in an hour early and leaves an hour late to prepare for the day or tutor a child for free? Why don't they talk about the teacher who goes to the store to buy rewards, prizes, and clothes for students?
Why don't they talk about how teachers have children that attend CPS schools and those kids don't get special treatment (teachers have to make childcare arrangements when there are none)? Why don't they talk about how they overpay outside contractors and that leads to budget deficits?
I am so glad there are citizens of Chicago who realize the CTU's fight is not just about money, it is about human rights, it is about our children who live in the communities and neighborhoods that are often overlooked. These children start school already academically behind a child who comes from a middle income household. So CPS teachers are always trying to get a child caught up and on grade level. Majority of teachers want to help children and make a difference in a child's life, it's not about the money, yes they have to work to provide for otheir families, but a teacher works very hard for the salary they earn. Teachers also have their own families and children whom attend CPS. However, they never speak about that. Who will watch the teachers children, who will take them to school and pick them up, and help them with their homework while the teachers are helping others. Majority of magnet school students are in school the same amount of time as neighborhod schools, they have high test scores (because that's what its about money and making a leader look good on paper) so maybe brizzard and rahm need to research and find out why those schools are successful.
Chicago has a huge social economic gap. The rich get richier and the poor work for minium wage. Crime and Murder are up because alot of the young people are living in a desperate situation adn don't value life, they don't respect the law, or adults. Parents feel helpless to help their childrn because they don't have an education or they have been laid off or fired.
Teachers want to work and make a difference. Teachers are not God they need real help and support from everyone. Parents need to be held accountable because they are their childs first teacher. Some parents may need to get an education themselves, so they can support and guide thier children. CPS need to work on the social economic adn emotional issues of the people and children in the neighborhood schools. They claim they want to be a neighborhood resource. Hire more social workers and counselors, bring back trauncy offices, reduce classroom sizes.

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