All Articles Tagged "cps"
(Chicago Sun Times) — Chicago School Board members Wednesday unanimously approved a budget packing a $150 million property tax increase as school officials offered elementary teachers raises totaling $15 million to work a longer day. Meanwhile, parents, clergy and others turned up the heat on all parties involved to find a way to achieve a longer school day and year. Scores of protestors lined the sidewalk outside the Board of Education, wearing stickers reading “90 more minutes now.’’ “We can no longer stand for the under-education and the mis-education of our children,’’ Rev. David Popel, pastor of Brotherly Love Baptist Church in Lawndale, told the throng. “I’m asking our mayor, our [Schools] CEO to find a way to make sure our children are properly educated.’’
(Chicago Sun Times) — Talks between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education over a four percent pay raise hit a dead end Monday, forcing teachers to make some tough decisions in the days ahead, CTU officials said. The Board’s insistence it cannot afford a cost-of-living pay hike “of any amount between 0 and 4 percent” means the union’s House of Delegates will meet Tuesday to discuss whether to re-open the existing contract or to start negotiating a successor contract to the one that ends June 30, said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.
(Chicago News Cooperative) — Chicago’s public schools face “fiscal calamity” unless administrators take steps to shore up the district’s underfunded teacher pensions and get spending under control, the Civic Federation said in its annual budget analysis released Monday. While the Federation said it supports the district’s $5.9 billion budget for fiscal year 2011, the report noted other threats to the district’s long-term financial position, including its repeated reliance on a reserve fund to deal with budget deficits. CPS managers also “must continue to emphasize cutting costs if they are going to head off an enormous fiscal crisis in just two years,” Federation President Laurence Msall said.
(Chicago Sun Times) — ACT test results across Chicago public high schools dipped this year. And they went up. It all depends on how you keep score. The test results went down a notch under a new counting method that compares this years’ juniors and seniors to last year’s juniors. But the results went up a notch, under an apples-to-apples measuring stick, comparing juniors to juniors, preliminary scores released Thursday indicated. Chicago Public School officials emphasized the more dire score calculations, however, and contended they proved the need for a longer school day and year, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been demanding.
(Chicago News Cooperative) — When Chicago Public Schools officials started talking about the district’s 2012 budget, they repeatedly directed the public eye to one number: a $712 million deficit. Officials cited the number when denying teachers a 4 percent contractual raise, making unpopular cuts to programming and, just last week, when announcing plans to increase property taxes to the maximum amount allowed by state law. But a number that went unadvertised until the final budget details became public last Friday was the $470 million reserve fund that the district recently built up through the arrival of unanticipated state payments and other sources. The district plans to use a portion of the reserve to plug the budget gap. CPS officials say the $712 million deficit figure was based on numbers known at the time, and that the district received unexpected money as recently as July, allowing it to start the fiscal year with the $470 million in reserve.
(Chicago Tribune) — With the new mayor’s emphasis on community engagement, Chicago Public Schools is adding an executive-level post to deal exclusively with parents and neighborhood groups. But just as new schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard announced the position and a streamlining of the district’s leadership team at a school board meeting Wednesday, representatives of CPS’ newly created community-based groups asked whether the changes would mean a disbanding of their councils. ”At the end of the day, we think they are considering implementing something that already exists,” said Ald. Deborah Graham, 29th. “If you’re saying community engagement is important, then engage with us.”
(Chicago Tribune) — Two months into his new role overseeing Chicago Public Schools, CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has begun reorganizing a school system he calls “fragmented.” Brizard will tell Chicago Board of Education members Wednesday that the district will change the structure of its middle managers, whom some in the system call “mini-superintendents.” The number of chief area officers will be pared from 24 to 19, renamed “schools chiefs” and grouped to include all the high school and elementary principals in a region so the chiefs can work to align curriculum. ”That’s a big change,” said Barbara Radner, director of DePaul University’s Center for Urban Studies. “Until we fix the fact that eighth-graders are graduating unprepared for high school, we’ll continue to have a high dropout rate for high school and kids won’t be prepared for college.”
(Chicago Sun Times) — A Chicago Public School student arrested and hauled to the police station for writing his nickname on his desk. Others kids sent home on suspension for packing cell phones or wearing jeans instead of navy uniform pants. Too often, a group of students contended Thursday, discipline in CPS schools is “harsh,” uneven and counterproductive, with adults jumping to punish students for minor infractions instead of trying to understand or help them. “Our schools don’t need more security guards and cops. … They need more resources,” said Gage Park High School senior Pamela Lewis. “CPS is spending our money in the wrong places.”
(Chicago News Cooperative) — The Chicago Public Schools will receive $50 million in federal money, enough to double the number of city schools undergoing changes as part of an ambitious turnaround program that often results in the ouster of principals and teachers and curriculum changes in the city’s poorest-performing high schools. The Chicago News Cooperative has learned that eight high schools on the South and West Sides of the city will see changes in the coming years with the help of federal School Improvement Grants. Under the competitive grant program launched two years ago by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the failing schools—commonly called turnarounds—are essentially overhauled, with the staff and instructional changes aimed at raising student achievement.
(Chicago Tribune) — In an era marked by spending cuts, layoffs and budget anxiety for Chicago Public Schools, district records show that former school board Presidents Michael Scott and his protege Rufus Williams gave freely from private taxpayer-funded accounts to dozens of handpicked charities and nonprofits, many with no apparent benefit to CPS. Scott and Williams combined gave more than $200,000 of public money for seats at lavish fundraising dinners, parties and banquets, according to an inspector general’s report and public records. Scott spent at least $220,000 on charities he ran or where he or his wife served on the board of directors. And Scott gave $77,500 to a West Side church whose pastor partnered with him in a controversial land deal tied to the city’s 2016 Olympic bid.