According to WBEZ education reporter Sarah Karp, yesterday’s announced budget cuts were shared with a small group of principals.
Why only a small group I wonder?
Without action from the legislature, the per student foundation funding spending level will drop from $4,088 to $2,495.
Governor Rauner and his education advisor Beth Purvis are saying there will be no bail out of CPS.
We bail out the rich guys all the time.
Some schools will see a cut of 39% in their budgets.
That would be more cuts over last year’s massive cuts. And the year before. And the year before.
An additional cut of $800,000 to a neighborhood elementary school?
8 to 10 teachers.
If we multiply that district wide, thousands of teachers will be let go.
Thousands. As many as five thousand.
Some suspect the release of the budget cuts by CEO Claypool is being used for bargaining purposes with the CTU or with Springfield.
The out-going head of the Chicago Principal’s Association, Clarice Berry says that the announced cuts are political rhetoric to scare the hell out of everybody and put pressure on Springfield.
I’m not so sure.
If it is true, now we are playing chicken with our schools. And our students.
I was correctly corrected yesterday about the impact of Senator Manar’s SB231 that calls for equitable funding for Illinois schools without raising additional revenue.
I questioned the $375 million figure, saying it was probably less than $200 million.
Several folks wrote to say that with SB231, $200 million would go to pay the pension normal costs (the dollars actually paid out to retirees – not the interest on the debt), and $175 million would go in to the general fund.
That could be used to keep some teachers.
It won’t be enough to avoid the apocalypse that is coming if there is no additional money and the 39% cuts take place. But who would argue to turn down even that amount?
Illinois’ richest man, Ken Griffin just bought (Or sold. I don’t remember.) two paintings for half a billion dollars. If Griffin donated just four of his paintings, CPS budget problems would be solved for next year.
This would only be a short term solution.
It is a much better short term solution, however, than contained in the Manar bill which is to take one out of every three dollars that goes to students with special needs and move it from categorical (targeted) grants to block grants (unrestricted).
The purpose of categorical grants for special education is to guarantee that students with IEPs receive education that puts then on the same playing field as typical students.
Manar’s bill would take one dollar out of three away from this specific group of students and allow it to be spent somewhere else on something else other than on equity for special needs.
All in the name of equity.
Instead the legislature should be focusing on raising revenue for adequate funding for public schools.