Da budget

March 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm 28 comments

Well, here are the details on the budget.  Horrifying is the 37 kids per room.

Don’t blame CPS.  Blame our beloved state and the politicians who won’t vote ti increase education funding in Illinois.


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The Gifted/Classical selection process If anyone cares…

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  March 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    To comment on my own post, we think 37 in a class is horrifying. And it is.
    But back in the baby boom days when they couldn’t build schools fast enough, classes were often up to 50 kids or so. Most of those kids turned out OK. My mom went to a one-room school house in a small coal mining town. She turned out OK.
    I have to believe that if we’re good parents, the class size won’t kill us. (Or maybe that’s my rationalization so I don’t have to move to the suburbs.)

  • 2. chicago taxpayer  |  March 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

    One thing that’s bothering me is the mediocrity of the current public school system and the fact the cuts are for the small frosting that provides support for motivated high, achieving kids. The world today is a lot different from the one a million years ago when your mother or I went to school.
    We did not face global competition like we do today. Getting a good enough education was good enough. Tomorrow’s high paying jobs will be increasingly go to the best engineering & scientific talent. That talent will not be American. We’ve lost our manufacturing base. The cost of college is now $30K a year. Today’s students will be accruing tons of debt that few of them will be able to pay off since most degrees won’t buy that much.
    To turn this around, we must truly reach for the top by expanding the rigor for all students & effort spent to make good students even better.

  • 3. Another mommy  |  March 16, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Well! Reading that quite frankly scared the hell out of me. My son attends a top magnet school, and I gotta tell ya. That school knows how to raise some money! They started sending letters home in Oct ’09 about this huge fundraiser coming up. I have NEVER seen anything like it. Just about ALL of the parents are involved in some way of selling raffle tickets, donating items to be auctioned, bidding on items at the auction, book drives, local businesses (about 100) donating services (to be purchased), people coming up with their own creative ideas to make money for the school (selling baked goods, baby sitting, slumber parties, ANYTHING). Every penny counts and goes directly to the school! You can even bid and purchase items online ranging from about $40 to over $500 dollars. Even families who don’t have a lot of money to give can get involved in some way to raise a little cash. Their main concern is keeping the teachers, staff, and school programs they have in place. They don’t want to have to lay off anybody. I feel absolutely blessed that my son is at this school.

    Now I absolutely see why the money is so needed! Thanks for posting this!

  • 4. CPSnewbie  |  March 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Can you imagine if I applied to the state of IL to form my own school where I would have one teacher, 37 1st graders, enough books and supplies for about 70% of them and would guarantee that only 60% could, at the end of the year, show apptitude at the required state levels? They’d never let me do it! And yet…

    Just venting. What are Wisconsin schools like? Do they have a gifted program?

  • 5. LR  |  March 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Yeah, that makes me sick. I’m definitely not ok with 37 kids in a classroom. Too much can get overlooked. If I were a teacher, I would be real nervous about having that many kids in my class. I like Hawaii’s idea of some Fridays off. Or even shortening the school year a bit would be preferable to 37 kids in a class. Also preferable, and not mentioned: half day kindergarten. Maybe give people an option to pay for full day, if that service is needed. How about charging for Pre-k for families who can afford it? I know some people would say that’s unfair, but I’d rather have that than some of the other proposed cutbacks.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  March 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

    One interesting/infuriating part is that the budget doesn’t get finalized until August.
    This could all fall out a week or 2 before school starts.
    That’s what happened last year with the Pre-School-For-All.
    2 weeks before school started and the schools still didn’t know whether it was a go or not.

  • 7. EM  |  March 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Another mom: I hate to rain on your parade, but I don’t think that any school (even a top magnet school) is going to be able to make up for the budget shortfall this year. CPS is projecting a deficit of $1 billion, which is almost $2500 per student. This is a huge gap, one that it would be difficult to bridge even for a top private school with a huge endowment and large alumni network. Fundraising events and silent auctions are great at paying for small special programs, but they are not going to make a dent in the problems that CPS is projecting. We are going to see significant, significant cuts in educational programs, particularly at gifted, selective enrollment, and magnet schools.

  • 8. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I know….our school raises nearly 400K a year. That will only fund 4 teaching positions. It sure sounds like we are going to lose a whole lot more than that.
    Someone mentioned going to half day kinder….that is what was proposed.

  • 9. two cents  |  March 16, 2010 at 11:59 am

    $2500 is still much cheaper than private schools….I’d consider a ‘donation’ if needed to maintain the quality of education my kids have been receiving. It still saves me 20K to keep them in public school.

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  March 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    The trouble with the $2500/year figure it that it assumes everyone pays. You gotta figure around half can’t/won’t in many schools. Alcott, Hawthorne, Blaine have managed to bump that up significantly.
    It was a challenge in my local school to fund full day kinder. You have to cover the non-payers.

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  March 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I’m trying to think of what the supplemental stuff for the gifted/classical program includes… full day kinder, foreign language, anything else? Well, bussing. I can see those being axed.

  • 12. selena  |  March 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    so I want to make sure I understand what’s going on: we’re not providing kids transportation to get to school, and when they get there they’ll have to sit on the floor and learn nothing in the languages, art, music, or anything that makes them well-rounded human beings, and then sending them home after a half day without providing afterschool programs. i don’t mean to sound snarky, but this whole situation is pretty unbelievable.

  • 13. dave4118  |  March 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    What about paying to attend gifted schools? Has this been proposed? Same for magnet schools…pay to attend. Scary thoughts.

  • 14. also obsessed  |  March 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    only half day kinder is paid for in non-gifted and magnet schools…so how much will they really be saving? Schools independently pay for full day with their discretionary finds.

  • 15. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    One of the items to be axed was a portion of discretionary funding. Presumably, they’d cut the portion that historically funded full day kinder even in neighborhood schools. (and others)

  • 16. Another mommy  |  March 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I have friends whose children attend Ogden. They had to raise money to fund a full day of kindergarten this year. They got it. But, from the looks of it, this might become commonplace for all/some CPS kindergarten classes.

    My question is, what about people who can’t afford to put up that kind of money? I believe it was about $1500 per family. From what I understand, the people that could pay did, and the ones that couldn’t just got a free ride.

  • 17. cpsobsessed  |  March 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    @Another mommy – You’re correct. They can’t force anyone to pay so those who won’t/can’t get a free ride. I’m OK with the “can’t payers” but there are also people who are morally opposed to paying for “free” education since they pay their taxes, so they refuse to pay. But get the free ride.
    However, that school was pretty much all about “you raise the money and you get it, you don’t and you don’t. period.”
    So you really need a lot of families kicking in $1500 to make it work.

  • 18. CPSnewbie  |  March 17, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Just a thought – how can they legally put 37 kids in each class? For example, when I toured Decateur they could barely fit the kids in each classroom, let alone more desks. Also, what about fire code? Can it possibly be legal to stuff that many people into one room? The 37 kids sounds horrifying from an educational perspective, but I just don’t understand how they can physically achieve it either?

  • 19. 2ndtimearound  |  March 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I was just thinking about the 37 in a class. Two things come to mind: 1.in a neighborhood school, if more children come in during the year without others leaving, classes could actually end up larger than 37. 2. what happens if the budget situation changes for the better for school year 2011/2012 and now there is more money, what happens with all of the extra kids and ratios? split classes, low class size. I know you have to take into account mobility rates, which vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. But has CPS thought through what they will do after they get through this crisis and possible staff cuts and increased class size? Probably not, as they tend to be more of a band-aid type institution versus a plan ahead and be prepared type.

  • 20. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 19, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    cpsobsessed….maybe you should do a thing about school fundraisers? I just came from our school’s fundraiser. I spent most of the night trying to remind myself to pick my jaw up off the floor. It was, um, nicer than my wedding. I couldn’t believe how much money people were bidding. I’d love to hear what schools across the city are doing to fundraise in order to make up some of the difference in the funding that is going to disappear. I was also surprised to hear that Disney Magnet (the original) doesn’t do parent fundraising. Could the person I talked to have misinformation?

  • 21. Ys Parents  |  March 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I think 37 kids a class could be ok in some classes, like AP High School classes or upper level (junior/senior) High School classes. Older kids can handle bigger classes, as we did in college. However, I can’t imagine any class K-8 with 37 kids. That is way too many. Those middle of the road kids will be ignored.

  • 22. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I think there is an assumption that after this school year, we will be through “the worst of it”. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are predicted to be in the same or worse position financially for at least the next two years, probably more. So, I wouldn’t plan on nice small class sizes in 2011.
    Also, I have a good friend who teaches AP classes at Lane. She already has nearly 40 in some of her classes and describes it as extremely difficult to grade. Multiply 40 by the total number of students/periods a hs teacher has and we are talking hundreds of papers to grade every night. High school cannot be compared to college.

  • 23. Mayfair Dad  |  March 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Public Sector Budgeting (PSB) for FY11 will not go live on Monday, March 29, 2010 as previously announced. However, this is good news because the budget office is making (positive) adjustments in the budget right now. It looks like the earliest that schools will receive their budget is late next week.

  • 24. also obsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

    thank god, read this:


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