Some good budget news

March 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm 28 comments

Here ya go Mr. Huberman!

Apparently principals got news from Ron Huberman today that the state has allocated some extra money to help the CPS budget crisis (reducing the CPS deficit from $1 billion to $600 million.)  So they kicked in $400 million?

In any case, this is great news, but it also delays the budgets that the principals were waiting for (such as will there be Pre-School for All next year?  Will they lose teaching positions?)

So CPS is working out more details.

Hopefully someone runs across a sack of money with $600 million in it and this all goes away……

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Post your news here, Part 2 Reflecting on the past week

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 2ndtimearound  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Any news on when they decide or announce what will be cut or trimmed so that families can plan accordingly? Keep us updated! Inquiring minds (and obsessed ones too!) want to know……

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    All my knowledge comes from the “field reporters” who send me updates. So please keep sending stuff in, everyone! Information-sharing is a thing of beauty!

    (btw, I was inspried to add visuals based on the District299 blog which always looks so colorful. And it’s a nice way to waste 5 minutes of my day on Google images.)

  • 3. Christine  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Yeah they got this by redoing the pensions. This was from last week. If they approve the 1% tax hike, it’ll cut the deficit to 300M.

  • 4. parent  |  March 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    no new news here. It is the two-tier pension. madigan says he won’t push through a 1% increase before elections in november.

  • 5. LR  |  March 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Yay! Maybe there won’t be 37 kids per class after all.

  • 6. Teacher&Parent  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Not only do I not want my daughter in a kindergarten class with 37 kids, but I’d also love to keep my music teaching position with CPS!

  • 7. very frustrated dad  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Actually, I think people should be outraged that state law makers have decided to deal with the budget shortfall this year by getting out of their pension payment obligation for three years. This makes no sense.

    The state pension system is on the brink of total collapse due to years of underpayment by the state government. What will happen in three years? Do you pass another law to steal money from pension system to run school again? The system need more permanent solution. Coupled with significantly reduced benefit for newly hired teachers in coming years, pretty soon you will have extremely difficult time attracting quality teachers to work for CPS….. How does this help improve CPS?

    Well, I guess this is typical politics. Actually, I think we should significantly increase tax and significantly increase number of good schools in the system. It is not normal to have a system where many people are left with no viable neighborhood schools and drive all people who are well educated and have good works out of the city of Chicago.

  • 8. cpsmom  |  March 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I am concerned about the way this is being handled too. I understand that staff has to sacrifice too in times like these.
    Still, we are placing a heavy and disproportionate burden on teachers. 2014 is supposed to see a huge set of retirements. I hope Chicago can recover economically because once there are jobs elsewhere, without a better solution than simply not paying the bills, we may have trouble attracting and keeping teachers in one of the hardest places in IL to teach in.

  • 9. Christine  |  March 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I want to know what happened to the education funding the lottery was supposed to bring us?

  • 10. Mayfair Dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Illinois House Bill 174 is comprehensive tax reform to raise billions in new revenue desperately needed to close the state’s huge budget shortfall and make taxes fairer. The bill, which passed the Senate last year but stalled in the House, would increase the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent, broaden the sales tax base, and expand tax credits for middle class and low-income taxpayers, homeowners and seniors.

    Please join us and send a message to our elected officials. Remind them that no part of their job is more important than passing a budget that protects the health, education, and well-being of Illinois’ citizens – especially children. And doing so will require new revenue.

    For more information:

  • 11. Jules  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Here’s what happened to the lottery funds for education: Money raised by the lottery does indeed go to education, but instead of increasing the “pot” of education money, it supplants money that’s already in there. So let’s say the education budget is $20 billion. If the lottery brings in $500 million, that doesn’t mean there’s $20.5 billion for education. Lawmakers instead take $500 million OUT of the education budget and spend it elsewhere. Check this article from the Daily Herald last year:

  • 12. Christine  |  March 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thanks Jules. I always thought it was in addition to not instead of.

  • 13. 2ndtimearound  |  March 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I posted this on another obsessed link. There was a post from District 299 from a CPS Principal trying to explain how hard it is to plan for next year when the budget situation isome of you mightbe interested in reading it.

  • 14. newby  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I have been trying to figure out if tuition based prek is threatened or not. On one hand, if the parents pay than it should be immune, but on the other hand if the free program is cut, it would be hard to argue that the program did not perpetuate economic divide.

    Anyone have any leads.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  March 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    @newby, what do you mean by “did not perpetuate economic divide?”

    I don’t *think* the budget info has referred to cutting TBPK, but I may have misinterpretted it. I don’t know if it totally funds itself, but I would bet they see tuition increases again this year.
    I’m sure in some schools they could do tuition based half day PK as well.

  • 16. Y  |  March 31, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    The TBPK program in the past has covered most of its costs from tuition. I believe a small amount of the budget is used to cover the gap.

    I don’t know if a half-day based program would work easily. There would have to be two full half-day classes for each classroom in the TBPK program in order to pay the salaries of the teacher plus aides. Part of the appeal of TBPK is the full-day component, which integrates instruction time with what is effectively child care for dual working parent families. If that were limited to half a day, the attraction is more limited.

  • 17. cpsmom  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Not sure if my info is right, but supposedly, principals got their projected budgets two days ago. I would expect that sometime this week, after they have met with their staff and their LSC’s, they’ll be sending letters home to parents with how they expect layoffs/cuts to play out.
    I am hoping CPS will have given a definite answer about half day kindergarten and bus service in that budget so we can finally know how that will work.
    Oh, and did you know that Huberman just gave himself and his management team raises? He is taking unpaid furlough days so he won’t see the raise this year, but it effectively guarantees that he will get the raise next year after the dust settles on this year’s deficit. Does he really think teachers are too stupid to see what he’s done? Does he really think we are all going to willingly give up our raises while he gets a BIG one?
    I was all for giving back the 4% raises until I saw that. Screw it. I am going to vote for a strike unless he gives all of that raise back. All of it. And I want to see a line by line on the entire CPS budget too. I have a feeling like at least some of the money we need is lining the pockets of lawyers and consultants all making double our highest paid teachers.

  • 18. sfw  |  April 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

    The city is broke, and the dust won’t be settling for a long time. It’s highly unlikely Huberman or any of the city’s other high-earners (except for union cops & firefighters) will have a year without significant furloughs anytime soon.

  • 19. CPSprin  |  April 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    The budgets will not be available until Monday, April 5th, which is looking less likely as the date approaches.

  • 20. Science Teacher  |  April 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Things will probably not be finalized until June.

  • 21. newby  |  April 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    @cpsobsessed re “perpetuate economic divide”. My thought was that continuing to provide tbpk while not having “prek for all” facilitates those with social capital working the system and getting the best from it and further demeans those that would need free prek from competing for spots later at gifted or classical schools. So rich get richer and poor get poorer.
    My concern is that if free pre k is cut that there could be a policy argument for slashing all of the prek regardless of budget impact–which would be bad for us because we only applied to CPS tbpk.

  • 22. dave4118  |  April 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Here is my cynical scenario….budgets force cuts to half-day kindergarten…and viola! we get tuition-based kindergarten for the full day.Not only do we get budget cuts, but a revenue stream added. Awful idea…..some sinister bureaucrat might think of it.

  • 23. cpsmom  |  April 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Yes, I wish teachers could up their salaries to insulate them from all the voluntary furlough days they will take just like Huberman is doing. Sure, once I get an 8% raise, I’ll take a 4% cut. Huberman may very well be taking furlough days, but he’s raised his salary so that he won’t feel the impact of those “unpaid days”. He’s milking the system. And then it is us teachers who get called “greedy” and have people saying we make “fat salaries”.

    I most certainly will be voting for any politician not currently in office this fall.

  • 24. Aidan's Mom  |  April 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I went to the tour at Disney Magnet today and asked the principal about the PreK cuts and half-day K — she said Huberman was supposed to meet with principals yesterday about this but he cancelled the meeting! So she is waiting to see what shakes out.
    So it looks like CPS still has no idea what they are doing or there may be something in the works. Whatever it is, the principals and teachers are still as clueless as we are!

  • 25. RL Julia  |  April 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    dave4118 – its my understanding that Blaine and Ogden already have tuition based kindergarten in that everyone pays some amount to insure that everyone gets a full day kindergarten (as opposed the less than full variants those schools are offered by central office). The letter is somehow worded so that it is made clear that it is considered to be a voluntary contribution but that if enough people don’t pony up enough money it won’t happen and no one will get full day Kindergarten.

    The problem is that Kindergarten is not mandated – a kid doesn’t have to start school until 1st grade, what is considered to be developmentally appropriate for Kindergarten-aged kids is not in synch with their working parents and that of course, everyone and their sister wants to find a school that will work for their kid for the next nine years at Kindergarten.

  • 26. TakeActionNow  |  April 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Please don’t sit and wait for CPS to take needed educational programming and services from our kids. We all have to let our voices be heard by the politicians. Please read below and go to the Coonley LSC for a sample letter and act now. Our legislators need to hear from the voters! Without action in Springfield our children’s educations are doomed. Also go to to learn more. Its up to all of us to ACT NOW! Its the only way they will take notice

    What you can do now
    Write letters and make telephone calls to your leaders in Springfield!
    Voice your opinion that cutting non-discretionary funding for education is unfair and inappropriate.
    Tell them that we cannot and will not tolerate a mediocre educational system in the state of Illinois and that current funding levels should remain.
    Tell them that 37 students in a classroom is simply not acceptable.
    Tell them that you know that as a state that we are currently 48th out of 50th with respect to funds allocated for education and that it is time to move up in the ranks.
    A Sample Letter is located on our website in the “Sample Letter to Your Legislators” tab. This letter can be sent to all of the current key legislative leaders below.
    Thank you for your efforts and we will keep you posted on any developments!
    The John C. Coonley LSC

  • 27. 60647 Dad  |  April 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    So it sounds like the $400 Million isn’t a done deal. Does that mean all Pre-K, magnet, gifted, class size etc, is still up in the air?

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