Eek. The budgets.

May 3, 2010 at 10:54 am 23 comments

So schools should be or are starting to hear about their budgets for 2010/2011.  It seems like some schools are reporting few significant cuts while others seem to be harder hit.

Pre-School-For all appears to be saved at all schools (?) which seems a bit weird to me.  If CPS truly believe in the Tier system as an accurate judge of socio-economic level, why would any Tier 4 (or even Tier 3)-heavy school get free preK?  Maybe I’m just bitter because I shelled out $8K-freakin’-dollars for pre-school.  🙂

The most likely cut will be that schools will get funding for fewer teachers.  Although CPS has been publicizing the 35 per class number, the trouble is that things don’t always fall nicely into grades like that, meaning that staffing is going to be a nightmare.

Consider a typical neighborhood school that is running at almost full capacity.  They get a good number of local kids and pull in some out-of-district kids to make their class sizes line up.  So maybe they have 2 classes of about 28 kids in each grade (this isn’t necessarily common since many schools are more sparse in they upper grades, doing split grade classes.)  They get 1 teacher per class and it all works out.  For 8 grades, they get 16 teachers.  So they have 464 kids (28 in 1-4, 30 in 5-8.)  If the new formula gives them 1 teacher per 35 kids, they now get 13.26 teachers.  13?  So how on earth do they shift those kids?!  They need to make 16 classes into 13 classes.   It just screws things up.   Do they take in extra kids to fill the classes?  It’s not even that easy since CPS bases your teacher assignment on last year’s enrollment and THEIR projection’s (not the schools own projections.)  A school would need to get all the new kids actively enrolled before getting any new positions. 

I suppose it COULD be a chance for people who say they’re in crappy neighborhoods to get into some of the “good” neighborhood schools, but who knows if it’ll work that way.

This should be interesting, people.  Post any news from your school here.

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Entry filed under: Budget.

Second round letters SHOULD have gone out… Really depressing being in CPS right now

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tier 4  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I live in Tier 4 and there are lots of low income people. Interesting that the 2010 census did not include education and income.

  • 2. anonymous  |  May 3, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Ha. I was thinking the same. What on EARTH are they going to do next year? Every year is going to be a different lottery story!

  • 3. Carm  |  May 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    The Census Bureau will continue to put out income information–it just wasn’t a part of the 2010 US Census. It is now done completely through the American Community Survey, which is administered by the Census Bureau. The survey has been done for annually for a long time, and they decided they didn’t need to include it as part of the 2010 Census effort.

    So CPS can continue with the same process if it wants. Or it can adjust it. But there is will be fresh socioeconomic data available.

  • 4. Mayfair Dad  |  May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Chicago municipal fire code requires 20 square feet per student at CPS schools, so 700 quare feet required for a classroom of 35 kids. Not sure if this takes into consideration the teacher’s desk, classroom library, storage needs, etc.

    So what should you do when they try to shoe-horn 38 kids into a 650 square foot classroom? Call your local fire marshall. Chances are his kids attend an unsafe, overcrowded CPS school, too.

  • 5. RL Julia  |  May 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    My kid’s school is seven grades of kids, a project enrollment for next year at 480 (depsite being enrolled at 530 now and having a kindergarten class of close to 100 kids) and they are going to be down to 11 classroom teachers for next year. Eek!

  • 6. Northside Mom  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Is it a done deal that all CPS kindergarten will move to half day? My child is entering a magnet school that currently has full day, but I’ve heard all are moving to half-day and no tuition-based kindergarten will be allowed. Thanks.

  • 7. Mona  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    @Northside Mom,

    CPS is only funding half day but some schools may still have full day. Our school is using funds they have raised and income the get from renting out a parking lot to fund full day.

  • 8. Lakeview mom  |  May 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    @Mona,
    Is your school Disney? My child is starting K there in the fall, and I’m wondering what’s happening with full/half day. Hoping that a larger school might have more resources, but I just don’t know if that’s true…

  • 9. Hawthorne mom  |  May 4, 2010 at 7:53 am

    @northside mom,
    Where did you hear that no tuition based K will be allowed? I think that must be bad info because I know of a several schools who have already started the process of parents paying for K. Plus, I can’t see any benefit to prohibiting it.
    I think our school will keep full day K, but nothing is for sure yet. If we keep it, it is nearly certain that the funds will come from K parents or from pta funds or some combo.

  • 10. Mona  |  May 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    @Lakeview mom,

    No, my school is not Disney, We are having a meeting soon so hopefully we will know more about Kinder and other things.

  • 11. Northside Mom  |  May 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    @Hawthorne Mom – A friend of mine found this, which is posted on Sauganash Elementary’s homepage:
    Due to limited educational funding, the Chicago Public School Board of Education has determined that kindergarten will be half-day for the 2010-2011 academic school year. The Board of Education has stated elementary schools cannot offer a tuition-based kindergarten program.
    I think it all depends on the school. I don’t want to pass along rumors, so I won’t name the schools, but I learned today of 2 schools that are 100% certain that they are keeping full-day.
    This is a question best posed to the principal of the school in question. Thanks,

  • 12. cpsnewbie  |  May 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I signed up for OAE’s email list and this was part of a recent email I received. Maybae it will be useful to someone.

    End-of-Year Citywide Options Program Now Open

    Still looking for an elementary or high school for September?

    The End-of-Year Citywide Options Program offers a second application process for parents and students still seeking school options for September. This year’s process includes more than 70 elementary and high schools throughout the city that still have space available in various grades. The participating schools offer a wide range of excellent programs and activities, including International Baccalaureate Programmes, fine and performing arts, technology, Children’s Engineering, eighth grade algebra, comprehensive gifted programs, drama, Junior Great Books, photography, gardening, band, poetry, and much more! Information on the participating schools is available in English and Spanish.

    Applications (English and Spanish) will be accepted by the Office of Academic Enhancement through May 14th.

  • 13. westlooper  |  May 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    @ Northside Mom. Not sure about that Sauganash info but I spoke to Skinner West and was informed the neighborhood kinder will be full day but tuition based. They did not know the exact amount but said it would be around 1500-1800. Anyone else know if other schools will be charging and if so, how much?

  • 14. Carm  |  May 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I don’t think schools can charge “tuition” for kindergarten or for any other class. What they can do is ask for donations or fundraise to make up the difference, but they can’t keep kids out if their families did not pay.

    At our school, they are asking families to donate a certain amount to keep class size to 30 and to keep some special classes, and our principal explained that these donations are strictly voluntary.

  • 15. Cookie  |  May 5, 2010 at 12:03 am

    OAE, needs their butt kicked.
    They are pulling lots of magnet programs out of some schools to keep them in others.
    Namely south and west side schools are getting stiffed while north side are getting stacked.

  • 16. Angry Dad  |  May 5, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Beaubien’s LSC just completely cut its music program to zero! No music classes, no band, no chorus for fall. This is an across-the-board cut, so ALL students are affected. My daughter is in the band, so this sucks for our family. There is an LSC meeting next week so I hope they address this then.

    The rumor is that the beloved music teacher has been a vocal teacher’s union delegate who angered the principal one too many times, so the budget crisis is a convenient excuse to axe him. (They reclassified his job so that the Board of Ed no longer covers it and it was now vulnerable.) The LSC didn’t even muster a whimper and just rubber-stamped it.

    They are “hoping” to find the money in the fall to hire someone to teach music. Wanna bet it won’t be the SAME music teacher? Hmmm…

  • 17. CPS TEACHER  |  May 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

    My principal told staff yesterday that ten positions have to be cut. These are not just new teachers either. She said teachers with less than six years experience will get cut. This is a complete mess. Our class sizes will be at 35 next year! We can always count on CPS to put children first!

  • 18. gmom  |  May 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Talked to Thorp principal today. Full day k is absolutely gone. Prospect of ‘buying” the second half of the day is nil. She said money would have to be found by June 30 or so – and it’s just too much. ALL expenses related to teacher would need to be paid. She says they average maybe $8k or so in PTA fundraising….

    They are planning on 2 A.M. sessions and 1 p.m. session – both 2 1/2 hours.

  • 19. Nicolle  |  May 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    #16-Angry dad: I heard about the music program cuts at Beaubien, too. That DOES suck. I think music is one of the things that makes us human.

    Plus, I was really looking forward to seeing my sons play a musical instrument in the school band. (Hoped it would NOT be drums, because of loud practices at my home, but if they were really interested in that, I guess I’d suck it up.)

    Don’t know if this is politically motivated, as you suggest, but the end result is the same–no music for our kids. Music is valuable. I hope the LSC reconsiders their decision.

  • 20. 2ndtimearound  |  May 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    west looper: Ogden has charged about $2500 this last year for the other 1/2 day of K

    CPS Teacher: The old CPS slogan used to be “Children First”, but then they changed it sometime in the last 8 years; probably because there were too many complaints from teachers and parents about children not being placed as a priority.

  • 21. Depressed  |  May 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Got the bad news Thorp letter today about kindergarten. This throws a huge wrench in our plans. I’ve already registered ds for kindergarten. Guess I’ll be looking at schools again. The half day option just doesn’t work for us. I wonder how many more parents who registered at Thorp for kindergarten will be doing the same thing.

    To gmom: Not sure what you mean by $8K or so in PTA fundraising to get the other half day back. Is that per student or total?

  • 22. JBB  |  May 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

    The LSC at Beaubien had an open meeting in which they discussed how to restructure the budget, only a couple dozen people showed up. Those that didn’t attend the meeting really have no right to complain afterwards.

    Yes, it’s horrible that the school is losing music, but I notice no one is complaining about the regular music classes, just the afterschool programs. That is a small percentage of the school.

    As for this being political against the current music teacher, he has announced to many people (students included) that he probably won’t be back next year. He’s planning on being elected to the teachers’ union.

    Think about it, if you had to cut a position wouldn’t you cut the one of the person who was planning on leaving anyway?

    The reduced budget is not the prinipal’s choice, he and the LSC can only work with the funds they have.

    Beaubien is a good school with a dedicated PTO and staff, it’s a shame that a small perecentage of the parents don’t appreciate this and thrive on stirring up trouble.

    By the way, have you listened to the band? It ishorrible!

  • 23. kandamom  |  May 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    As of right now, Decatur is still going to have full day kindergarten next school year, but will be without an aide.

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