Rahm and Chuy and Chicago and CPS

March 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm 1,190 comments

rahm1

This NYTimes piece is interesting and links to a survey about Rahm’s term as mayor.  The school stuff factors in prominently.  He cannot dodge the school closing issue.  He likes doing things big, let’s face it.  And that may be his downfall.  He feels he did good.  Lots of people are still mad about it (and will always be mad.)

Take a read and share your thought.  Can Chuy actually do anything different with CPS than Rahm does?  What would the real impact be given the financial situation of Chicago and CPS?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/rahm-emanuels-record-on-schools-proves-a-defining-point-for-chicago-runoff.html

“As Mr. Emanuel faces an unexpected runoff election for mayor, questions are percolating through the race about his brusque style, his handling of gang violence and whether he has favored wealthy downtown interests over ordinary neighborhoods. But in the end, it may be the education agenda that he proudly, defiantly and swiftly carried out that threatens his political future.”

 

“Chicago Teachers Union leaders urged Jesús G. Garcia, a county commissioner known as Chuy, to enter a wide field of candidates in the first balloting last week against Mr. Emanuel. And they said they would be pressing efforts on behalf of Mr. Garcia, who finished second to Mr. Emanuel, forcing him into the runoff election on April 7.”

“Despite the opposition from teachers, Mr. Emanuel boasts of his record on education, ticking off school statistics he likens to the report cards he says his parents used to post on the family refrigerator for all to see.”

Here is the link with comments from Chicagoans:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/03/us/chicago-under-rahm-emanuel-readers-respond.html

 

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PreSchool Applications open March 2015 CPS School Board: To elect or appoint?

1,190 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jillwohl  |  March 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I found this article to be enlightening too: http://www.salon.com/2015/03/01/rahm_emanuels_moment_of_reckoning_how_he_ended_up_in_a_fight_for_his_political_life/

  • 2. Angie  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/education/7/71/414309/two-top-rated-cps-schools-welcoming-parcc-opt-outs

    “Blaine’s Parent Teacher Association is aiming for 100 percent of students in third through eighth grade to refuse the test so “our students can get back 10 hours of vital classroom instruction.” The group is encouraging parents to download the forms on their web site to inform their children’s teachers.”

    Do these people really have nothing better to do? How are they going to get 100% opt-out without actually forcing pro-test and indifferent parents to sign their stupid papers? If this little revolt results in CPS losing the state funds, I think the city should take a long hard look at reducing Blaine and Nettelhorst budgets.

  • 3. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I’m starting to feel about PARCC the way people were feeling about the DRESS last week. Actually that analogy works on several levels, but mainly I’m starting to get sick of hearing about it.

    We’re stuck with it. Nobody’s going to get 100% participation. Apparently it was asked at my school if a class got 100% opt out in a class, if the class could have instruction time instead. I guess the principal was like “uh.. sure?” — probably quite certain that would never happen, let alone in a whole school. They can’t even get all the permission slips signed for a field trip.

    However I stil respect these schools for being concientious objectors.

  • 4. momof3  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    re PARCC, There is no time for unsuccessful protests in our home schedule with 2 schools and 3 kids. We certainly do not want to jeopardize any funding that is due to my kids schools. I agree with the posts above, we are stuck with it and our family will choose a different battle…

  • 5. Southside parent  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I will vote for Rahm for sure. He’s a better leader for the city of chicago. please look at the big picture here people, not just focusing on how he treat CTU. I personally think my kids’ school is getting better and organized than few years ago.

  • 6. Mich  |  March 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I am unsure. I really dislike Rahm and in the 4 years he’s taken office I have seen our elementary school go from sliding to right off the cliff, we’re in freefall we just can’t see bottom yet, On the other hand I have more hope for high school than ever before, who’s policies made that happen? Was it because of Rahm or despite him? I don’t see that he cares about those who are not big money people who can do something for him.
    But I am not certain Chuy can make the decisions that have to be made. I like him, I think for all the crying & bluster truly progressive areas are doing better than conservative reactionary areas and perhaps we need a progressive pond in the reactionary sea of IL for the next few years.

  • 7. WesLooMom  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I don’t feel that this election is about Rahm v. Chuy. It’s about Rahm v. anti-Rahm. And, Karen Lewis’ endorsement of Chuy does not encourage me to support him. I believe that teachers care about their students and schools. However, CTU is not an advocate for better educational opportunities for our children. It’s a union that protects persons employed as teachers. CTU is just very good at appealing to parents’ strong emotions about the well-being of their children.

  • 8. OMB  |  March 4, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I’m all for a democratic system but I feel an elected school board will be filled with CTU backed candidates and charter school/reform candidates. I’m not sure the elected board would solve anything. And I don’t but that Chuy can deliver on his promises

  • 9. IBObsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:23 am

    @OMB and others WHY this paranoia that an elected school board would absolutely mean all CTU and charter /reform candidates? Come on people! Do you know how many registered voters live in Chicago? Are they all decidedly CTU or Charter supporters? We could draft cps obsessed, Chris, or Angie, for that matter, and and do populist grassroots campaigns for them all.

  • 10. IBObsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:24 am

    HS MOM for school board!

  • 11. IBObsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Chris for school board!

  • 12. OMB  |  March 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Sure that’s great do they have backing and money? No. I could run for alderman like anyone else but I won’t win because I don’t have money or recognition . You can pretend my next door neighbor can run for school board but let’s be honest here he/she is not going to win without big money behind them or powerful friends. I think anyone who believes an elected school board is not going to be stacked by special interests (CTU or charter/reform)is fooling themselves.

  • 13. CarolA  |  March 5, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I don’t like Rahm, but love his most recent commercial where he admits some of his shortcomings. For me, that goes a long way because I’m sure it took every bone in his body to say what he says. I do believe his heart is with the city of Chicago but he needs to stop with his wealthy friends and get into the neighborhoods. Not sure Chuy can get us where we need to go. Just because CTU supports him does not mean teachers will vote for him.

  • 14. worried disney II mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:01 am

    We were lucky enough to get our kid into Disney II. I know if Chuy gets in we are screwed. Disney II was the first to go to the longer day. It enfuriated the Teacher’s Union. Chuy is the pet of the teacher’s union. He is going to bring the hammer down hard on Disney II and probably close it. I bet a lot of selective enrollment and magnet choices will be eliminated. And school will go back to being an hour shorter.

    So, out of naked self interest, Rahm it is.

  • 15. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:20 am

    IBO – you made my day! I do wonder however with this type of election who would get out and vote for school board and be knowledgeable about the candidates other than CTU connected people. This mayoral election saw one of the lowest voter turn outs yet the CTU showed up in force.

    If elected, I do promise to bring all issues discussed on this site to the forefront and feel very well versed with all the pros and cons 😉

  • 16. ChiTown2  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Chuy would be a pawn for the CTU and the CTU is about getting money, pensions, days off and is NOT ABOUT the kids. It is about getting entitlements but they hide behind the ” its for the kids”. Chuy would bankrupt Chicago further and not get anything done. We need to make tough choices because of the years of kowtowing to public pressure and the CTU. Parents don’t like change so they prefer to send their kids to a failing school that has continued to fail for years rather than to go to a new school with a potential better option. Crazy. Rahm has made tough choices but the ones where we can start pulling us out of the deep well we have fallen into over the past decades. There is no free ride and blank checks.

  • 17. parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Have to grudgingly agree with @16. I had a lot of dealings with the Board and the CTU and they are just two sides of the same coin. CPS is a turf war with folks jockeying for power. I would prefer an appointed board rather than an elected one

  • […] Rahm and Chuy and Chicago and CPS CPS Obsessed: He cannot dodge the school closing issue.  He likes doing things big, let’s face it.  And that may be his downfall.  He feels he did good.  Lots of people are still mad about it (and will always be mad.) Take a read and share your thought.  Can Chuy actually do anything different with CPS than Rahm does?  What would the real impact be given the financial situation of Chicago and CPS? […]

  • 19. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

    CTU master puppeteers are at it again and will use the PARCC stuff to divert attention from the real issue, pensions. Parents will glob onto the heart-string pulling, “save may baby from the horrors of testing”. It is all part of the election strategy just like elected school board was for to force a runoff. The only goal is to stir the pot and promote anti-rham feelings. CTU is truly masterful at zeroing in on things that conjures emotions with parents and teachers to support their hidden (or not so hidden) agenda.

  • 20. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:49 am

    @6 Mich. “I am not certain Chuy can make the decisions that have to be made.”

    Agree.

    “I like him, I think for all the crying & bluster truly progressive areas are doing better than conservative reactionary areas and perhaps we need a progressive pond in the reactionary sea of IL for the next few years.”

    Disagree. “Progressive pond” at this point in the looming fiscal pension disaster is frightening. It would be a fast track to junk bond status for Chicago.

  • 21. Thank goodness!  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, commenters above! This diversionary tactic of PARCC is driving me bonkers. All of these hang-wringing parents who are crying over this test are being used by the CTU and Chuy’s campaign for the purpose of the election and the thing is…they do not seem to know it…or maybe they like being puppets? I have met a few folks that have genuine, thoughtful concerns and a bunch of others who are just in need of something to get upset about. The funniest thing? All of the people I know who are crying about “one high-stakes test ruining their child’s life and self-esteem” are the same people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to drag their 4-year old to an SE testing center for a result that, as we know, directly impacts their next 13 years! Talk about “high stakes!” Talk about a self-esteem buster! Sigh. Wake me up when the election is over and people are normal again!

  • 22. mom2  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I hate the red light cameras and don’t like that Rahm won’t admit he is really doing this for the money it brings to the city (which we desperately need). I hate that some of the police force that used to patrol my neighborhood was moved to where there is more crime. It makes me nervous. However, the city has more tourists ($) and more jobs since Rahm took over. I love the longer school day and it took Rahm to get that done. Our kids getting out of school at 1:30 was crazy and no other mayor had the strength to get that changed. It was a real fight with CTU. He was also able to get full day kindergarten for everyone. No other mayor thought that was important enough to fight for. Those are wonderful things. I would think even most parents here would agree. Is that true?

  • 23. North Side Parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:27 am

    As reported by the Sun Times: Chuy Garcia’s 31 year old son is a known and self admitted Two Six gang member, with multiple felony assault charges against police officers (pled down to guilty Class A misdemeanors). His son turned into this monster right under Chuy’s nose during the 10 years he was a community organizer in Little Village (2001-2010).

    Soft on gangs, not what Chicago needs for leadership.

  • 24. The other P word...PENSIONS  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Mom2, I like the longer school day, too. I am so thrilled that we have full-day kindergarten, too.

    All of this stuff, including PARCC, is diverting attention from the real issue that underpins all: PENSIONS. This old, inherited problem is very, very real and is pushing Chicago and Illinois to the financial brink. We need a tough, experienced mayor to fix this problem. I can see why the CTU hates Rahm–their salaries are at stake and he is asking for accountability. Hating Rahm is not going to make this looming catastrophe go away, though.

  • 25. North Side Parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Here’s the 20th Day enrollment data for all Chicago Public Schools:

    School Year Ended: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015

    (thousands of students)
    CPS: 360, 356, 351, 343, 337
    Charters: 43, 48, 53, 57, 60

    It’s like the CTU expects us to keep paying them to run empty classrooms while parents and students (in the aggregate) are CHOOSING charters (even BEFORE the schools closed).

    Pathetic.

  • 26. Angie  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

    CTU never cared about excessive testing until the student scores started to count for teacher evaluation. When teachers were faces with the prospect of being accountable for their performance, they started to look for the way to get out of it. Now CTU is trying to recruit parents to do this dirty work for them.

  • 27. mom2  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Angie, while we may agree on many things, I do not think standardized tests are an accurate measure of teacher performance or in fact an accurate measure of students abilities and abilities to do well in SEHS or college (other than to be good at taking tests). But those tests (good or bad) have no impact on my feelings that Rahm is a stronger candidate for the future success of Chicago than Chuy.

  • 28. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Nice to see so many voices of reason here. This PARCC testing issue is stupid. Kids have to take tests, deal with it. Chuy will is a terrible candidate, espectially at this moment. Chicago cannot afford to have a CTU minion in charge.

  • 29. klm  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

    re: PARCC

    I agree that, sure, it’s perfectly fine to have concerns, look at the test and not like it, etc., but the idea that a test is going to somehow be such a negative tool that it will destroy public education and scar children into regressive behavior towards learning is kinda’ paranoid.

    Some of the PARCC test Q’s are “Huh?[!]” -type ones that I too don’t get, but the real issue for CPS is a looming fiscal disaster, the number of kids performing significantly below grade-level, etc., NOT a standardized test that many people do not like.

    If my kids need to take the damn test, OK, just give it to them and let’s move on. If the results are scientifically shown not to properly assess learning, we’ll find out and then we can go from there.

    I get that CTU doesn’t like it, but as much as I’m pro-teacher, I’m not 100% pro-CTU. CTU wants what’s best for teachers that are dues-paying members. Nothing wrong with that –every union’s job is to try to get the best pay, job security and benefits for its members. That’s the nature of unions. In that sense, good for CTU.

    Bu where does the idea come from that CTU gets to set the agenda and decide what’s the best for children, especially when the status quo has failed too many children too many times?

    Educating children is not like stocking groceries or making widgets in a factory. Accordingly, using a union’s agenda to run public educational policy –arguably THE most important aspect of public policy in terms of how it directly affects present and future citizen life chances, earnings, family security, our nation’s global intellectual and economic competitiveness, etc., it is not something that I personally condone as the optimal mechanism for improving education.

    Also, I think some people attach all things good to the “progressive” label and automatically attach all (or nearly all) bad things to the “other” (candidate, politician, citizen voter, etc.) are being simplistic.

    I’m pro-gay marriage, I’m anti-racism (my spouse and kids are black), I’m pro-public education, I’m pro-teacher, I’m upset by the amounts of poverty in this country and think we need to be pro-active in doing something about it, I’m pro-immigration, I’m all for gender equality against sexual violence, pro-choice, against racial profiling, believe religion has no place in public institutions in terms of deciding public policy, ………etc.

    Actually, this describes many most people I know. Even the ones that voted for Rauner and will vote for Rahm.

    Then again, I’m not going to vote for somebody or support a union, simply because they attach themselves to the “progressive” label. What about the financial crisis that has Chicago’s, IL’s and CPS’s backs against the wall? How is it “good” to keep poor minority kids in more than half-empty schools that are draining CPS and providing a lousy education that no middle-class person would ever allow for their own children? How can we act like everything we don’t like can be fixed with higher taxes on rich people and more spending, when special interests want to keep the fiscal mismanagement and status quo going, but just in a more expensive way that may make non-poor people and businesses move out and turn Chicago into a larger and slightly less blighted kind of St. Louis or Detroit (a la 1970s)?

    I’m voting for Rahm.

  • 30. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Rham vs. Chuy IMO.

    Pensions: Rham at least tried to propose solutions that seemed fair and a shared sacrifice that the unions have taken to court because, years ago, while the voters were sleeping, the union bosses got the Illinois constitution changed to never reduce union benefits. Why the heck is that in our state constitution?!?! Chuy, nice guy, but strikes me as having no clue what to do fiscally and will be beholden to the unions who “passed the baton” to him and got him into the runoff.

    We really need no other category but pensions………but here goes.

    Schools: Rham, longer day, recess, full day kindergarten, etc. More change in the last 4 years than the prior 40 years. Maybe too much change for some. While I now see how many of his changes will benefit students in the short and long run, he did not do a good job “bringing us along” in the thought process. Much more needs to be done and Rahm has proven he can change things. He hopefully has learned that he has to LISTEN more. What is that saying, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason…… CarolA, agree, it was good to see him eat some humble pie in the commercial. Chuy, reopen closed schools, hire a bunch of positions that sound good, but there is no money, etc. I really do not know much more of what Chuy would do, but he is great at spewing the rhetoric that CTU puppeteers promote. Too much verbatim from Karen Lewis. Plus, he wants to skirt responsibility for the schools by pawning accountability off on an elected school board. So in some ways, it doesn’t really matter what he says about schools—he is not going to own it.

    Business: Rahm has business down. More jobs, more tourists, more $ for Chicago. Almost too much chummyness with business though. Chuy, apparently has no relationship with any businesses. He is unknown. But he does want to tax big business, I think or is that what Karen Lewis wanted? Can’t keep them straight. YIKES! That is not good when we need to fix pensions AND create jobs.

    Crime: What a mess. I am no crime expert, luckily. I am not sure how Rahm has done, but I do like McCarthy and it seems they are trying to get more in touch with the communities. Chuy, hire 1000 police officers with no money? I do like community policing idea. Not cool his son is a gang-banger, but I hesitate to criticize a parent whom I am sure did not want that to happen to their child.

    Running Chicago is a big job and I want someone who can handle the tough decisions—-PENSIONS!

  • 31. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Gosh, as I think about it, I forgot the minimum wage hike. Would not be where it is today in Illinois without Rham. He used his political skills to get that done. Didn’t he also push the immigration thing through in Chicago before Obama did nationally? Also gun ordinance in Chicago when there was no movement state-wide or nationally. Tough stuff to push through the channels. I can’t imagine Chuy can accomplish anything close.

    I digress, the real issue is pensions that is the real “hot mess”.

  • 32. close observer  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Geez..I can’t believe all of the “Rahm is our best choice” comments. Rahm closed 50 schools so he could say that he closed more schools than any other mayor. This pads his resume for when he leaves Chicago for Washington and beyond. No one is mentioning that he floated bonds for close to $250 million to close the schools. It was fun watching the costs of moving furniture from the closed schools go from $8 million to $15 million then to $30 million. No one said “boo” about that fiasco. And the new furniture for the central office? And then the continuous cuts to the neighborhood schools devastated them. Ah, he got city-wide full-day kindergarten. His ads neglect to say that this mandate was unfunded so many schools had to cut elsewhere for the full-day program. It also amazes me that people say that CTU only cares about the teachers but couldn’t care less about the children. What makes you think that Rahm and his buddies care? Really? Here’s a lesson for all observers..when a politician repeatedly says he is doing this “for the kids”, you can best believe it has little to do with the kids. Rahm new nothing about running a city when he became mayor. Chuy has had some experience and he is from and knows the city. Trust me, should Rahm lose, he’d be out of Chicago in a heartbeat.

  • 33. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I find the bandwagon of “closing 50 schools is bad” interesting. Close 50 schools at once and hold off on more for 5 years………or trickle and close 10 schools per year? Same number in the end, but not as much of a rallying cry. The school closing list was an annual event at the board meetings for all of Arne Duncan’s era. It was almost as certain as death and taxes. Doing it all at once is ripping off the band aid and makes implementation more efficient and enables a bumbling CPS to focus. However, in retrospect, it may have been too much for people to handle all at once. Which is where I think Rham did not listen well. However, those CTU puppeteers did a masterful job of making it the hallmark issue for the strike and beyond. Anything to avoid the pension reality.

    We all know “doing it for the kids” is hollow from CTU or a politician. The issue for Chicago right now is not about the kids, or closing 50 schools, or who’s kid is a gang-banger………….it is about getting things done—fixing pensions.

  • 34. mom2  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    close observer – please tell me where Chuy will get the money to reopen closed schools, pay for more police officers and pay teachers what they were promised? What will he cut? Who will he lay off? What taxes will he raise? Not a single person has answered my question yet.

  • 35. Angie  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    @27. mom2: ” I do not think standardized tests are an accurate measure of teacher performance or in fact an accurate measure of students abilities and abilities to do well in SEHS or college (other than to be good at taking tests).”

    The tests may not be ideal measuring tool, but at least they show if the kids are learning something in the classroom. Also, the value-added test scores are used for teacher evaluation. So even if the students started the year far behind their grade level, they should be able to show some growth if the teachers did their job.

  • 36. waiting mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Why would reopening these schools be considered? These kids have found a way to continue their education. I find it amusing that so many people are still upset about this to use as a “get him out of office” reason, but so many were NOT affected. I completely understand the safety issues with violence, BUT those parents need to take a stand for theircommunities as well and push these gangs back. There is only so much the police can do. You can hire 5000 police officers (not sure how that will EVER get paid for) but if these communities do NOT take a stand against the violence no amount of policing will be effective.

  • 37. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    mom2, you will be waiting a long time for an answer to this:

    “please tell me where Chuy will get the money to reopen closed schools, pay for more police officers and pay teachers what they were promised? What will he cut? Who will he lay off? What taxes will he raise? Not a single person has answered my question yet.”

    As has been stated here (refreshingly btw) Chuy is the public employee union mouth piece. He is running to protect them. Of course there is no money to pay for any of the crap he’s talking about. 50 schools were closed because CPS has lost over 30,000 students in a decade. Of course it’s painful to close schools, but why keep crap shacks open that are accomplishing nothing?

  • 38. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    “You can hire 5000 police officers (not sure how that will EVER get paid for) but if these communities do NOT take a stand against the violence no amount of policing will be effective.”

    This is also a great point, we would need a police state to get crime under control in some of these poor neighborhoods. I’m not sure what the answer, but 1,000 more police won’t cut it. Of big cities in the US, Chicago has one of the highest police/capita ratios in the country right now.

  • 39. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    “I do wonder however with this type of election who would get out and vote for school board and be knowledgeable about the candidates”

    All you have to do is look at the Water Reclamation District ‘election’ and the judicial ‘election’. I truly believe that a CPS school board election would be a similar farce, with it being a battle between/among (depending on the set up–all at large, or with ‘districts’) those getting slated and appearing on the palm cards, and those funded by the charter-squad.

    The best the ‘parents’ at large could reasonably hope for would be a couple of seats on a 7 or 9 person ‘at large’ board, and that would take a *big* push of organization–it’s not as if there would be a separate election held for just the school board. If the board were ‘districted’ (so that, say, each network area has a designated seat on the board).

  • 40. close observer  |  March 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    True, you can’t reopen the schools, in part because there was no facilities plan for securing these buildings when they closed. Many of them have been vandalized beyond repair. You can believe that Rahm had to close these under-enrolled, or was it underperforming (Rahm couldn’t get it straight) schools; however, if lower enrollment is the justification for closing schools, what is the justification for opening new charters? I agree, Chuy needs to come out with some specifics for some of the budgetary issues. I guess I’d rather take the “public employee mouth-piece ” over the self-absorbed plutocrat who hangs with Rauner, Griffin and that scum.

  • 41. SutherlandParent  |  March 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t know that Chuy can run Chicago and I agree that he’s too close to the CTU (that’s why I voted for Fioretti). But I have a hard time with the idea of Rahm as a Warren Buffet level financial genius who will really, truly save the city from ruin this time, if he only gets another four more years.

    I have a feeling that a lot of those tourists have come back because the economy rebounded, not because of anything Rahm did–if anything, crime is probably keeping more tourists away.

    And last week, Moody’s downgraded the city’s bond rating because of the pension situation, which doesn’t seem to be improving markedly.

    And if memory serves, CPS supposedly had to close those 50 schools for budget reasons, not for educational ones. That conversation has completely shifted to being all about the good of the children, since it became clear that the proposed savings CPS used to justify those closings were totally overblown. From the Chicago Tribune of 5/23/13: But the board gave a ringing endorsement to Emanuel’s vision for a downsized school system, which he argues will help combat a massive budget deficit and allow the district to distribute scarce resources more efficiently.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-23/news/chi-chicago-school-closings-20130522_1_chicago-teachers-union-byrd-bennett-one-high-school-program

  • 42. HSObsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Re: 50 schools closing, I’ve been amazed at how few people really understood that the reason for it was underenrollment, and not underperformance. As reflected in the numbers cited by North Side Parent @25, as dozens of charter schools opened up in the 2000s due to community demand, every child who left for a charter was one less student in the community’s neighborhood school. That, combined with general population decreases in neighborhoods with charter schools, left many schools severely underenrolled, which was unsustainable in a fiscally responsible budget.

    I don’t think the basis for the closings was communicated well enough during the process, because even now, if you ask the average Chicagoan on the street why the schools were closed, I think most would guess it was because “they weren’t good enough” and that they believe instead of being closed, the schools should have been supported with additional teachers, materials, computers, etc. That wasn’t the problem at all: It was lack of kids. However, I don’t know how you can spin the “fiscally responsible” argument in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re being a cold-hearted Scrooge who doesn’t care about children, especially poor kids in struggling neighborhoods. And that’s the reputation Rahm is fighting against right now. Hopefully enough voters understand the context like many on this board apparently do. I definitely don’t see Garcia as a great choice. Nice guy but just not the person for the job.

  • 43. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    “Of big cities in the US, Chicago has one of the highest police/capita ratios in the country”

    As far as total “full time law enforcement employees” (ftlee), we’re kinda middle of the pack. It’s just that virtually all of them are sworn officers, which is *highly* unusual. In NYC, 30% of the FTLEE are ‘civilians’; in LA it’s almost 23%. Basically every other larger city was 15% plus. In Chicago, it’s under 6%. So, CPD has a lot more ‘clerical’ (and other non-“police”–ie, should be lower paid) work being done by sworn officers.

  • 44. EJW  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I thought this blog was made up of mostly people who supported teachers and schools. I see that it is not. Here some facts: A teacher only receives a full pension if he or she works for 34 years. Firemen and the police only have to work 20 years. If you earn a full pension, you may not collect Social Security even if you pay into it. It is called double dipping. If you only teach 20 – 33 years, you receive a partial pension. If you work less then 20 years, you receive what you put in plus interest. All teacher contribute to their pensions; it does not just fall out of the sky. Teachers are required to earn new degrees or endorsements everything we teach on our own dime. Many of us have 2 master’s degrees. We earn our pensions! Stop bashing us!

  • 45. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    @44 I truly am sorry that you feel that the discussion is teacher bashing. That really sucks and certainly was not my intention and probably not others’ intention either. I am not sure if the re-post below will help or not, but I do think it reflects how a lot of people feel.

    Re-posting a really good post from Mom2 on the other thread. Mom2 I hope you do not mind, but you said it so well…………

    From Mom2 on other thread.

    “Well, since you guys aren’t waiting for a new thread, I’ll try to post my thoughts.
    First of all, I think it is horrible that wonderful teachers that were promised a certain pension are not being given what was promised. I know how that feels and so do most people in the private sector. The issue is that you can’t just create money. If the city doesn’t have it, then how can you give it to someone?
    When I first started at my job, the company had a pension system that you would qualify for once you worked there a year. Well, about 9 months after I started, they switched everyone (including those on the pension plan) to a 401K plan. They promised to contribute a matching amount of money to everyone’s plan. They did that for a while until the company didn’t have the money. Then they lowered the contribution. When the company still wasn’t making enough money (not losing – just not making enough), they lower it some more and did layoffs to help increase the profit. They also didn’t give pay raises (even though they were promised during my interview) for several years during harder times. It is very common to make those decisions in order to keep things running smoothly.
    Of course, Chuy or Rahm could pay the teachers what they were promised (the city does have money for “things”), but then something else will have to be cut or go. What would that be? Maybe less police officers? Or staying on the CPS topic, maybe less teachers which leads to larger class sizes? Maybe less social services or less help for kids with IEPs or more school closings to consolidate the building costs, etc. You see, you only have so much money and giving them what they were promised will lead to other things being cut. There are choices that have to be made. I don’t understand how people can only say it isn’t fair and they don’t consider the impact on our city and the kids, etc.
    I want our city to be prosperous. That means it needs to attract tourists and companies to create jobs. It needs revenue and I don’ think it should only come from raising taxes more than we already pay. To me, raising taxes is the only other answer and it isn’t something Chuy will admit he would need to do. He seems like a very nice guy and I love his promises but I’m broke already.”

  • 46. North Side Parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    @EJW start at 21 + 34 years = 55 years old at vesting. Boo hoo says all of us in the private sector grinding it out til 65. Police and Fire are totally different. They put their lives on the line. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to be a cop in this city.

    All the unions took their raises every year and just watched as the contributions went unfunded year after year under Daley.

    Your leadership failed you.

    I don’t worry about my 401K match because guess what, they put it in every year and it’s my money now. I’m not running up a 30 year IOU from my employer.

  • 47. mom2  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I want to mention that I truly love and value most of my kids’ teachers. Many of them work very hard and care so much about the kids they teach. They come in early, they stay late, they email after dinner, etc. I am not in any way bashing them. I wish the city could afford to pay them these wonderful benefits. I wish everyone in the city could earn more, have better benefits, free healthcare, free 4 year college tuition and admission to UIUC, etc. But Chicago doesn’t have that sort of money and in order to give teachers what they were promised, the rest of us would have to pay much higher taxes and we already pay so much and we need money to fund our own healthcare, life, retirements because our companies don’t give us enough. I know I’ll need to work until I’m 70. I’m hoping I make it that long.

  • 48. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    mom2 and North Side Parent answered very eloquently. These benefits are way out of market, which irks many of us in the private sector who get nothing like this. The solution of the CTU and other public employee unions is to essentially tax us to death. And that’s what would happen to Chicago, it would die. People will simply move to the suburbs or elsewhere. And then there is less money, a vicious declining cycle. I hate to break to the public employee union members, but your benefits will be cut through cooperations or bankrupcty.

  • 49. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    “If you earn a full pension, you may not collect Social Security even if you pay into it. It is called double dipping.”

    Wait, what?? I’m pretty certain that is completely wrong (but hard to prove a negative).

    There *is* an offset for spouse/survivor social security that is 2/3s of the pension amount, which could very well zero out your spouse/survivor amount, but I don’t know how it would zero out (or even affect) your social security. My mother collects a (teacher) pension and social security, having worked in a state that had both.

    So, I think you have been misinformed.

  • 50. Learning CPS  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I don’t know how CTU works, but some places with pensions don’t even pay into Social Security. Cook County State’s Attorneys don’t, so if they leave before they vest (or if the pension system falls apart before they retire) they don’t have any Social Security to pull from for any years they were with the office.

    CTU may be different though.

  • 51. Mom2Boys  |  March 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I’m not a teacher and I don’t have any friends or relatives in the teaching profession. Nonetheless, when scrolling quickly through comments, I’ve been surprised at the anti-CTU sentiment and cynicism on this thread. I was also surprised by some of the paranoia about an elected school board. Personally, I’d like to see a school board with “skin in the game.” How about our mayor’s rather large slush fund (courtesy of TIF money) go towards helping fund teacher pensions or schools, rather than being used to build a new stadium for DePaul University? Regarding junk bond status, our current mayor is already doing a darned good job of getting CPS’s credit rating downgraded…

    I’m beyond frustrated by Rahm’s continued privatization of our public schools. His “cozy” financial relationships with charter organizations has bled away necessary resources from many neighborhood schools, often leading to their demise and the disruption of surrounding communities. Rationalizations for these closings ring hollow, using flawed utilization reports and false promises of money to be saved. Meanwhile, Rahm continues to woo the “haves.” I’ll go out on a limb and hazard a guess that many of the folks on this site have not experienced school closings in their own neighborhoods, but I would hope we remember and care about all our Chicago communities.

    I reject the corporate mentality of Mayor Emanuel, and I don’t wish to see any more of our public dollars used to support and expand for-profit charters.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the organization Raise Your Hand, I recommend checking out their website. They often offer detailed analysis of CPS-related issues (e.g. school utilization methodology, often used to justify school closings, and to deny school additions).

    Sorry, end of rant. 🙂

  • 52. Agree  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Well said, #51.

  • 53. mom2  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Can someone help me regarding charter schools? Do they cost the city less money than a neighborhood school? In other words, is there a financial benefit for the city to opening a charter school? I know we still pay something per pupil, but is it less due to running the school, the building, etc.? I know the pros (another choice for parents that have concerns about their neighborhood school) and cons (not fair to compare them to neighborhood schools because they can kick out under-performers or trouble makers, they pay teachers less, etc.) about charter schools themselves I just want to understand it in terms of dollars and cents.

  • 54. CarolA  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    CTU is not different. We don’t pay into Social Security, but do pay into Medicare. So it is possible that someone who starts teaching right out of college may not have enough credits to earn Social Security….me included.

    I agree that pensions are a problem. I agree that “real-world” jobs have situations where their pensions/401K’s get reduced or taken away…..all I want is a plan. The city needs to come up with a plan. The CTU needs to accept that times have changed and give and take is necessary on both sides. Until that happens….well, we are stuck. Do I think Chuy is our guy….no. Will I vote for him just because I’m a teacher and my union supports him…no. Do I want to vote for Rahm…no. BUT……I have to vote for one or the other or shut up when one of them gets elected. So I’m not going to whine about what should happen, but rather listen to what each candidate is offering and considering if it’s possible and go from there. So what I’m saying to this forum is PLEASE understand that just because our union supports a candidate doesn’t mean that we will all vote for him. Also, don’t think that just because I don’t like Rahm I won’t vote for him. Sadly, I think I might vote for Rahm because at this point, I can’t believe Chuy has what it takes. Promises for more police….where are you going to get the money? Etc, etc etc. We all have brains. Let’s use them. 🙂

  • 55. EJW  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    # 46 Regarding pensions again, a teacher can collect Social Security if they do not collect a FULL teachers pension. If you have a second career and put into SS, as your SS increases your teacher pension is reduced and vice versa. As far as police and firemen are concerned teachers work with the same population that they do. Parents that have been arrested or shot, their children come to school. Families who have no where to live after a fire, their children still come to school. Gang members who are violent, their children come to school. I am a special education teacher and I have put my life on the line! Clearly, you have no idea what teachers do and obviously you do not value us. Additionally, most teachers are women, if we take off a year to 6 years (for example) we have to make those years up in order to earn our pension that we also put into. Our pension does not just fall in our laps, we CONTRIBUTE to our pension. Please name all the millionaire teacher pensions you are aware of at this time. The average Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) retiree earns $42,000 per year after investing 28 years of service in the Chicago Public Schools. More lucrative pensions are principals and administrators. Boo hoo! Teachers are so greedy! (sarcasm)

  • 56. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    @50: “some places with pensions don’t even pay into Social Security”

    Yeah, CPS doesn’t, but that’s not what EJW said–the assertion was that *even if you pay in* (say, if you have a job every summer, or a side business or whatever) that the pension would prevent you from getting SS. Which I find no evidence of, and have anecdata to the contrary.

  • 57. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    @CarolA, you are the best. So rational and realistic. I always enjoy your perspective 🙂 Your students are lucky to have you as are their parents.

  • 58. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    @EJW The pension debacle is the real “hot mess”. I hear ya and it sucks. Everything else pales in comparison. So what do you believe is the answer?

  • 59. xan  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    #55 Wow. How can you reason with someone who thinks being a teacher is just as dangerous as being a firefighter or police. Something tells me this is the mentality of the the CTU leadership. I guess if you agree with her… you have to vote Chuy.

  • 60. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    EJW: ” If you have a second career and put into SS, as your SS increases your teacher pension is reduced and vice versa”

    Ok, I found it. The ‘WEP’. I played around with a bit, and it looks like whether your monthly pension is $1,000, or $5,000 (or $10,000), it doesn’t change the SS amount for someone with 10 years or 20 years of SS-taxable income.

    It does look like one would get slightly more SS if the pension is under $1,000/month.

  • 61. EJW  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Patrica stop drinking the Kool-aid that Xan drinks. Here is where the pension money really goes to: Bruce Rauner, who made his fortune as an executive at a financial firm called GTCR, which rakes in fees from pension investments. Rauner—who retains an ownership stake in at least 15 separate GTCR entities, according to his financial disclosure forms—will now be fully in charge of his state’s pension system. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

  • 62. CarolA  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    @59xan: I’d have to think you missed the message. Of course, we aren’t in danger such as firefighters running INTO a fire or police going INTO danger, but there are many schools that often have lockdowns because of gang gunfire and/or other such situations. We have parents that swear at us and students who knock us down. Some schools are worse than others and some never see any of that. I think (maybe I’m wrong) the message was that we may see situations that people in the private sector don’t have to deal with….just saying.

  • 63. Mom2Boys  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    mom2- Good question, and I would love to know the answer.

    On another note, I do understand that per pupil funding to charter students was increased, at the same time that there were massive funding cutbacks for non-charter schools but don’t know how it washes out. Articles referenced below do cite large start-up costs involved with charters, which are borne by city coffers.

    :

    “Ed Hershey, a teacher at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in West Englewood, told one of the hearing officers that he was confused as to why CPS would spend extra funds on new charter schools at a time when the district just closed a record-breaking 50 “underutilized” neighborhood schools in an effort to cut costs.”

    “The district closed these schools and says it’s doing so to save money, we’re told to the tune of $40 million a year, but now the district says it has $20 million to start up new schools and new buildings, including in some of the same areas [where schools were closed],” he said at the hearing held in the board’s chambers, which saw the largest turnout out of the three hearings.

    “Does this make sense to anybody here,” he asked the more than 50 attendees. “It doesn’t make sense to me.”

  • 64. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    @61 EJW Really, LOL! Now you are bashing me for trying to understand your situation? Again, what is your solution? Where do you get the money? Stop diverting and changing the subject. If you are talking homework, I think you should have done your homework all along regarding the union leadership that failed you. Come on, let’s talk solutions. What do you do? Or is your answer to get a personal check from Bruce Rauner?

  • 65. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I do believe there should be TIF reform, but TIF is one of the few economic development tools available to the City. It is used to fund affordable housing projects, new recreation centers, Englewood Whole Foods, etc. The $55Million for DePaul is nothing. Anyway if we eliminated all TIF, we would still need a lot more revenue.

    And the reason the City’s credit rating continues to be downgraded is becuase the unions are blocking pension reform. Rahm is trying, but lawsuits from the public employee unions are preventing anything from happening. The longer it draws out the more likely bankruptcy becomes, which will mean more slashed pensions.

  • 66. Peter  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Patricia, they would tax the City to death.

  • 67. EJW  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Patricia – here is some of my homework. Sorry did not mean to offend. The solution is not more money from workers. We have paid and Bruce took fees from us.

    According to a report by the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First, the supposedly budget-strapped Windy City—which for years has not made its full pension payments—has mountains of cash sitting in a slush fund controlled by its poverty-pleading mayor. Indeed, as the report documents, the slush fund now receives more diverted property taxes each year than it would cost to adequately finance Chicago’s pension funds.

    Yet, Emanuel is refusing to use the cash from that slush fund to shore up the pensions. Instead, his new pension “reform” proposal cuts pension benefits, requires higher contributions from public employees, raises property taxes—but also quietly increases his slush fund.

    Why, you ask, would Emanuel refuse to relinquish some of the half-billion dollars a year that is going into his slush fund? Perhaps because he has been using it to enrich Chicago’s corporate class, including some of his biggest campaign donors.

    For example, just after Emanuel took office, he used the slush fund to finance a $7 million subsidy that will benefit a grocery chain. The CEO of that chain’s parent company gave Emanuel’s campaign $25,000.

    Emanuel also delivered a $29 million subsidy to support a new skyscraper development plan. Opponents of the subsidy told CBS that the money is simply financing “a very expensive corporate plaza” for the building. Now here’s the kicker: The building will house the new Chicago headquarters of a law firm whose employees have given Emanuel more than $125,000.

    Then there is Emanuel’s $55 million subsidy for a new hotel near Chicago’s convention center. An investment company that owns a major stake in the construction firm gave Emanuel’s campaign $31,500.

    Not to sound like a broken record, but again: This same thing occurs in states and cities across the country. The wealthy corporate interests who bankroll politicians have for years convinced those politicians to not make required pension payments and to instead spend the cash on taxpayer subsidies—the kind that happen to go to those politicians’ donors.

    Now that the bill for such irresponsibility is coming due, those bankrolled politicians are trying to protect the subsidies their donors so cherish by trying to balance budgets primarily through punitive measures against taxpayers and public employees.

    Unfortunately, in this massive wealth transfer, corrupt Chicago is not the anomaly. It is a microcosm.

  • 68. Patricia  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    @66 Peter. Yes, I do think that is the union leadership plan. However, there are great teachers out there like CarolA who do understand the reality of the situation. I am sure she doesn’t like it any more than EJW, but she is rational and wants to have a real discussion about it. Not a diversion. If only the discussions could happen.

  • 69. Kenwood Parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I know this message board has its fair share of those who only care about selective enrollment schools, but there has to be someone out there outraged about Rahm closing almost 50 schools! I still can’t wrap my head around that. 50 schools! I could never vote for a candidate who has such disregard for his current constituents. And this is coming from a parent who fully intends to take advantage of selective enrollment opportunities. That being said, I also understand the plight of Chicagoans who do not have the income, and thus, choices that I have. Think about the number of kids that were displaced. With regard to comment above, you’re right; all cps teachers do not vote against Rahm. My mother in law, a former teacher and member of the CTU voted for him, mostly due to the fact that CTU members do not all have the students’ interests at the top of their list.

  • 70. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    “Here is where the pension money really goes to: Bruce Rauner”

    If you really, truly, believe that, I’m sorry. And sad.

    I have issues with the manner in which the muni and state pension funds choose where to invest, and what they invest in, but if you really believe that (a) the primary reason that the pension funds are short is private equity/hedge fund investments, or (b) that Rauner is more at fault than Steve Schwarzman, or 50 other fund managers, then I think that you’ve slipped into an ideological pitfall that nothing will get you out of.

    I will further note that the CTPF is only 3% invested in private equity, as of 12/31/14. The TRS is 11.6% in PE–and of that ~$5 billion, under $10 million (0.2%) is with GTCRauner; in comparison Carlyle has over $400m.

  • 71. Mom2Boys  |  March 5, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Off education a bit, but just want to respond to repeated comments about how Chuy might pay for more police. There has been discussion in the media about the huge financial savings to be had if CPD were to cut out the massive spending on over-time costs by hiring more officers.

  • 72. xan  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    #62 I didn’t missed it. Firefighter and police put their life on the line everyday on the job. Its my opinion that this level of danger is not the same as being a teacher in the most dangerous school district.

  • 73. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    ” the slush fund now receives more diverted property taxes each year than it would cost to adequately finance Chicago’s pension funds.”

    This isn’t true. The City’s TIF funds collect about $400-450m/ year. Let’s call it $500m, just to make the math easy. Half of that goes to CPS. The City gets somewhat less than 20% (but, again, to make math easy, call it $100m).

    How much, again, is the police/fire pension balloon payment? $500m

    What is the increase in the CTPF contribution this year? $400m. What’s the total amount for next year? $632m.

    The ‘slush fund’ ain’t anywhere *close* to adequately financing Chicago’s pensions.

  • 74. North Side Parent  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    If CTPF hires/pays GTCR/Bruce Rauner to manage its money, then it is because the managers wanted him to. Those managers were hired by the Pension Board that was elected by the teachers/retirees.

    From the CTPF website: “CTPF is governed by a 12-member Board of Trustees; six are elected by the teacher contributors, three are elected by the annuitants, one is elected by the principal contributors, and two are appointed by the employer, Board of Education.”

    You obviously don’t understand how this works. Do your own homework.

  • 75. MOM7373  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I am concerned that if Chuy is elected, Rauner will used the excuse to cut Chicago school funding claiming the usual anti- teacher union bashing. I don’t agree with him, but he is the governor now and is in control, and Chicago votes didn’t get him elected. I think Rahm will have more luck with the negotiations about funding. Reading editorials and comments from Suburban papers and there is definitely a movement out there to reduce funding to Chicago.

    One thing I am surprised is that teachers are very dismissive of the bond rating drops. They claim it can be fixed easily with TIF reform, I just don’t think it can, and if my retirement was dependent on the financial security of Chicago in 10 years i would be asking deeper questions, especially with what happened in Detroit.

  • 76. Mom2Boys  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Not sure why my two links didn’t make it into my comment at #63… I’ll try one of them again:
    http://communitiesunited.org/big-dollars-little-sense

    EJW- thanks for articulating more detail about the slush fund shenanigans that get me steamed.

    Kenwood Parent- I couldn’t agree more!

  • 77. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    “Why, you ask, would Emanuel refuse to relinquish some of the half-billion dollars a year that is going into his slush fund?”

    How much of it has Chuy promised to give up? ZERO.

    He’s said he’d have different priorities (and Rahm has had different priorities than Daley, so that’s a given, really), but he has not committed to shutting them down and letting the $$ flow ‘normally’.

    Oh, also, as a follow up to above, the 3% of the CTPF in PE investments? Zero is in GTCRauner directly, but there is a fund of funds investment that might have placed some with GTCR. But that has 6% of the 3%, so even if it all were with GTCR, it would, again, be 0.2%.

  • 78. Chris  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    “If CTPF hires/pays GTCR/Bruce Rauner to manage its money”

    But they don’t. It’s demonstrably untrue.

  • 79. Mom2Boys  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Mom7373- Rauner doesn’t need an excuse in order to cut Chicago school funding. He is a member of the conservative 1% plutocracy, and a charter-school proponent. Massive wealth transfer from public to private is what they do.

  • 80. EJW  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for the support for teachers Mom2Boys.

    I feel the impression from this blog is teachers are trying to cheat the system. We earn our salary and our pension. I am saddened by the sense that public employees are the enemy.

    Former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Edward Siedle said campaign cash from the financial industry is fundamentally shaping the debate over how to manage state pension systems.

    “Why have all pension reform candidates concluded that workers’ retirement benefits must be harshly cut, but, on the other hand, fees to Wall Street be exponentially increased?” said Siedle, who has published a series of forensic reports critical of politicians shifting ever more pension money to Wall Street. “The answer, of course, is that more money than ever is being spent by billionaires to support a public pension Wall Street feeding frenzy.”

  • 81. CarolA  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Whoa! You guys make my head spin. I guess that’s a good thing. I’m just not familiar with all that’s being presented here, but the banter is helping me make a more informed decision. Thanks for the free research! Patricia….are you interested in supporting me as a “write-in” candidate? LOL Just trying to lighten it up a bit.

  • 82. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Yo, I would hesitate from drawing generalizations on “the readers of CPSObsessed” as a group. While there are certainly many similarities (interest in education, slight obsession with it, interest in discussion education decisions, etc etc) there is certainly a range of opinion on other topics.

    Also, people tend to respond to the threads they feel passionately about.

    I urge you not to fret OR rejoice about the opinions expressed on here. They represent a range of opinions and not a consensus of any sort.

    Thank you and carry on. I too am learning a lot!

  • 83. CarolA  |  March 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I hear ya loud and strong. Realized that a few years ago, but still interested in the banter. If anything, it sometimes convinces me the opposite way. I tend to “buck the system”. 🙂

  • 84. Angie  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    @71. Mom2Boys:”There has been discussion in the media about the huge financial savings to be had if CPD were to cut out the massive spending on over-time costs by hiring more officers.”

    This discussion was started by Chuy and other Rahm opponents that don’t seem to understand that hiring new police officers means spending money not just on their salaries, but also on pensions, health insurance and other benefits. Paying overtime to the existing officers does not incur these extra costs, and therefore is much cheaper. But then, saving taxpayers’ money was never a priority for the public service unions.

  • 85. skepticismiscertain  |  March 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Oh, lordly. @2 4 19 21 24 28

    I’m one of the ring-leaders of the Park the PARCC campaign, more in consigliere mode because I’m ugly & profanities traipse trippingly from my tongue, like wee ballerinas with big strap-ons.

    First, no school will lose funding because it does or does not have sufficiently high participation in the PARCC. Neither ISBE nor CPS have authority to withhold funds because a school failed to make 95% participation. ISBE threatened CPS with funding cut-offs because CPS was refusing the ISBE order to try to assess every student. Several schools failed to have 95% ISAT participation in 2014, and it didn’t make a difference for their budgets. Zip. Nada. Bupkiss. For a level 3 school that has only this year left to avoid being marked for turn-around, participation less than 95% could push it into turn-around status, if and only if, it would otherwise have high enough scores to avoid turnaround. If the score would be too low any, missing the 95% mark makes no difference (it’s like stabbing a corpse).

    Second, no one that I’ve met in the testing-skeptical community believes that ending standardized testing will cure schools of fiscal ills, if only because most of us do not believe in eliminating standardized testing. The majority of us object to the misuse and overuse of standardized testing. Misuse means drawing inferences about the quality of schools or the quality of teachers from test scores that almost every psychometrician will tell you cannot be validly drawn from the testing data. For example, the majority of CPS’s School Quality Rating points is based solely on NWEA MAP scores; there is no adjustment for the known effects of income levels, ELL and special ed status, or teacher quality. The standardized test data is being misused. Likewise, school quality under NCLB is based on unadjusted test scores. Stupid, but there’s no constitutional barrier to stupid policy (arbitrary is different than stupid).

    Third, we started without CTU support or involvement. CTU issued its testing criticism and opt-out support after we were active. They don’t consult us regarding their policies, and we don’t consult with them about our policies. Many teachers are active supporters, but no teacher or CTU employee is on our steering committee. Many but by no means most of us consider classroom teachers to be one of the obstacles to opt-outs because some teachers enforce the letter of the regulations and punish students who opt out. We think they should be sanctioned, regardless of CTU’s stance. Some us meet with some of CTUs testing committee members from time to time but these are information-sharing sessions — this is what we are doing; this is what CTU is doing. We don’t advise or consent on the other’s policy positions. We have asked CTU to help lobby for an opt-out bill in Springfield, but we presented the draft legislation, not CTU. In fact, I’d wager that CTU liaisons are not pleased with our “we lead, you follow” stance. Moreover, our opt-out efforts can hurt teachers’ ratings if the better-scoring students opt-out or boycott more than the lower-scoring students do.

    Fourth, we certainly object to poorly constructed tests that are promoted as being excellent, as is the case with the PARCC. I’ve spoken with members of PARCC’s technical advisory committee. This test was rushed into production. As one member, Jim Pellegrino, has said in interviews that PARCC tried to cram what should have been a five-year test development cycle into two years. As a result, we have an attempt to assess the CCSS being done without any independent evidence that it assess the CCSS well. It was designed to assess as cheaply as possible, which means the standard solo scoring with only 10% of free-form input items read by a second scorer. On the 2014 ISAT math sections that required an explanation, only 58% to 65% of scorers agreed on a score that had a range of 0 to 4. The PARCC has many more explanation items but Pearson’s contract still only has the 10% double-scoring requirement.

    If you are asking, how do they correct mis-scoring for the other 90%? The answer is: they don’t. The error range is just wider than it would otherwise have been. But most parents and frankly probably most teachers do not understand how to interpret a confidence interval. I have never had a teacher say to me, “This your child’s observed score. There is a 68% chance that it is your child’s true score.” Has anyone here? But that’s the truth.

    Fifth, some parents might opt-out because their children score poorly. I know that many parents of special needs students oppose testing their children because of the anxiety it causes the children when they are unable to do well because of their needs. There are usually insufficient accommodations, none at all, or accommodations that are worse than none (sitting for multiple hours with a test is exhausting cognitively). But many of us allow their children to take some standardized tests, and they do well on them. My daughter scores in the 95th to 99th percentile on the MAP. I’m skeptical of their value because my daughter scored in the 95th percentile on the spring MAP math test but in the 99th in the fall MAP. So despite taking only a week-long Minecraft course, a week-long Facets film-making course, serving two weeks on the Facets Children’s Festival jury, and two week of half-day tennis, and no other formal instruction or workbooks, she achieved a summer learning gain. Or else the spring test under-measured her abilities or the fall test over-measured them or both. So how reliable or valid is the test then at individual-level measurement?

  • 86. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    @36 – “Why would reopening these schools be considered?”

    I would consider this statement to be nothing more than a campaign promise. It’s a hot button that’s being pushed. There is just no way with the pension deficits that this can be done even if people wanted to go back to their old school – which not everyone does. Plus these schools would need money to be developed into a viable community. Nice idea, popular thing to say.

    This infamous mountain of secret money that CTU claims exists is another nice idea to sell the unwitting public. I think someone better tell the bond rating people to mark us back up because we really have the money…..and then some.

  • 87. Teacher Pensions  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    What’s the full teacher pension and what is it equivalent to in terms of how much it would cost to buy an annuity resulting in the same pension?

  • 88. karet  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Wow! I find myself in agreement with klm, HS Mom, mom2, IBobsessed … Isn’t it fun that Rahm can bring us all together? (ha ha)

    Have you guys seen the anti-longer day video on Chuy’s facebook page? I found it totally maddening, but I’m curious as to what you all think of it.

    https://www.facebook.com/GarciaForChicago?pnref=story

  • 89. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    @teacherpensions, do you mean the cost to the state or the cost to an individual to buy an annuity?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 90. Confidence Intervals  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    “The error range is just wider than it would otherwise have been. But most parents and frankly probably most teachers do not understand how to interpret a confidence interval. I have never had a teacher say to me, “This your child’s observed score. There is a 68% chance that it is your child’s true score.” Has anyone here?”

    Huh? I really don’t think this is right.

  • 91. Teacher Pensions  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    “do you mean the cost to the state or the cost to an individual to buy an annuity?”

    I mean how much would an individual would have to spend to buy a (somewhat) equivalent annuity?

  • 92. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    @teacherpensions: do we know what the average monthly payment is for a retired teacher? (I’m sure that depends on age and when retiring but maybe we can make some assumptions?)

    Also, teachers can retire after how many years of service? 20-something?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 93. Chris freeman  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    I’m voting Rahm. He’s the only chance the school have. Something had to change, taking on the CTU is political sucide- he had to of known that- and he did it anyway.

  • 94. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Annuity info:
    If a teacher retires today at age 60 and gets a payment of $3000/mo for 25 years with an increase of 3% a year, that starting price of that annuity today is $634,000. I *believe* teachers also get their healthcare paid for in retirement too? (not fully sure of that.)

    @Teacherpensions, I’m not fully sure if this number means anything though since annuities cost more due to the risk involved with not knowing how long the person will live (I guess same as pensions…)

  • 95. WesLooMom  |  March 5, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    @88, i just watched some of the videos on Chuy’s website. I saw a lot of complaining and no solutions. What I understood: Rahm took a chance where other persons were afraid to act, and Chuy wants us to go backward. Should we reverse school closings? Should we decrease the school day? Why? Because everything was fabulous before Rahm was elected?

    i will agree, however, that Rahm’s leadership style needs work.

  • 96. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Just came from a meeting where there was a large group and they will now give their vote for Chuy. I’m glad! I’m sick of Rahm rahming everything down us with no consideration of neighborhoods. He’ll be surprised when he finds out who is supporting Chuy. Closing 50 school and destroying neighborhoods~Chuy is the ONLY chance our city has. Rahmbo is so out of touch, you can see it in his last ad where he’s trying to be a ‘nice’ guy only it comes off as totally foreign to him.

  • 97. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:04 am

    This is a great avenue to people (possible only really a few) to say wonderful things about Rahm, but I from what I’ve read on the other CPS board, they aren’t calling for Rahmbo to be mayor. Thank GOD!

  • 98. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Ok, just read Chuy’s FB page. So basically he’s against everything that Rahm was for?

    I did like the video about the longer school day.. I agree with the points made about a long day + homework starts to feel oppressive. But what cutback is he talking about? I could lob off a half hour for sure. going back to the old 5.75 length seems too short.

    I wish I could imagine that someone could do all he wanted to do with the Chicago budget, I truly truly do.

  • 99. WesLooMom  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I love you CPSO, but I must say that I can’t understand the problem w/ longer school days. I am not a product of CPS. I attended a private school where a longer school day + homework was the norm. Unlike the “horrors” described in the video on Chuy’s FB page, I learned to do laundry and was involved in extracurricular activities despite having a longer school day and parents who worked long hours every day.

  • 100. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Seems like a really long day for a little kid with very little time to develop other interests or relax.
    Life become all about function and not about enjoyment.
    I think if a kid is at school 7 hours, then its a bit much to expect them to put in another hour at night. That’s a full time job.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 101. pantherettie  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:40 am

    100 replies in one day – WOW

  • 102. WesLooMom  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I still don’t get it. I watched TV, played video games, was a girl scout, played sports, took coooking classes, explored Chicago… I guess that I didn’t miss shorter school days, because i never had them.

  • 103. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Well I’m guessin you had a stay at home parent so you could be home mid afternoon? Perhaps my problem is more the working-parent day than the longer school day.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 104. WesLooMom  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:57 am

    My mother would find that funny. I lived with both of my parents, and they both worked, although my mother did work 8-4. Great after school programs were key.

  • 105. WesLooMom  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Perhaps, I should explain “my mother would find that funny.” I wasn’t really commenting on your statements. I was remembering how much my mother enjoyed having a career.

  • 106. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:08 am

    What did she do?
    (As her career)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 107. WesLooMom  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:09 am

    She was a scientist.

  • 108. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Good gig if she liked it and left at 4pm!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 109. Mom2Boys  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:36 am

    EJW@#80- ” I feel the impression from this blog is teachers are trying to cheat the system. We earn our salary and our pension. I am saddened by the sense that public employees are the enemy.”

    I’m sorry that public employees are getting an unfair rap, and also that the teachers have to deal with this pension mess. Heck, teachers paid into this fund with the expectation that it would be there for them when they retired, and politicians chose to divert the money elsewhere. Thanks to you (and all teachers) for the hard work you do day in and day out. I can’t think of many things that are more important in a society than educating kids. You deserve a decent salary and pension for doing valuable work.

    Public unions have been a special target of the billionaire club, whose members like to play divide and conquer by generating animosity and resentment towards unions. Unfortunately, teacher/union bashing is the means to an end for the tycoons, many of whom spend astronomical sums of money to impact public sentiment and influence legislation. The Postal Service has been under huge attack, likely because it has the biggest union membership in the country. In the same vein, the Orwellian “right to work” movement (right to work for less, in my opinion!) has now come to Illinois, compliments of Gov. Rauner.

    With regard to the financial industry shaping the debate about pensions, again it’s the little guy that pays!

  • 110. CarolA  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:10 am

    In regards to pensions…..I can only speak from information given to me by my retired teacher friends and information I have regarding my future pension directly from the pension board. They can estimate our monthly pension so we can decide when it is best to retire. Two teachers worked over the full 34 years and had the retirement age of 55 or older and their monthly check is just over $5000 gross. They do pay for medical insurance. As the years go by, the insurance changes. We used to get refunds of a portion of the monthly cost. We still do, but each year it gets less and less. In some cases, it’s cheaper to get your own private insurance. Most teachers also contribute to an annuity in hopes to supplement the monthly pension. We do our best to make a comfortable retirement life, but to listen to some on the board, you’d think we are pulling home $100,000 a year! I’m still working, but I’ll be happy with my savings and pension when I retire, but don’t think I’ll have money to burn.

  • 111. CarolA  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Plus, there are a lot of variables regarding years of service and age that affect the monthly amount. If you are under the required service/age, monthly checks can vary as much as $300-$500 more/less when deciding to retire in one year or the next.

  • 112. CarolA  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:38 am

    For those who are really curious, go to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund site (ctpf.org) and play around with numbers (years of service, etc.) It’s a public site and no passwords, names, etc are needed to get estimates. Enjoy!

  • 113. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:38 am

    CPSO: “Annuity info:
    If a teacher retires today at age 60 and gets a payment of $3000/mo for 25 years with an increase of 3% a year, that starting price of that annuity today is $634,000.”

    But that’s not the right comparison. For Carol’s friends retiring at 55, with lifetime annuity of $5k/month, that annuity would cost almost $1.2 million, and that doesn’t include a COLA (does CTPF??).

    The lifetime annuities–which are the correct comparison–are a lot more expensive.

  • 114. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:17 am

    @109. Mom2Boys : “Public unions have been a special target of the billionaire club, whose members like to play divide and conquer by generating animosity and resentment towards unions. Unfortunately, teacher/union bashing is the means to an end for the tycoons, many of whom spend astronomical sums of money to impact public sentiment and influence legislation. ”

    Oh, please, spare us the class warfare. Do you really think that private sector workers are imagining ever-increasing taxes and decreasing services needed to satisfy the public union appetites? The billionaires won’t even notice those increases. The billionaires are not the ones having to wait longer for a bus or train in the single-digit temperatures because the CTA union forced the service cuts. The billionaires could easily afford to hire a babysitter during the CTU strike that left the working-class parents scramble for childcare or forced their kids to take a “walk of shame” among the screaming teachers when they came to school for a free meal. The billionaires can hire private aides and therapists for their special needs children when their school-based services are slashed to give teachers their raises. No, Illinois financial disaster caused by the unions and their puppet politicians affects the regular working and middle class families the most, and they don’t need to be zombified by the evil billionaires to notice its impact on their lives and incomes.

    BTW, that pension myth busters article posted in previous thread? Turns out it is a myth in itself, and was easily debunked by the Illinois Policy Institute.

    https://www.illinoispolicy.org/setting-the-ctu-straight-on-teacher-retirement-benefits/

    “The average pension for a recently retired career teacher is $71,717 – a full $24,000 more than the average for all Chicago teachers. It’s also more than double the maximum Social Security benefit that private-sector workers who reach full retirement age can receive ($31,700).

    In addition, the CTU leaves out how much earlier teachers retire compared to workers in the private sector.

    Private-sector workers have to work until age 67 to obtain full Social Security benefits. Chicago teachers are able to retire in their 50s while collecting a majority of their final average salary.

    Almost 40 percent of Chicago teachers retire before age 60. And career teachers retire, on average, at age 61.5, five-and-a-half years before Social Security’s full retirement age.

    Another reality that CTPF must confront is that people are living longer, which means teachers are collecting more retirement benefits for longer than in the past. In all, a recently retired career teacher can expect to receive more than $2 million in benefits over his or her retirement lifetime.”

  • 115. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Are you freaking kidding me……..Chewey is making the longer day an issue? I see the parents (who are conveniently teachers protecting their pensions) did not mention how the children actually NOW get RECESS with the longer day.

    What did the students get from 30 years of no recess? Childhood obesity. And this “mom” is worried about kids learning to do laundry?

    As a side note, it really makes white middle class parents look like idiots. Almost like a Saturday Night Live skit.

  • 116. CarolA  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Angie check your numbers for average pension on the pension site. Your average might include principals who have a much higher salary therefore a higher pension.

    Patricia I love recess but keep in mind that in many schools including mine there aren’t facilities for students to run around when being outside is not possible due to weather. That means many of them sit in an auditorium not exercising.

  • 117. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:52 am

    @carolA, and are new teachers starting today being promised the same pension or has that been modified at all?

    (I feel like that was an issue duing the last ctu negotiation but don’t recall the outcome)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 118. karet  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

    @115, That was my exact reaction. Almost seemed like a parody.
    My younger kid goes to a magnet that used to get out at 1:45 with no recess. Boy, those were the good ol’ days! Not.

    Even more importantly, I felt the video clearly showed that Chuy = CTU.

  • 119. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    @cpso, I think the new teachers have different parameters and I believe Huberman is the one that changed that and the only reason is because the state was about to go into a fiscal crisis or downgrade or something (can’t remember the exact term). I think that is why the brochure has two tiers with different retirement ages. What needs to happen is to move to 401k and do a sliding scale to transition keeping those already retired and closest to retirement as protected as possible…………………gee, I think this is already out there but the unions are tying it up in court while Chicago continues to be douwngraded………..and as Angie pointed out at the tune of $17,000,000 per day. All because years ago the sleeping voters allowed the Illinois constitution to be amended to NEVER reduce ANY benefit for union workers will ultimately really screw us all.

  • 120. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:41 am

    @118 karet. Yes, the CTU found the perfect muppet.

    @CarolA. I couldn’t be more saddened with the hollow defense of not giving kids recess. There are solutions out there other schools are doing. Google can even provide answers.

  • 121. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Wow, I didn’t realize Chuy is against the longer school day. The longer school day is one of the best things Rahm has done.

  • 122. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    @Peter, simply replace “Chuy” with “CTU” and it will all make sense.

  • 123. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I agree Patricia. Chuy is just a tool of the public employee unions. What really upsets me though is that there are so many people that think what he is saying can actually happen.

    Chicago has no money. Chuy would probably have to triple property taxes to achieve his agenda. I’m sure that will help the middle class.

  • 124. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    @116. CarolA: “Angie check your numbers for average pension on the pension site. Your average might include principals who have a much higher salary therefore a higher pension.”

    That article specifically talks about CTU pensions, and principals are not in the union. But even if we use your own figure of $5K per months or $60K per year, tax-free, it is still nearly twice as much as the Social Security payment private sector workers get. Not bad for working 9 months per year.

    @121. Peter: “Wow, I didn’t realize Chuy is against the longer school day. The longer school day is one of the best things Rahm has done.”

    I don’t understand why Rahm does not go negative and hammer that point home. Chuy is out to destroy all of his education accomplishments.

  • 125. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

    1. “debunked by the Illinois Policy Institute”

    Oh, sure, cite one set of biased wackos to counter another set of biased wackos. That *always* leads to an illuminating discussion.

    TO BE CLEAR: Neither of those links present a truly accurate picture of what the ‘typical’ (average and median are pretty useless, here, except in discussing aggregates) benefit is.

    2. Teachers who first started with CPS after … [checking] … Jan 1, 2011, have a totally different plan. They cannot collect a pension at all until 62. They don’t get the full amount they earned until 67. They have to have 10 years in to collect. There is a cap on the final salary used to calculate the pension. The COLA is reduced, if CPI rate is under 6%. They do get a better surviving spouse benefit.

    3. “the Illinois constitution to be amended to NEVER reduce ANY benefit for union workers”

    Only government workers with pensions, whether in unions or not. This protection includes the Legislative Pensions–you know, the most generous pensions in the state, for the folks who get paid $75k for a part-time job. There is NO constitutional protection for private sector pensions–ask the UAL pilots.

    I get a kick out of the folks who call for a graduated income tax, because we have to figure out a way to meet the state’s constitutional obligation to fund the pensions–ignoring the fact that the flat income tax is also in the constitution.

  • 126. Learning CPS  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    @ 115, 118. Watched the video with my jaw open..really? Not only did it feel like a parody, it didn’t really back up his point. His post said “not just more hours, more well-rounded hours.” If he wants to argue that the time is not being well-spent, we need more specials or instruction or recess in that time, that’s an argument one might be able to make. But to back it up with two moms/former CPS employees who seem to say the biggest issue with a longer day is there are less hours after school for other activities and homework (and lets not forget the many parents in Chicago who aren’t able to put their kids in lots of extras anyway) and less time for them to somehow teach basic home and life responsibilities (huh?)…that just was mind boggling to me.

    I have struggled to understand the issue with the longer school day. We have a 1st grader, so that’s the only day she has had and I haven’t felt it has limited a single thing in her life or that her time at school is not well used. Her school day now is almost exactly what my school day was from K-12 so from my perspective it doesn’t even seem long. Honestly her school day now is probably easier for her since she has been in full-time daycare/preschool since she was 3 months old. Getting done with school at 3pm is 2-3 hours earlier than she was done with her day before. Then she goes to after care until 5:30/6 in another facility (nice change of scenery and people) and gets gymnastics, soccer, art, yoga, and other fun active stuff. Homework has not been a problem…we set a time for it when she gets home if she hasn’t done it at after care and she is regularly in bed with lights out by 8:30. She knows how to fold her clothes, empty the dishwasher, just wrote all her thank you’s for her recent birthday presents and any number of other age appropriate life skills. Even with two full-time working parents she does ice skating and swim classes outside of the rest of it. Sorry if I’m spouting off a bit, but that video really made no sense to me at all and is not anywhere close to my reality.

    Chuy seems to basically be arguing against everything people don’t like about Rahm. Maybe he is the better choice, but right now he just feels all politician to me saying what he thinks people want to hear with no substance behind it. I don’t need Rahm to be nice or friendly and I don’t love everything he has done, but I need to know that we have a mayor willing to make tough, potentially unpopular decisions that can help us in the long-term if not completely apparent in the the short-term. Chuy isn’t showing me anything that tells me he’ll do that once we get past the campaigning.

  • 127. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:33 am

    @ Chris. OMG, “I get a kick out of the folks who call for a graduated income tax, because we have to figure out a way to meet the state’s constitutional obligation to fund the pensions–ignoring the fact that the flat income tax is also in the constitution.”

    I did not realize that. What a hoot! What else has been slyly put into the Illinois constitution while all us voters were sleeping? I find constitution activists in general pretty annoying, but man what is wrong with Illinois politics to bastardize our state constitution time and time again.

  • 128. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

    @Chris, exactly.

    “I get a kick out of the folks who call for a graduated income tax, because we have to figure out a way to meet the state’s constitutional obligation to fund the pensions–ignoring the fact that the flat income tax is also in the constitution”

  • 129. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Angie: “That article specifically talks about CTU pensions, and principals are not in the union.”

    The IPI is not uniformly meticulous with their defined terms. The principals’ pensions are funded out of the CTPF, too, and I would be surprised if they actually differentiated.

    A teacher who retired in 2014, at age 70, with 45 years of service, with a final average salary at the max of the step/lane scale would have a starting pension of $75,750.00. It is NOT PLAUSIBLE that the average is $71,000.

    Citing BS to counter BS just makes the whole place smell awful.

  • 130. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:39 am

    For those of you for Chuy, I’m still waiting to hear from you and him about how he will pay for all his promises? What will he cut? Who will he tax? Will there be less jobs in the city when companies that used to get tax breaks move? How will he reopen closed schools? Will he stop funding selective enrollment schools and IB programs? Where will he get the money????

  • 131. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Also, I can’t believe the way people are portraying Rahm. He is not a tea party conservative republican, but you’d never know it from the way people are talking. He is a life long democrat, he represented many of us in congress, he went against big business to push for a $13 per hour minimum wage. Is this all about the CTU? Sure sounds like it.

  • 132. skepticismiscertain  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:50 am

    @90 The more accurate statement is “there is a 68% that your child’s true score falls within this band (which depends on the test), but it is most likely that your child’s score is x.”

    NWEA is clear that they are using the standard error of measurement to set the RIT ranges: “RIT Range: If a student took the test again relatively soon, the score would fall within this range about 68% of the time (p.3)” See https://www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2014/07/WB-MAP-Reports-Portfolio-D01.pdf

  • 133. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    @klm or anyone else who can answer this. What really is a “progressive”?

    klm you noted above, “I’m pro-gay marriage, I’m anti-racism (my spouse and kids are black), I’m pro-public education, I’m pro-teacher, I’m upset by the amounts of poverty in this country and think we need to be pro-active in doing something about it, I’m pro-immigration, I’m all for gender equality against sexual violence, pro-choice, against racial profiling, believe religion has no place in public institutions in terms of deciding public policy, ………etc.”

    I am pretty much the same, except my kids are white 😉 Am I a progressive? I am pretty sure Rham would also be progressive? I think even Bruce Rauner would be somewhat progressive?

    I really am confused as to what it really means. Sorry, this may be a really stupid question, but the term is thrown around and I can’t quite see the granularity.

  • 134. skepticismiscertain  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    @90 The National Council of Measurement in Education provides a more technical overview of SEM here: http://ncme.org/linkservid/6606715E-1320-5CAE-6E9DDC581EE47F88/showMeta/0/

  • 135. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:53 am

    @ mom2 and Peter. I know, people think there is a money printer out there. I really feel like we are living in one big puppet show.

  • 136. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

    @129. Chris :Do you have a better source for the average CTU pension? Please post it.

    $5K per months figure was posted upthread by teacher CarolA.

    “Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 1.7% cost-of-living increase in 2015, boosting the average monthly benefit for retired
    at full retirement age is increasing from $2,642 per month in 2014 to $2,663 per month in 2015. Full retirement age is 66 if you were born from 1943 to 1954 and gradually rises to 67 if you were born after that (see Social Security’s Full Retirement Age chart).”

    Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C001-S003-a-boost-in-social-security-benefits.html#HAyWQUkhOt3dp4XT.99

    Teachers: $5,000×12=$60,000
    Private sector: $2,663×12=$31,956

  • 137. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

    “Do you have a better source for the average CTU pension?”

    Nope, but when a source is presenting clearly slanted ‘facts’, I like to call it out. If I had a reliable, illuminating source for data, I would have linked it, or posted actual data from it.

  • 138. Newcomer  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Good article including Blaine principal’s reasoning on non-PARCCing:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/03/06/principal-to-parents-we-dont-need-to-get-used-to-this-we-need-to-stop-it/?postshare=2261425639951953

  • 139. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I really don’t get worked up about testing. CPS has many bigger issues than a national standardized test. See the discussion above about finances.

  • 140. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Are some of these parents heads in the sand? CPS will not have the money to pay the required pension payment next year. That is honestly the issue that should be the top concern of everyone in Chicago.

    It will affect everyone.

  • 141. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-parcc-parents-protest-illinois-test-common-core-isbe-edit-0306-jm-20150305-story.html (may require paid subscription for access)

    “Parents, take a deep breath. Yes, the PARCC test is new and scary. It will be difficult for many children; it is designed to be academically challenging to better gauge student progress. Sure, teachers are leery of it because their evaluations will ultimately be tied in part to the results.

    But none of that is reason to yank your child out of the test.

    For more than a decade, schools across the country have been held accountable for children’s academic progress. That higher expectation was enshrined in the landmark No Child Left Behind law. But many states, including Illinois, gamed the system and pretended that students had made more progress than they actually had.

    How did Illinois schools perform? Did the nearly $29.8 billion in federal, state and local money that the State Board of Education says Illinois spent on K-12 education — close to $15,000 per student in the 2013-14 school year — deliver enough student progress? Nobody really knew.

    The federal law needs updating, but the principle — all children can learn, all teachers should be evaluated on whether they reach students or not — remains sound.”

  • 142. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:50 am

    @ Peter. The master puppeteers are at work. Distraction with PARCC will eat up several weeks to the election, press will blindly publish anything that is negative. Buys a few more weeks to distract from pensions. Get people worked up. Reporters following Rham to get a “gotcha” moment since he dissed them in the past (a la that Ahern chick or Carol Marin). Eats up more news cycle while the unwitting public hears all these promises that sound like a dream. All to avoid pension discussions. Build momentum to the election, as Jessee Sharkey pointed out in the Chicago Magazine article, it is all about momentum. You have to give the puppeteers and strategists a ton of credit.

    Then we may have a Chewey mayor who releases himself of all responsibility for schools either via elected school board or just continuing to be the muppet he is for the CTU. Labor will continue to point to the Illinois constitution and tie any solution (no matter how reasonable) up in the slow court systems. Then parade out all the hard working teachers, cops, firefighters and pull on heart-strings at the injustice of not paying them. (btw it truly is an injustice, but the unions need to be part of the solution). Then taxes go up? A LOT. Property values go down. Oh my, how did that happen says the unwitting average joe taxpayer? Then here comes services cut to the bone. Then come more higher taxes. Then out go the businesses and there is no longer a TIF to keep them here. Sooner rather than later, out goes the tax base middle class of the city.

    It is a real problem people. Pensions

  • 143. Confidence Intervals  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:56 am

    “The more accurate statement is “there is a 68% that your child’s true score falls within this band (which depends on the test), but it is most likely that your child’s score is x.””

    That’s a lot closer to right. But the true score is either in or out of the confidence interval, so I don’t know about the 68 percent. That is nit picking a bit, probably only matters to a statistician.

  • 144. pantherparent  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    @138 From the article: “…but it is my lived experienced that this massive over-testing has been as toxic to education in Chicago as breathing exhaust fumes would be to a living organism.”

    It’s this type of clearly well thought out analogy that really builds support for the anti-testing groups.

    The reasons the anti-testers come up with for not taking the test are a smokescreen for the real issue. That this test (or any test) might show that the teachers are not doing a good job.

    I’m sorry but a holistic approach to determining whether a teacher is doing a “good job” hasn’t worked.

    Every job in America uses metrics to measure ability. And guess what? Every worker feels those metrics are invalid.

    So spare me the more class time argument, the more money argument, and the you-must-be-anti-teacher and take the damn test.

  • 145. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    @Patrica, this statement is so true and so scary. What does it take to wake people up?

    “Then taxes go up? A LOT. Property values go down. Oh my, how did that happen says the unwitting average joe taxpayer? Then here comes services cut to the bone. Then come more higher taxes. Then out go the businesses and there is no longer a TIF to keep them here. Sooner rather than later, out goes the tax base middle class of the city.

    It is a real problem people. Pensions”

  • 146. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Maybe this will help people understand the magnitude of the problem.

    http://cps.edu/fy15budget/Pages/pensions.aspx

  • 147. skepticismiscertain  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    @22 24 95 99 121 124 126

    Almost everything Rahm did w/ the longer day violated the explicit advice of schools that had implemented what they call “extended learning time.” First, plan the longer-day with stakeholder involvement: teachers, principals, teacher’s union, parents, community groups. Was this done? Nope. Rahm knew the contract was up for renewal, but separated the longer-day from any contract discussions. This meant that to avoid any cost increase, CPS and CTU agreed in July to keep teachers’ hours at school the same.. When MA did extended days, it cost $1,600-2,000 per student more, which would be a 11.6% to 14.5% increase in the CPS budget. Raise your hand if you want property taxes raised to cover that (which means lifting the legislative cap on rate increases). No? Then you don’t really want a longer day.

    Second, make the process transparent; communicate with all stakeholders while planning. This was not done: parents were left in the dark as were school-level principals and teachers. The entire process was controlled by Brizard. That 7 hour day applies to all grades, pre-K to 8th, and it is supposed to be 6 hours of instructional time — even for pre-K.

    Third, simply tacking on more time should not be done, but the entire organization of the school day should be designed from scratch. What did CPS do? Tacked on more time; no curricular redesign. See this report for background. Adding recess is not a redesign of the school day. My school had recess under the 5.75 hour day. I am still flummoxed by the argument that only a longer day would make recess possible. And my school had visual arts, drama, music, and Spanish. Was the schedule tight? Yes. Would we have preferred a 6 or 6.5 hour day? Sure. But not 7.5 hours, as was initially proposed, and not 7 hours as Rahm backed down to. But under CPS dictated time-use regulations, we could not add a 2nd recess period into the schedule.

    And we should be clear that evidence on extended time is mixed to weak. The research on its general impact is still ongoing. And the successful ones have extensive extra program beyond just more time in the day. The evidence that Rahm/Brizard held up was a joke: the “pioneer” schools had greater growth than the district average. My school had identical growth to the pioneer average, and we did it under the 5.75 hour day. Whenever the point of reference is the district average, you know one thing: the district failed to establish equivalent student matching for the evaluation or the matching comparison shows relatively weak evidence (this was the case in MA; they cited touted the district avg. comparison; the independent evaluator used matched-student comparisons and found weak to nil differences). This doesn’t mean we should abandon ELT; it means careful research studies must be done.

    Finland is at the top of the PISA charts. How long is there school day? They have a 190-day school year and the average day for students age 9-11, is 5.4 hours, with some days only 4 hours long. If you divide their total hours by 180 days, you get 5.74 hours — or what CPS had before the longer day. Finnish students are entitled to 15 min. of unstructured play after each 45 minutes of instruction. Most elementary school teachers teach only 4 lessons a day. A teacher’s work day is usually 6 hours – roughly 4 actually teaching or supervising students, and 2 hours for course planning and collaboration. And there is a little written homework in Finnish elementary schools.

  • 148. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Pensions are the problem. As stated in this blog, Wall St. created it and Wall St. should pay employees back. Just like the bail out, the banks and hedge fund mangers get the money and the middle class and poor get the blame. Rahm (and others) gave hedge fund mangers access to the government officials who looted the pensions with their fees when he worked in “finance”. He does not have a finance background, he has a political background. Rahm does not care about your kids or whether they get in a SE. He is out for himself. Voting against Rahm and his ilk is the only way to stop this stealing from “we the people”. Pensions now and 401K and Social Security next…..

  • 149. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Truthseeker, CTU should sue Wall Street, not the taxpayers then.

  • 150. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    @147. skepticismiscertain : We should not discuss Finland’s school day without talking about Finland’s teaching methods.

    http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/06/24/ctq_faridi_finland.html

    “5. Out-of-this-world teacher prep programs. Part of the reason why teachers are so trusted in Finland is that becoming a teacher is an extremely rigorous and prestigious process. Only the best of the best are accepted into education school. In addition to having high test scores, candidates must pass an interview investigating their integrity, passion, and pedagogy. Universities are committed to finding candidates that are the right fit for the teaching profession. Their programs are research-based, and teachers finish with master’s degrees, including a published thesis.”

    Compare this with recent ISBE decision to allow future teachers to stay in the program after failing each portion of the test 5 times, or with CTU refusal to reward better teachers with higher pay. Also, researchers say that replacing just 5% of the worst American teachers with mediocre (not even good!) teachers would cause our scores to skyrocket, but try doing it with the current tenure rules protecting the dead wood.

    “6. Personal time is highly valued. Every 45 minutes, students have the legal right to 15 minutes of free time. Finns believe that students’ capacity for engagement and learning is most successful when they have a chance to unwind and refocus. In turn, students work productively during class time, with the understanding that their needs to play, talk, or even read quietly will be met shortly. Going outside frequently also encourages greater physical fitness.”

    It took Rahm to force Chicago schools to provide one recess per day. In Finland, kids get it every hour. No wonder they are able to learn better.

  • 151. skepticismiscertain  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    @127 “I find constitution activists in general pretty annoying, but man what is wrong with Illinois politics to bastardize our state constitution time and time again.”

    The state constitution was pretty much the same from 1870 to 1970, when the current version was adopted. It put in place the pension guarantee and the authority to tax income at a flat rate (Illinois had no income tax until 1969 — a 1932 progressive tax was invalidated by the IL Supreme Court because the 1870 constitution did no allow for any tax on income. The law passed in 1969 was for a flat rate, and its constitutionality was in doubt until the 1970 Constitution was ratified.)

  • 152. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Oh my goodness. How can people that claim to care about the people of Chicago really think that doing all the things Chuy and CTU want will benefit the neighborhood people of Chicago? I’m a neighborhood person of Chicago and if we all get what Chuy and CTU want, then I (and every other little person) have/has to pay for it. I don’t have extra money. I am not a wealthy 1% person, I am not a hedge fund manager. This talk of how it is the fault of wealthy people doesn’t even matter when the solution for all that Chuy wants is to tax the little people of Chicago. If you have some other secret way to pay for this, please tell me. I’m still waiting.

  • 153. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Peter the state should sue Wall St.

  • 154. Peter  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    mom2, these people are brain dead. The amount taxes needed to be raised to pay for CTU/Chuy ideas will lead to a massive exodus of people out of Chicago.

  • 155. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    “Peter the state should sue Wall St.”

    For what? Not forcing the legislature to raise taxes? For “allowing” CPS under Daley to skip contributions for 10 years? For the state backing out on the contributions to the CTPF?

    That seriously is an “idea” that has no basis in reality. more likely that the tooth fairy will show up and gift Chicago $40 billion.

  • 156. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    The 1970 constitution “put in place the pension guarantee and the authority to tax income at a flat rate”

    Yep. And a lot of people act as if one is immutable and the other a mere suggestion.

  • 157. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Speaking of suing and school closures, I saw in DNA news that the Friend of Trumbull group (one of the few northside schools to be closed, also my neighborhood school) sued CPS on behalf of some students with disabilities who now have to travel to other schools.
    The court said they had no grounds to sue since the Friends of group wasn’t directly affected by the closure.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 158. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Peter to pay back their exorbitant fees they charge to manage the funds. Your solution seems to be put on the backs of the teachers. The teachers who teach your children. If teachers are not paid well and their retirement is not managed well, they will leave the city in droves including the teachers who teach in selective enrollment schools. CPS will not recruit high quality teachers either. Many teachers trusted that their funds would be managed well. I am sure you will scold us because we should have been on top of it in between all the extra time we have. I wish you were as hard on the powers that be as you are at teachers and public servants. Teachers should know how to do everything themselves, fix their cars, build their houses, and diagnose our own illnesses but we do count on other experts to do their jobs honestly as well.
    My children are already through the system. They went to selective enrollments and through college. I still care that others can get into SE as well. Just because my children made it, I still care that others make it too. I feel you see teachers as the problem. With two master’s degrees and 36 years in CPS, I earn every retirement check I receive. I had my babies in the summer, my mother was my daycare and I took a total of 76 sick days in 36 years. Just another greedy teacher!

  • 159. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    @147 Cut the puppet strings please!

    You cannot say that there was not input and involvement in the longer day. Were you sitting in the room? Were you sitting in the room with over 30ish clergy, community groups, social services organizations, etc. WHEN EVER SINGLE PERSON IN THE ROOM BEGGED KAREN LEWIS TO PARTICIPATE in planning a longer day? Brizard texted her continually during the meeting and then every organization reached out to Karen Lewis personally to beg her to participate or at least send a representative. Or at least let’s get the teacher voice and union said NO. I think even the charter guy tried too, but think he was blocked from Karens email, can’t quite remember. Yes, the union continued to say NO to everything so that they can say they did not have a say.

    I give Rham and his team credit, they kept trying and got teacher input through some other really cool initiative that is published somewhere and I have since forgot. Yes, I was the naive participant who kept talking about implementation and that 7 hours was the sweet spot. It did eventually sink in. We all yell for a healthy discussion and debate……….there was one about the longer day………….now let’s slam Rham because he let the debate happen and backed off on his original 7.5 hours. Huh?

    CPS was trying to genuinely get input. It was that “fresh on the job” effort. But they did not really know what to do or how to really get input. The meetings were every few weeks or something like that. Unfortunately, the attendance dwindled or underlings were sent just to show. Kind of, hard to keep showing up when the voice of the teachers was not there………although it was truly wanted.

    In case anyone is saying “whaaaaaat?” (a la james franco) Way back when I first started participating on this blog it was about recess and I noted I was the crazy mom who went to the board meeting pushing recess………just a Mom………and it sucked up the next year plus of my life. I am not sure who I thought I was LOL, but somehow I got in there and was luck other groups seeking recess joined the quest. So yeah, this hits a nerve.

  • 160. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I’m all for the city finding ways to get money so everyone can have what they were promised, what they need – heck I’m even for the city finding ways to get money so everyone can have what they want. But not sure how we are going to get it from “Wall Street.” Who exactly is “Wall Street?” Please provide their specific names and exactly what they did that was illegal so Rahm or Chuy can sue them and win.

  • 161. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Chewey campaign slogan:

    “A shorter school day for a better Chicago. All our children will be able to do laundry, but don’t worry, we won’t test them on it.”

    Stick that on a button.

  • 162. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Patricia, thank you so much for taking that year to fight for recess. While I know it is hard to manage at some schools due to space, having a break from sitting and listening is really wonderful. With the longer day, the kids at our school went from shoving food down their throat for 10 minutes of lunch and 5-10 minutes of “recess” to a nice lunchtime and solid recess time and now with PE every day. That used to be once a week. Many parents appreciate your efforts.

  • 163. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Wasserstein Perella & Co. is the company Rahm worked for so he is not going to sue them. If you vote for Rahm, he will continuing to loot pensions and give them the high fees they demand. Rauner was head of financial firm called GTCR, which rakes in fees from pension investments. Rauner—who retains an ownership stake in at least 15 separate GTCR entities. There are many pension funds and they take fees for pension management from all 50 states.
    My point is vote for people that represent your interests and not the interests of the 1%. Be informed every time you vote. Most of us might be willing to take a little less if it benefits many.

  • 164. Angie  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    David Vitale on CPS pensions: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-cps-pensions-teachers-education-students-chicago-perspec-0309-jm-20150306-story.html (may require paid subscription for access)

    “In the absence of changes to pension funding, CPS will be forced to decide between funding the pensions of retired employees and funding the education of Chicago students.

    CPS’ unfunded pension obligations total $9.5 billion. In fiscal year 2014 we contributed $613 million. In 2015, we will contribute $634 million. We are required to contribute $688 million in 2016 and an estimated $708 million in 2017.

    While our pension costs skyrocket, our revenue remains flat, and in some instances has actually decreased. More than one-quarter of CPS’ 2015 budget depends upon funding from the state. But state funding in 2015 is actually less than it was in 2008 (while our 2015 pension contribution is $500 million more than it was in 2008). Slightly more than one-third of our revenue comes from property taxes. The effect of the state cap on property tax revenue is that CPS has no ability to increase that revenue source to absorb increased pension contributions.

    In 2015, as we have for several years, we utilized every available strategy to stretch our resources and to keep cuts away from the classroom. Since 2011, we have made more than $740 million in non-classroom-related cuts, eliminating hundreds of administrative positions, slashing noninstructional costs and renegotiating vendor contracts. We have also exhausted our reserves.

    But as aggressive and vigilant as we have been, our present course is simply not sustainable. CPS’ projected deficit for next year is $1.1 billion, and pension costs account for approximately $700 million of that amount. While pension reform alone will not eliminate that huge deficit, it is an essential component of any solution. Without pension reform, there simply will be no alternative to implementing even deeper, more painful cuts that will directly affect the classroom; we have exhausted all other alternatives. To put these cuts into perspective, each $100 million spent on pensions translates into 1,000 fewer teachers. And a smaller number of teachers translates directly into larger class sizes and less attention and fewer educational opportunities for students.”

  • 165. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    @162 Mom2. Thanks, but there were rocking organizations who really deserve so much credit like COFI and Healthy Schools Campaign to name a few.

    There was a rockstar worker at central office who was great at helping schools figure out recess and even audited recess! I do not know if she is still there given the gutting of central office to try and address budget issues.

  • 166. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Just a little public service announcement: No matter which candidate you’re rooting for, please vote in the run off. Even if you weren’t registered for the February election, you can register now and any time all the way until April 4th. Chicago has 2.7 million residents, but only 475,000 people cast a vote for mayor in February.

  • 167. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    HSObsessed, do you know if they will have early voting again? The election is during spring break at CPS and some people may be out of town.

  • 168. HSObsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Yes, mom2, early voting in person is from 3/23 to 4/4. All details are on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioner website.

  • 169. mom2  |  March 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you.

  • 170. Mom2Boys  |  March 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    CPS is well known for a lack of transparency when it comes to its’ budget, and for annual fear-mongering about finances anyway. Our mayor seems to find money for pet projects such as a huge addition to Payton H.S., building an arena for a private university (DePaul), etc. While Rahm’s slush fund may not wipe out the pension mess, I’d certainly be reassured by a different set of priorities than the above examples. And the mayor has been wooing middle class parents with a number of costly proposals in advance of February’s election like any politician might do.

    Regarding the longer school day, I’ve heard a number of comments suggesting that the idea for the longer day was actually motivated by a desire to lower crime stats in certain areas of the city by keeping kids off the street. I am thrilled for students who go to an elementary school where they now have some sort of recess, and wish my kids could have had this opportunity when they were in grade school. And the longer day may benefit working parents. Still, I don’t think the extended day is an across the board improvement for all. I know several schools where the longer day merely delivered a study hall tacked onto day’s end. In order to comply with the CPS mandate, NSCP’s principal took the 1/2 day that formerly provided midweek rest and recuperation for students and crafted it into a full day with X and Y blocks used for non-credit study hall, tutoring, fitness room, etc. While I applaud his creativity, all NSCP students I know would prefer to have the original 1/2 day to use the time as they wish. Are there legitimate studies that conclude the added expense of the longer day is worth the cost? Finally, I do feel the school day is too long for our youngest students, especially those who have to travel because they don’t attend neighborhood schools. Lots of valuable learning takes place outside of school too. Good that kids are resilient, although some more than others! 🙂

  • 171. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    @Patricia: hahaha! (actually it is a friend of mine in the laundry video and I know her intentions were sincere and well intended, but your campaign slogan is making me lol.)

    Chewey campaign slogan:

    “A shorter school day for a better Chicago. All our children will be able to do laundry, but don’t worry, we won’t test them on it.”

    Stick that on a button.

  • 172. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    @170 “Regarding the longer school day, I’ve heard a number of comments suggesting that the idea for the longer day was actually motivated by a desire to lower crime stats in certain areas of the city by keeping kids off the street.”

    Are you saying this as a negative? Or just throwing it out there? So even if this was the case, who cares? Not sure, but the people who fought for recess, which requires a longer day unless you cut instruction time, did it because kids were cooped up with no physical or social outlet with the shorter day. Little kids, pre teens, teens, tweens, etc. needed it. It is proven that recess reduces discipline problems. Oh the torture for these kids for 30 years cooped up with NO recess. And all it took was moving the teacher lunch, not more money, just a change in schedule…………..but I digress, we can all go back to the old threads on that debate.

    @170 “I know several schools where the longer day merely delivered a study hall tacked onto day’s end. ”

    So what? Put yourself in the kids gymshoes. Look at it from their perspective. HOW WONDERFUL that they can decompress, get organized, loop back to a teacher to clarify something they did not understand in class, get a head start on homework……….so they can do laundry when they get home 🙂

    Before the longer day, if you put yourself in the kids gym shoes, it was CRAZY! Hurry up get your coat off, hurry up pledge of allegiance while reading the blackboard because we have to count this as instructional time, ok sit down and learn, learn, learn, OK it is 10:30am, time for lunch………alll 30 kids line up, walk to the lunchroom, stand in line, get your lunch, eat your lunch…………oops 20 minutes is up, throw the rest away…………..quick back in line, back to class, back to learning, stop fidgeting, stop trying to talk to your friend because there is no other time in the day to do so…………ok to the principal with you. OK, end of day, quick shove it all in the backpack, it is almost 1:45pm, day is done…………wait, here are 10 worksheets for you to do tonight since I you couldn’t figure it all out in the flurry of the day.

    How awful these kids now get to “shake off those jiggles” at recess as a great parent said of her 5 year old son. What an awful decision to let kids decompress and organize themselves building executive functions skills. That Rham…….

  • 173. xan  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Should talk to your principal? None of my kids have study hall and busy all day learning with longer school day.

  • 174. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    @cpso, I know, I couldn’t resist. I am sure she is a nice person and looks familiar to me. But, Chuy messing with the longer day and recess pisses me off.

    Here are more for kicks…………..

    “Progress, we don’t need progress. I’m progressive.”

    or

    “Shame on Rham, my kid lost weight during recess.”

    or

    “Ignorance is bliss, don’t pay attention to all the red ink.”

    or

    “Vote for Chuy because I will ____________” (you fill in the blank, I will do it all, I promise)

    or

    “Who gave Vitale the calculator?”

  • 175. Chris  |  March 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    “Wasserstein Perella & Co. is the company Rahm worked for so he is not going to sue them”

    This is–to be *nice*–kookoo. Wasserstein never managed money for CTPF, and doesn’t exist anymore.

    You may as well suggest suing Microsoft for paying Baller too much–it’s actually closer to affecting CTPF than Wasserstein, as reducing Ballmer’s comp might have increased the return on MSFT, which the CTPF has certainly owned at various times.

  • 176. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Chris, the point is these companies and their ilk prey on our pensions with fees. Do you think Rahm & Rauner who have worked for these pension fees companies are looking out for people with pensions? NO! So why are you voting for them? This most likely needs to be a class action suit against the companies that take excessive fees from pensions. I guess you are rich, Chris. They will come for the 401Ks, SS and other retirement plans. You are willing to put this on the backs of public sector workers. Sad.

  • 177. truthseeker  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Chris we are being scammed. “Illinois officials denied an open records request for information identifying which financial firms are managing that state’s pension money. Like their Kentucky counterparts, Illinois officials asserted that the firms’ identities “constitute trade secrets.” Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act includes special exemptions for information about private equity firms.” by David Sirota from In These Times.

  • 178. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    172. Patricia | March 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    With the 5.75 day my kids had recess and rich, full school day. They had time to come home be in activities, breathe, be outside BEFORE dinner. Small kids need to be home in their own safe haven with family.

    ‘So what? Put yourself in the kids gymshoes. Look at it from their perspective. HOW WONDERFUL that they can decompress, get organized, loop back to a teacher to clarify something they did not understand in class, get a head start on homework’

    I have put my kids in their shoes~my kids don’t need a STUDY HALL to decompress, get organized…that’s crazy talk. Study halls don’t help kids, but it’s a good babysitter for Rahm to keep kids off the street…only most kids who are on the street aren’t going to HS anyway.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t have had a longer day, but 6.5 hrs is much more inline with what kids need. Primary grades come home so exhaused…it’s not fair to them.

  • 179. CarolA  |  March 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Glanced over the comments from the day…..Patricia…I agree that even if recess isn’t actually spent outside or in a gym, it is a time to decompress and everyone needs that! I love the extra time for lunch/recess.

  • 180. Patricia  |  March 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    SSI4.

    I’ll send a set of campaign buttons over to you stat!

  • 181. Tier4Mom  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    This video speaks volumes on Ralm’s character! These people are talking about losing their children and he continues to try to get a laugh.

  • 182. Tier4Mom  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I meant ***Rahm

  • 183. CLB  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    @150 You are quite right that a key aspect, if not the key aspect, of Finnish success is very high teacher quality. Finland has fewer than 10 school of education, and no one can get a BA in education. They must obtain an MA from one of these schools.

    But in Finland even higher education is free — even at the PHd level.

    Unfortunately, the US higher ed system will fight this tooth and nail because teacher education is a big cash-cow. Think of it this way: imagine that Illinois allowed only 20 schools of education in the state. There are currently 77. In the Chicago area, Northwestern, U Chicago, U Illinois Chicago, Loyola and DePaul would probably be kept. But National Louis, Concordia, Elmhurst, NEIU, NIU… not so much.

  • 184. CLB  |  March 6, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    @159 I’m not going to absolve CTU for its pissing match with CPS. But let’s be clear: CPS was pushing more schools to adopt the longer day immediately, and circumventing the existing contract to do it. This was not the way to go about it. The one meeting ended because CPS would not go to CTU HQ and CTU would not go to one of the pioneer schools while CPS was trying to convince others. Both sides were childish on that.

    Lewis was not invited to a discussion between CTU and CPS. She was invited to a CPS advisory board on only curricular issues, and quite frankly, CPS has a long history of setting up advisory committees, ignoring their recommendations, and then saying their decision was the result of consultation with the advisory group. Ask the LSC advisory board how it has been treated. Presumably, if CTU was absent, we would have had a curricular recommendation unhindered by union considerations. Has anyone seen what the advisory group recommended. I never saw its report, if there was one. If you a copy, please send it my way. My guess was they had a bunch of meetings; there was no final recommendation, and CPS did what it wished.

    But I can be disproved if someone has the longer day advisory report.

  • 185. Noname  |  March 6, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Very interesting about the benefit formula for CPS pensions – I had no idea.

    Compared to those in the private sector lucky enough to have pensions, the CPS plan is incredibly rich. Full benefits at 55 are worth twice as much (read: twice as costly) as full benefits at 65. Actuarially speaking, retiring at 55 rather than 65 should cause retirement benefits to be cut in half (approx).

    And 75% of final salary is ridiculously high. Private pensions are generally under 2% (usually in the 1.4% range) and then max out on years of service. Thus, assuming service maxes out at 30, a retiree could get 2% times 30 years = 60% of their salary in pension – that is on the high end. More likely is 1.4%*30=42% of salary (and so about 21% if retiring at 55 instead of 65).

  • 186. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Noname, so what do you think about police and firefighters retiring a 38 or 40? 20 years and they receive a full pension. You must be out raged! Their formula is even more lucrative. Oh, I forgot, they are men so it is ok. Silly me!

  • 187. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Before I even begin my remark, “let me be perfectly clear” :), there DOES need to be some kind of pension reform. That being said, let’s go back to CPS teacher pension vs. private sector. I live in a neighborhood that has plenty of union based retirees such as electricians, plumbers, etc. They all get a nice pension AND their social security check. Yes, teachers do get a small Social Security check if they put in the required quarters from previous jobs, but we (as well as government employees) have a pension offset. I won’t even qualify for a Social Securty benefit due to lack of required quarters. One of my neighbors worked in a government agency and his pension offset allows for a minor Social Security check that will cover his Medicare payment. Complaining…..no. Just clarifying.

  • 188. Peter  |  March 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

    CPS credit was downgraded again. One level above junk now. How will Chuy fill the massive budget hole next year while protecting the unions? Where will the money come from to pay the pending $643M pension payment?

  • 189. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:22 am

    @184 CLB Yeah, the writing was on the wall for a strike and things did get petty leading up to it. Good point.

    Yes, it was called an advisory or something like that. So? Is that not good enough for Karen Lewis? Is it wrong to want teacher input and ask the union to participate? As I stated, it was a genuine attempt for input and CPS still does not know how to do that well. It was not a blue ribbon committee to issue a formal report. God forbid CPS tries to share information and get feedback from a range of groups—including teachers—about the longer day. I guess the damed if you do, damned if you don’t attitude is probably why CPS is still not good at engaging the public.

    I do not know exactly what you mean by “curricular issues” or ” curricular recommendation unhindered by union considerations”.

    Karen Lewis knew teacher input was important and tried to withold it. I guess she was doing her union job setting the groundwork for her strike. That is her job, but that does not mean her input was not sought and it certainly would have been welcome. As I said, it was kind of hard to have too many discussions without teachers participating. Although I guarantee you, I did bring up recess at least 100 times 🙂 and backing off on the 7.5 hour day. It was interesting that the purpose was not to discuss the actual length, but people brought it up anyway and CPS did listen. BTW, there were others who wanted an 8 hour day. Not all parents are at home waiting to shlep their kids to activities when they got out at 1:45pm. Or do laundry. Some need to go to a laundromat. Sorry, the laundry thing is still killing me LOL!

    As I said, I do give CPS credit for continually trying to get teacher input. There was this cool process that produced a document with teacher views on a range of things including the longer day. Not part of the advisory meetings, it was an entirely teacher driven thing, but they did present at one of the meetings. It was called VIVA something and the group even went to Karen Lewis too share the information with her. Even though she refused to participate, they still respectfully shared the input with her anyway. Found a link……

    http://vivateachers.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/VIVAChicago.pdf

  • 190. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:27 am

    @188 Peter. OMG, I am glad I was sitting down when I read your post. It literally caused my stomach to sink.

    BACK TO THE REAL ISSUE PENSIONS. Sorry I got distracted on the recess and laundry thing.

    @CarolA. You are so rational. It would be helpful to share with your union that you know there needs to be pension reform. They are still charging ahead like it is not needed. I think they need to start understanding that teachers are reasonable.

  • 191. Peter  |  March 7, 2015 at 9:03 am

    @Patricia, it’s scary. My kids are all in CPS elementary schools. It seems like half he population has no clue what is happening. Chuy just talks about nice things he’s going to do and protect pensions. Where does the $+600Million come from? Without a haircut to the public employee pensions, Chicago is screwed.

    Wake up Chicago, Chuy can’t deliver!

  • 192. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Peter, Rahm will just give more money to private equity firms. Chuy may be able to change how the pensions are managed and by whom. Rahm does not have your back.

  • 193. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:54 am

    @192. truthseeker : “Rahm will just give more money to private equity firms.”

    Better them, than CTU. At least they know how to count it.

    “Rahm does not have your back.”

    Rahm has my back. Chuy has yours. Sorry, but my back is a bit more important to me, so Rahm it is.

  • 194. Peter  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Rahm definitely hasy back.

    Chuy wants my wallet.

  • 195. Peter  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Rahm has my back.

    Sorry for the typo above.

    Chuy definitely wants my wallet.

  • 196. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

    @ Angie and Peter. AMEN!

    Button worthy…………

    “Rham has my back. Chuy wants my wallet.”

  • 197. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Personally, I don’t like either of them. That’s why I didn’t vote last time around.

    But knowing CTU wants Chuy in their pocket, I’m gonna have to drinking some Kool-Aid and cancel out EJW’s vote.

    “Chuy may be able to change how the pensions are managed and by whom.” How is this gonna fix 600mil+ shortfall? Hope you’re really seeking the truth… seems lot of bs to me.

  • 198. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Teachers teach your children, not Rahm. If pensions are not protected, excellent teachers will not work for CPS. They will not apply at selective enrollment schools. You hate CTU and they are the teachers. Clearly, you do not care about teachers.

  • 199. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:32 am

    @198 are you serious? You think I am going to fall for that crap? I love many of my kids teachers, but I love my kids more. I can’t afford to pay for the blunderings of unions and past politicians. The teachers I know, love and respect are rational people. They know that pension reform is needed. Stop trying the puppet strings.

    There is a fair proposal out there………..get it out of court and into motion.

  • 200. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:39 am

    ….but you will pay private equity firms? That is where the money is going. Teachers are your neighbors and fellow Chicagoans. They care about your children. Teacher earn their benefits. Fight who is really stealing money out of our taxes. It is not teachers or public workers. Follow the money.

  • 201. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:46 am

    @200 OMG, one boogy man after another to inhibit progress and add distractions. I will leave it to better posters than I take apart your silly notions.

    I do not want people to get screwed, but the decades of unsustainable union concessions has us where we are now. NOW WHAT? From my understanding, the current proposal protects fire and police. All retired teachers are essentially untouched, transition others to 401k with some buyout option if they choose otherwise.

    The alternative? Tax me to death? No thanks!

    There is a fair pension reform proposal out there………..get it out of court and into motion.

  • 202. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I wish I could leave it all up to CPS teachers to teach my children. Wishful thinking. I’ve had my fair share of good teachers and bad ones(they do exist). As a parent, I will make sure my children excel academically and trust no one else with that job.

    I think major difference between high performing school and other school are the parents. I know some think its the principal or the teacher… currently in cps, parents are the difference makers.

  • 203. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 11:54 am

    @202. xan: “I think major difference between high performing school and other school are the parents.”

    How do you propose to change the parents?

  • 204. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Some parents are a lost cause… you just can’t do anything.

    But the ones who care about making real change, give them the power to change their school through LSC. Currently, parent’s have no voice or power to make any changes. I guess learning on this site that CTU made sure parents have less representation on the LSC is really upsetting. That just shows you where CTU stand on parent involvement in schools.

  • 205. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    @204. xan: “Some parents are a lost cause… you just can’t do anything.”

    Then do something about getting their children better education, so they don’t follow the same path as the parents.

    “Bad parents” is a convenient excuse for teachers that don’t do their job, and the school administration that refuses to change status quo. Why bother, when these kids cannot be taught anything anyway, in the entire 7 hours they are at school every day, right?

  • 206. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    High performing school parents have similar mindset for their children’s education and just don’t sit back hoping their school is going to their job. Parents make sure.

    I wouldn’t label them as bad parents just because they don’t see education for their children as high priority for them. Priority is different for all the parents. I don’t know what the answer is for parents who don’t think its should be #1 priority. Does anyone? Don’t tell me CTU has the answer.

    But if parents care and want to change their school, they should be given a chance.

  • 207. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    xan: Not sure of the latest changes, if any, to LSC’s but last I knew there were only two teacher positions on the LSC and the rest are parents/neighborhood spots. Am I wrong?

  • 208. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Jill wrote on the other blog:

    I agree 100% that non-teaching staff should never have been added. The legislation (HB6017 in 2010) still roils me, as it effectively eliminated the parent majority on LSCs. I also agree that the bill was very quietly initiated and shepherded entirely by the CTU under Marilyn Stewart to gain a perk for its dues-paying members (PTSPs).

    I drew my conclusion from above statement. Maybe I read it wrong.

  • 209. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Ok the pension thing is obviously THE issue So instead of the boogyman evil wall street alarmists or the how can you be mean to teachers heartstring pulling. WHAT exactly is so wrong with the pension deal out there? And what exactly would fix it instead?

    Grabbed a few sentences via Googling……..

    “What they’ve already earned would be frozen and they could opt to convert to a 401k savings plan.”

    “The pension reform plan protects every dollar of benefits earned. What you’ve earned, you’re going to get. And if you are retired, you get everything you were promised. That’s fair and it’s right,” Rauner said. “But moving forward, all future work will be under the Tier 2 pension plan, except for our police and firefighters.”

    So NO ONE LOOSES ANY BENEFITS THEY ALREADY EARNED. Right? So no one can say, “they earned it and someone is taking it away.” Right?

    Please, do not say it is “not constitutional”. That is a farce and keeps from finding a fair solution.

    Anyone?

  • 210. HS mom  |  March 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    148 – ” Rahm does not care about your kids or whether they get in a SE. He is out for himself.”

    I’m unclear why Rahm should be concerned about getting my kid into a SE School. Isn’t that my concern/worry/decision or should we consult with the government or our local CTU about what’s best for our own kids. Is this a priority issue or even an issue at all?? I guess if you were to look at the record though, Rahm has supplied the most SE schools/seats for his term.

    Maybe when Chewy re-opens those 50 schools he can make them selective? Might be able to help with the underutilization problem. This way we can create 50 other schools that are underutilized and he can decide what to do with them.

  • 211. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    xan: Once again, why do you keep saying the parent majority on LSC’s was eliminated. Just looked it up…..6 parents, 2 teachers. Others include 1 school staff non-teacher member, and community members. In the end, parents have the most votes. Am I wrong?

  • 212. HS mom  |  March 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    speaking of laundry…..I sent my completely inexperienced son off to college with a box of those new detergent pods – pop one in the machine and Voila! problem solved. Gosh those new fangled inventions that free up your time for….well….any other thing that you can possibly do for fun or school or sport. OMG

  • 213. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Not sure I understand what Rauner means by what we earned would be frozen. Does that mean our own personal contributions are protected, but not the full amount due to us? (We only contribute to a portion of our pension.) Does it mean that if I’m in the age range I could retire now as a “buy-out” under the old rules? Is the buy-out only my personal contributions? That’s a lot less than what I’m due. Clarification needed. Since I’m close to retirement, I’d be happy to take some sort of buy-out that is close to what I would get as would many others. Then perhaps some sort of graduated buy-out for those who are close, but not yet quite there. If you are 10 years or more away from the window of retirement, you are under the new system. Something like that?????? Thoughts?

  • 214. xan  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Carol. Thx just look it up as you suggested. There are 2 community and principal. ..makes non parent member 6. Parents lost majority due to additional non teacher member.

  • 215. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    A community member is not employed by CPS and could very well be a parent who still lives in the neighborhood, but no longer has a child at that school. Therefore, it is possible to “out-vote” the teachers if parents recruit the right people. However, your reply sounded like there was a HUGE turnaround when the reality was that only one more person was added. It just seemed weird to me. I get your point though.

  • 216. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Plus…..who is to say that the non teacher member would side with the teachers? Sometimes, our two teacher members are not on the same side of issues. They represent a huge staff. It’s hard to get everyone on the same page sometimes. But then we go right back to making decisions based on what’s best for the school, not necessarily parents vs. teachers or teachers vs teachers. Shouldn’t everyone on the LSC listen to all sides of the issue and make a decision from there? How many parents on the LSC actually spend any amount of time inside the school to observe for themselves rather than rely on hearsay or what their child is reporting? Lots up for grabs there. But that’s off topic. Back to Rahm vs. Chuy: Don’t like either. Have to vote for one. Keep posting.

  • 217. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Patricia: “But moving forward, all future work will be under the Tier 2 pension plan, except for our police and firefighters.” The optimum phrase is “except for police and firefighters”. That is insulting to teachers. People are lathered up about teachers but you give police and firefighters a pass on pensions. They can retire after 20 years. You really think the police are doing a great job? I am not suggesting taxes be raised, sue or legislatively go after the private equity firms. That is where the money is going and they have it in their coffers. Private equity firms take the expensive fees for “management” of the fund. Know who really is the problem here, it is not CTU or teachers. Stop blaming teachers. Your teachers who have to obtain endorsements or new degrees for EVERYTHING they teach earned their compensation. Private equity firms will go after 401ks too. Mark my words. Yours is next. In a few years, you will say to yourself, “I was told this and I ignored it.” You are letting the fox guard the hen house.
    FYI: the purpose of the LSC is to provide transparency over financial decisions regarding schools. They do not have oversight over curriculum or how the school is run.

  • 218. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    @217. truthseeker : “” The optimum phrase is “except for police and firefighters”. That is insulting to teachers.”

    Police and firefighters put their lives on the line. Teachers do not. What’s insulting about giving more to people who risk being beaten, shot or burned to death while doing their jobs?

  • 219. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Angie, we work with the same population that the firefighters and police do. We deal with the aftermath. The raw emotions. We often have more education. Tell your child’s teachers, she or he is not worth having a solid pension. So many teachers are injured by students, you have no idea. If putting your life on the line draws a line in the sand for you, only soldiers should make more money. I do believe police and firefighters earn their money and earn their pension, why not teachers? All public employees earn their benefits and pay into them. We are not the problem. PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS ARE! Go after the real culprits.

  • 220. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I’m sorry, even if the pensions firms took too high a rate, there just NO way that can compare with the size of the obligation itself.
    I’m not saying the firms didn’t contribute (or did, I don’t know the story) but its utterly twisting things to say it would all be fine if the pension mgmt firms had lower fees.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 221. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    A possible solution is make recreational marijuana legal and the tax proceeds must go to clearing up the pension mess that was created by private equity firms. Check out Colorado! Just saying.

  • 222. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    @219. truthseeker: “All public employees earn their benefits and pay into them.”

    You could start by giving up the 7% pension pickup that taxpayers are paying toward the CTU pensions. Then “earning the benefits” would sound a little more convincing.

    “We are not the problem. PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS ARE! Go after the real culprits.”

    Rule #1: know your audience. Fancy slogans, platitudes, class warfare and fear mongering that CTU uses to dupe the low information voters into supporting their agenda is not going to sway better informed people who know a thing or two about the money management. Find a new worksheet with better talking points.

  • 223. Peter  |  March 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t any public employee a pass on the pension issue. Pensions need to be cut across the board.

  • 224. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    There are no gimmicks. Just facts. These are services provided by public workers who work for the government. They work hard and deserve to be able to retire and not live in poverty. All of us on this blog use these services in some way at some point in our lives.

    Those fire trucks that come when your house is burning? Paid for by property taxes and grants from…THE GOVERNMENT.
    The ambulance that takes you to the hospital when you’re sick or hurt? Grants from…THE GOVERNMENT.
    The hospital you go to? It’s a ‘critical access’ hospital, a program of THE GOVERNMENT.
    The highways they travel on to get you there? Built by THE GOVERNMENT.
    The plows that keep them passable? THE GOVERNMENT.
    What pays you part of your salary if you’re hurt at work? THE GOVERNMENT.
    What keeps food on your table if you’re laid off? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The drinkable water from your faucet? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The sewer line that collects your toilet waste? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The treatment plant that makes it harmless? THE GOVERNMENT.
    That reservoir up the road twenty miles? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The forests that surround it? Maintained by THE GOVERNMENT.
    The town park? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The police, and the sheriff, and the state patrol? THE GOVERNMENT?
    The national guard that comes to your aid when you’re flooded out? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The troops that have been fighting and dying for America for 240 years? THE GOVERNMENT.
    The schools your kids go to? THE GOVERNMENT.

  • 225. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    @224. truthseeker: And where does THE GOVERNMENT get the money to pay for all this? You really have no idea, do you, that it comes from the taxpayers?

    “These are services provided by public workers who work for the government. They work hard and deserve to be able to retire and not live in poverty.”

    And what about the private sector workers? Do we deserve anything for our hard work, or the sole purpose of our existence is to pay higher taxes and provide the ever-increasing salaries and pensions for the public sector?

  • 226. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    All workers need a pension. Watch and weep, Angie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SNoZzmoMOA

  • 227. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    We all choose our path in life. Every opportunity you mention is available to anyone who wants it. If you want a great pension, you follow a profession that gives you one. If you want to help people, you follow that path and so on. If you’re lucky, it is one and the same job. If you followed a different path, then own it, but don’t get mad at those of us who get a pension. You could have had one too! If you don’t want to contribute our pensions, then don’t own a house! You have choices.

  • 228. CarolA  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    truthseeker: exactly my point….financial decisions include spending money on teachers for music/art/smaller class size or spending that money for a computer lab, etc. How would a parent know which NEED is more important than another unless they are very involved in school functions. Many LSC members are not. They have their own agenda like Rahm, Rauner and Chuy.

  • 229. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    @ truthseeker
    Got off on a tangent of evil wall street and teacher bashing accusations. So the pension deal is fair but teachers are insulted because fire and cops got a better deal?

    It is a starting point and I can understand the feeling. I may not agree, but can see how it develops. What is an affordable solution ?

  • 230. cpsobsessed  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Wise words from Carol!

    Although truthfully, for many of us old enough to have late elem kids, the private sector DID offer pensions when we started working (which all disappeared.).
    But to your point, I could have followed the pension $s and changed careers.

    That still doesn’t explain where the $ would come from to fund all the govt workers pensions….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 231. Angie  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    @226. truthseeker: “All workers need a pension.”

    Where is the money to pay for it? The generous pensions of the past are not sustainable. Private sector companies are moving away from them, because bigger and bigger portion of their profit is being shifted to the retirees, often at the expense of current employees. But public sector uses campaign contributions to their puppet politicians and extortion tactics to keep things as they are.

    As for 401(k), true, you have to do your research and re-balance portfolio toward the less risky investments as you get older. For that purpose, some companies offer the target retirement funds. You pick a fund for the year you plan to retire, and they do the re-balancing for you. Also, you’re not forced to participate in the company plan and can open your own retirement account elsewhere, although if your employer provides the matching contribution, it would makes sense to get it.

  • 232. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    CarolA
    I agree you need more details. I am surprised your union hasn’t provided more information to membership.

    I kind of feel like union membership needs to give permission to their leaders saying they know change is needed. Let leadership know that it is OK.

    Private sector went through pension reform 30ish years ago. So union leadership was successful holding reality at bay for so long.

  • 233. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    CarolA – I hear you on the LSC. I sat on the LSC board at my former school. Most often the principal explained what he was spending money on and why. S/he sought approval for the funds. Community and parent members often asked about “behavior issues” regarding certain students. We could not discuss that with them.

    Revenue from recreational pot might help fill the financial gap for state government balance sheets.

    Follow the money……..

  • 234. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    @233 truthseeker
    Come on, NO pot is not the answer. Seriously? Just like the lottery money went to schools. Been there—done that—-no way. It just sounds like another distraction to avoid looking at the deal you have on the table with pensions.

  • 235. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    btw……………follow the money

    Well the people who DO follow the money continue to downgrade, so that ain’t the answer either. At some point you have to look at the fair deal already on the table.

  • 236. Patricia  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Final thought to sleep on.

    Since this thread started 4 days ago, we have racked up a bill of $68,000,000 by not solving the pension issue. ($17million per day rate. Does the rate go up since we were downgraded AGAIN on day 4?)

    Come on CPSOers, we can do better than that 😉

  • 237. truthseeker  |  March 7, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Patricia- I have my pension. I am an old lady. I remember working when we made $600 dollars a month. I am hoping that my fellow educators receive what they contributed too. Please share your pension opinion with your child’s teacher. Ask her why she is so greedy and tell her to take the pension deal. Tell her she doesn’t deserve what the police and firemen receive. I bet you make a big hit with her.

  • 238. ChiTown2  |  March 8, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Truthseeker is all about entitlement and “who cares who pays for it-not her” mentality that is the root of the unions. I deserve to be paid more than I put into the system and have medical coverage and a pension twice that of the private sector because I worked hard (and the rest of us don’t – sarcasm). Most companies do not have a pension; I believe less than 20% of companies have a pension system. Where else can you retire before the rest (Social security increases retirement age gradually but many move to 68 yrs). The reality is that 30 yrs ago there were more workers supporting retirees; now and in the future, less workers supporting each retiree. Say it used to have 3-4 workers per retiree. In the future, it is close to 1 worker to retiree (t $50-70K+medical benefits). That is ludicrous and bankrupts the future kids and grandkids you claim you want to protect. No way does sitting in a classroom compare against facing a gun or fire everyday. Get off your high horse and think about what makes sense for the entire community not yourself.

  • 239. CarolA  |  March 8, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Oh Patricia…..I think I’m in the minority when it comes to pension reform. We live in a “me-first” society. The “young ones” don’t worry about it because it’s not a reality to them yet…..think ahead?…..many of them can only think forward to the next paycheck let alone retirement. Those close to retirement feel they deserve what they earned….then again all the more reason to do some sort of graduated scale. It’s not that I don’t think I deserve what I was promised, but there has to be some sort of solution where everyone loses something in order for all to benefit in the future. I’d hate to start getting a pension only to find out 5 years later they reduce it 50%.

    Why doesn’t the union keep us more informed? They say they don’t want to discuss negotiations in a public forum. I tend to think that’s a good idea because people are people and you can’t please them all. Look at the chaos on this board.

  • 240. Patricia  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

    @237 truthseeker
    Ok, I will make sure I ask my kids teachers if my family should take up smoking weed to pay for their pension. Then, I will make sure to volunteer to bring brownies to the next class party.

    Come on, in all seriousness, my kids teachers are smart. They can understand the concept of keeping what they already earned (NO ONE IS TAKING ANYTHING AWAY) and I am sure can figure out how to transition to a 401k. It is not rocket science and the world has not ended since the private sector went through pension reform 30ish years ago.

    @CarolA
    The information is out there on what is proposed. It is tied up in the courts. Why not share information with union membership? Oh, that’s right, the facts.

    @ChiTown2. Good point about the shifting ages. Baby boomers are aging and retiring and not another population wave to support it.

  • 241. Patricia  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Re: cops and firefighters. I think the reason to keep retirement option at a younger age is more practical than sexist or malicious, although I can understand at first blush teachers would be .

    If my family was trapped inside a burning building, I would want the guy (or gal) coming up the ladder to be strong and fit and able to save my family. The retiring at 20 years may be more of a function that the fire department really needs to keep the focus on younger fit firefighters. If the department was overloaded with 65 year olds that is a public safety issue. Sorry, but teaching just is not the same.

  • 242. CarolA  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I agree with Patricia @241. First, cops and firefighters deserve everything they get and then some. In this case, younger and more fit is better. Speaking as someone who is very active, I’ve slowed down over the years…mother nature.

  • 243. HS Mom  |  March 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Truthseeker – “People are lathered up about teachers but you give police and firefighters a pass on pensions. They can retire after 20 years. You really think the police are doing a great job?….A possible solution is make recreational marijuana legal and the tax proceeds must go to clearing up the pension mess that was created by private equity firms. Check out Colorado! Just saying.”

    IMO you are touching on the heart of the matter for many people. Many feel that Mr. Garcia represents teachers only. Leaving the pension situation as it is means that every dime that comes into the city from whatever source (weed, gambling, tax the wealthy) must be spent on teacher pensions. When revenue is used to expand business and public attractions it’s viewed as money that could have gone to teachers…..mean Rahm.

    I don’t begrudge teachers, police, firemen, stock brokers or anyone the money they’ve earned whether it came easy or the hard way. I don’t have figures of how many Chicago citizens have a pension or retirement fund of any kind but the sad reality for many is that death is their “retirement plan”. We desperately need money to fund schools and structures, provide services to families, promote and provide big and small business growth. I would love to see money go to a number of places – including teachers!! – but this cannot happen without reform. There is no reason this state cannot institute emergency measures that can be re-evaluated once we regain our standing. Until that happens, I am against using all our resources (existing and future) solely for teacher pensions. I am also against ostracizing “rich” people (tongue in cheek as defined by who….) and businesses who are providing us all (including teachers) with employment.

    Patricia – not getting into this debate but certainly something to be said about legalizing pot. I’ve been to Colorado and it’s not at all like you paint it. They are doing it right and they are making more money than they ever expected. Whether this translates to Chicago would be a question.

  • 244. concernedparent  |  March 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

    There have been over 200 school shootings since the 1990’s. Even more if you go back further.

    Teachers do put their lives on the line.

  • 245. HS Mom  |  March 8, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    @244 – Same can be said about many other jobs or simply living in Chicago. Many more students killed in Chicago than the last teacher that I know of back in 1974. Police/Fire risk their lives as part of their job, maybe that’s a better distinction

  • 246. xan  |  March 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    @244 if ur right, all cps students are risking their lives too

  • 247. ChiTown2  |  March 8, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Yes, living in Chicago, you put your life on the line. Not just cps students or teachers. The suburbs also gets shootings. However, the bulk of the shootings are gang related. How many times do I read so and so got shot, went to the hospital, but won’t say who shot them or why they were out at 2am in the morning. Those shootings around schools are also gang related. So, as a neighbor, student or teacher, you are at risk. Teacher’s aren’t magnets for shootings and you can’t make the claim that it is hazard pay earned through pensions. its just more smoke from entitlement folks to justify their desire to have everyone else support them. How many teachers shot in the last 5 years vs cops?

  • 248. Peter  |  March 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    CPS needs to plug a massive budget deficit next year almost solely due to pension payments. Where does the money come from to fix this?

    Chuy will tax the City to oblivion.

  • 249. Marketing Mom  |  March 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Chuy is too indebted to the CTU and has not put forth a plan on how he will pay for pensions, 1,000 police and revenue from red light cameras. As much as I despise Rahm, I have to vote for the best interest of my pocket book.

  • 250. took test  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    There will be 3 mayoral debates, first one on March 16. Then March 31, and one TBD.
    Chuy has some lots of info on his website.
    http://chicagoforchuy.com/issues/better-neighborhood-schools

    Please, everyone who already knows they are voting for Rahm, please wait to hear what Chuy has to say about pensions, etc before you decide you are not voting for him.

  • 251. Angie  |  March 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    @250. took test: We already heard everything Chuy has to say from Karen Lewis.

  • 252. took test  |  March 9, 2015 at 10:19 am

    @251. Angie

    Check out this pic of Chuy, Harold Washington, and Teddy Kennedy from 1987 (that’s a long time ago)

    Ok. Sure, its no secret Chuy has been a union supporter for decades. Even longer than Karen Lewis has been a union member.
    Despite what you seem to believe based on I don’t know what, Im confident that Chuy has his own independent thoughts and just because they are proud friends his mind is not controlled by K. Lewis.

  • 253. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 10:21 am

    “wait to hear what Chuy has to say about pensions, etc”

    So, he’s too afraid to say *anything* about it before the first debate?

    Chuy has said something like ‘if the TIFs don’t have enough $$ to fund the pension payments, then we will look into other options’–

    It is an irrefutable fact that there is not enough money in the TIF pot to fund the 2015/16 pension payments (altho it’s close on the CPS side)–and that is assuming that it is possible to declare 100% of the funds as excess, which is also a falsehood, AND Chuy has said that he doesn’t want to eliminate TIFs, so the 100% excess isn’t something he supports, anyway.

    And then what do we do about the pension payments in future years??

  • 254. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Found this post awaiting moderation:

    By SkeptisicmisCertain
    @22 24 95 99 121 124 126

    Almost everything Rahm did w/ the longer day violated the explicit advice of schools that had implemented what they call “extended learning time.” First, plan the longer-day with stakeholder involvement: teachers, principals, teacher’s union, parents, community groups. Was this done? Nope. Rahm knew the contract was up for renewal, but separated the longer-day from any contract discussions. This meant that to avoid any cost increase, CPS and CTU agreed in July to keep teachers’ hours at school the same. See this report https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2009/11/pdf/elt_union_districts.pdf for details. When MA did extended days, it cost $1,600-2,000 per student more, which would be a 11.6% to 14.5% increase in the CPS budget. Raise your hand if you want property taxes raised to cover that (which means lifting the legislative cap on rate increases). No? Then you don’t really want a longer day.

    Second, make the process transparent; communicate with all stakeholders while planning. This was not done: parents were left in the dark as were school-level principals and teachers. The entire process was controlled by Brizard. That 7 hour day applies to all grades, pre-K to 8th, and it is supposed to be 6 hours of instructional time — even for pre-K.

    Third, simply tacking on more time should not be done, but the entire organization of the school day should be designed from scratch. What did CPS do? Tacked on more time; no curricular redesign. See this report http://www.aqeny.org/ny/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/EXTENDED-LEARNING-TIME.pdf for background. Adding recess is not a redesign of the school day. My school had recess under the 5.75 hour day. I am still flummoxed by the argument that only a longer day would make recess possible. And my school had visual arts, drama, music, and Spanish. Was the schedule tight? Yes. Would we have preferred a 6 or 6.5 hour day? Sure. But not 7.5 hours, as was initially proposed, and not 7 hours as Rahm backed down to. But under CPS dictated time-use regulations, we could not add a 2nd recess period into the schedule.

    And we should be clear that evidence on extended time is mixed to weak. The research on its general impact is still ongoing. And the successful ones have extensive extra program beyond just more time in the day. The evidence that Rahm/Brizard held up was a joke: the “pioneer” schools had greater growth than the district average. My school had identical growth to the pioneer average, and we did it under the 5.75 hour day. Whenever the point of reference is the district average, you know one thing: the district failed to establish equivalent student matching for the evaluation or the matching comparison shows relatively weak evidence (this was the case in MA; they cited touted the district avg. comparison; the independent evaluator used matched-student comparisons and found weak to nil differences). This doesn’t mean we should abandon ELT; it means careful research studies must be done.

    Finland is at the top of the PISA charts. How long is there school day? They have a 190-day school year and the average day for students age 9-11, is 5.4 hours, with some days only 4 hours long. If you divide their total hours by 180 days, you get 5.74 hours — or what CPS had before the longer day. Finnish students are entitled to 15 min. of unstructured play after each 45 minutes of instruction. Most elementary school teachers teach only 4 lessons a day. A teacher’s work day is usually 6 hours – roughly 4 actually teaching or supervising students, and 2 hours for course planning and collaboration. And there is a little written homework in Finnish elementary schools.

  • 255. took test  |  March 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

    @253 Chris

    Rahm just had 4 years to fix the pension issue — and it is an irrefutable fact that he *did not* fix this little problem.

    So, why would I vote for him? Why does Chuy have to work on your time table?
    Im happy to wait for the first debate. Rahm has had 4 years to say *something* that makes sense, and he has not. Chuy waiting to share his ideas until the first debate does not mean Chuy is “afraid” it means he does not want Rahm to steal his ideas. Kinda like how Rahm just came up with the idea to remove some speed cameras yesterday. Gee, where on earth did that great idea come from…

  • 256. cpsobsessed  |  March 9, 2015 at 10:56 am

    This Trib opinion piece summed up how I feel about the 2 candidates. Basically is says neither are fully forthright.
    Rahm probably knows how to fix some of the city’s budget ills better but comes across as a d*ck most of the time and can’t be forthright about his intentions (ie the red light cameras.)
    And Chuy can’t explain where he’ll find money for the stuff he’s promised.

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/525/article/p2p-82983261/

  • 257. Angie  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:05 am

    @255. took test : “Rahm just had 4 years to fix the pension issue — and it is an irrefutable fact that he *did not* fix this little problem.
    So, why would I vote for him? ”

    Excuse me, but your union went on strike when Rahm attempted to fix pension issue,and now you’re blaming him for it? What kind of twisted logic is this?
    Remember the 7% pension pickup that is listed as one of the CTU’s victories in the strike? That is taxpayers’ money that could have been used to reduce the pension debt, but thanks to CTU greed, it is now increasing it.

    “Check out this pic of Chuy, Harold Washington, and Teddy Kennedy from 1987”

    OMG, Chuy once stood next to Harold Washington! What an accomplishment! Rahm’s serving as a Chief of Staff for the first-ever African American President of the United States pales in comparison.

  • 258. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:06 am

    took test: “Im happy to wait for the first debate.”

    I’m not.

    He’s had months, and he has no concrete agenda that I can discern other than “remove RLCs”–which equals raising taxes–and “I’m not Rahm”.

    “Rahm just came up with the idea to remove some speed cameras yesterday”

    Red light cameras. Rahm had the ‘idea’ to take down some of them 2 years ago, too. Question the timing? Sure, fair enough; but even if Chuy’s one actual position weren’t “remove them all”, it’s a really easy, poll-tested, ‘good thing’ for many voters (not me–I’m *all* for them, and yes, I have been caught by one)–it was *inevitable* that he would announce the removal of some of them during a runoff. That he’s doing so only shows he isn’t a fool.

    And it’s not as if Rahm’s never had the idea before.

  • 259. mom2  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

    cpsobsessed – no access to the article without paying but I think your summary is the way I feel, too. Rahm is cranky but I want someone that doesn’t make false promises just to get elected and that’s how I see Chuy right now. He sounds great but I just don’t believe him – not one bit.

    However, the red light camera thing is really irritating to me. I don’t like them but it feels wrong that Rahm suddenly is getting rid of “some” of them. I sort of wish Rahm would just fess up that the city counts on the money those cameras bring in and getting rid of all of them like Chuy wants will make funding other things even harder which is the opposite of what Chuy will need to do to fund all the things he is promising. It would show leadership rather than trying to get a few more votes (although I’m happy some of them are going away).

  • 260. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Angie: “OMG, Chuy once stood next to…”

    Teddy Kennedy! Are there 10 people in Chicago who still care that a politician could get Teddy to stand next to them in 1987??

    Heck, even *Rahm* has been cited as calling out Teddy for being “not nice”:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/emanuel-to-kennedy-thats-not-nice/?_r=0

    *Rahm* calling out someone for being not nice?!?!

  • 261. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:25 am

    ” I’m happy some [red light cameras] are going away”

    I’m going to go counterpoint to almost everyone–I’m *all for* the traffic cameras. And, in all likelihood, I am (not proudly) a more aggressive driver than you, so it’s not that I’m a “just hoping everyone will slow down and scare me less” driver.

    Still, I wish they’d put up cameras in the loop, institute a camera-enforced ‘don’t block the box’ (like in NYC) law, etc etc etc. It’s a choice thing–you can choose to drive attentively, and defensively, enough to avoid *all* traffic infractions, and if you don’t, then you pay the fine. And if the fines are sufficient to fund city services (I’d prefer they all be tabbed to go to traffic safety and transit, and free up $$ for other things) without raising ‘non-choice’ taxes and fees, then I say good.

  • 262. Chicagodad  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Regardless of any other issues, every world class city must continually grow its “economic pie” to survive, thrive, and grow its tax base.

    One candidate recognizes the critical importance of this issue, has a track record of making it happen, and has the capabilities to make it happen in the future.

    The other candidate does not have the vision to appreciate the importance of this issue and just wants to carve up the current economic pie a different way. In doing so, the pie will shrink; he doesn’t seem to realize it, or care.

  • 263. Angie  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:29 am

    From the article posted in #256:

    “He should have closed a hundred schools, not 50.

    But even Mayor Rahm Emanuel, accused now of being tone-deaf to the concerns of common folk, knew better in 2013 than to ask Chicagoans to confront the city’s grim realities all at once.

    So even though Chicago Public Schools, then as now, was running an unsustainable deficit, with nearly half its more than 660 schools underenrolled, his school board proposed closing just 53, eventually settling on 49 elementary schools and a high school program.

    Trouble was, like so much of what his administration does, key decisions were made in advance behind closed doors, followed by a public hearing process that amounted to a we’re-so-slick sales job.

    This is Emanuel’s problem. He understands, far better than most in public life, what the challenges are and what needs to be done. But he also knows that much of the general public, in Chicago no less than elsewhere, clings to the childish view that those problems are caused by somebody else and somebody else should pay to fix them.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Rahm did what had to be done, and shame on CTU using this situation to play the race card and score political points.

  • 264. otdad  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

    While I don’t like some of what Rahm did, I think he understands the grim reality and tried to do something about it. Garcia on the other hand is just another also-run, riding on the back of CTU. I looked at the election map, Garcia got most of his vote from Hispanic voters. I think he is not intelligent enough and connected enough to run a big city like Chicago. It will be a sad day for Chicago if he can pull this thing off.

  • 265. Pro Elected School Board and Garcia Voter  |  March 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Wow, otdad. I’m guessing you don’t mean to come across as you do in your post. Most of his votes are from Hispanic voters? He’s not intelligent enough to be mayor? On what grounds? Only Ivy Leaguers are intelligent enough to be mayor? Would you have voted for Dartmouth-educated Karen Lewis — had she been able to run? He is not connected enough? To whom should he be connected? Connections to hard-working lower-and-middle-class people and (gasp) unions, do not constitute relevant connections? Garcia has far more experience in Chicago than Rahm does. What experience did Rahm have that would have made him a good mayor that Garcia does not have? Rahm hadn’t even lived in Chicago in the years leading up to his election.

    I am also an Old Town resident. Non-Hispanic. I voted Garcia and will again. Surprise!

  • 266. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    “Pro Elected School Board and Garcia Voter”

    Just to be clear–Chicago doesn’t get a ‘true’ elected school board without action from Springfield.

    I’m interested (truly) in Chuy’s plan to give the people what they want, and what he’s promised, (an elected school board) as quickly as reasonably possible–he would be perfectly within his powers to have an ‘election’ to choose the board members he would appoint.

    Or will he be appointing members until such time as he can convince Springfield to change the law? Contrary to the fully expressed preference of those who voted in Feb.

    And remember, Chicago got an appointed board with only *one* Chicago rep voting in favor. Sure, *very* different circumstances, but still…

  • 267. concernedcitizen  |  March 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I will never advise ANYONE to become a teacher. Do anything else but do not become a teacher.

  • 268. Chris  |  March 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    “Chicago got an appointed board with only *one* Chicago rep voting in favor”

    Correcting myself–“got the *current structure* with only *one* Chicago rep voting in favor”.

    The *only* way that the law gets changed this cycle (next 2 years) is if both Madigan and Cullerton decide to go nuclear on Rauner and pass bills he’d hate, and override his inevitable vetoes. Because giving CPS an elected board is a change that Rauner would *absolutely* veto, even with Chuy as the mayor.

  • 269. otdad  |  March 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    @265 Pro Elected School Board and Garcia Voter:
    I think you got the wrong idea. Does Garcia look like an intelligent person to you? His education is so-so. I bet his scores in school were at most middle of the pack. You can argue that doesn’t mean much. His 20 years career as a politician, there is basically nothing achieved. A construction worker or fast food worker would have thicker resume than him. To me, he is a proven failure, maybe a likable guy, but just obviously not that capable. A career politician simply make a living on politics, not qualified to lead a big city like Chicago.

    Frankly, I don’t like many things Rahm did, but he has proven he is a competent mayor, willing to make difficult decisions. He has much deeper business ties than a regular guy like Garcia. To a city facing dire financial issues, that’s important.

    Anti-Rahm is not the same as pro-Garcia. Garcia simply got some anti-Rahm, Hispanic, and CTU votes. That why I think it’s sad such a person could become Chicago mayor.

  • 270. HS Mom  |  March 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Chris – Yep, got one of those tickets too. What I don’t understand is the people interviewed in the Sun Times not being able to pay over $700 in fines!? Counting the warning system that was in place this makes over 7 tickets. Some people need to take their driving patterns to heart. Not sure why the mayor is the bad guy on this one. One other consideration for cameras is that it assists our understaffed police force. There’s way more serious problems to deal with there. I think they should keep the cameras and go to a 3 strikes warning system. Forewarned is forearmed and no one to blame but yourself.

  • 271. Southside parent  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I will vote for Rahm. Garcia is a likeable guy but he’s not the type of mayor we want for Chicago. He can be a good alderman however.

  • 272. realchicagomama  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    @14 What are you talking about? D2’s longer day *pre-dated* the mayor’s push for an extended day. By at least two years. And the principal negotiated it with the teachers. Honestly, your perspective that Chuy would close Disney II makes *no* sense to me; I can conclude only that you are a plant.

  • 273. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 9, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    256. cpsobsessed | March 9, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I agree with you and the article from the Trib. I can’t wait for the debates and hope it will shine truth on both of them.

    269. otdad | March 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Pro-Garcia go the many White, Black, Hispanic & Asian votes and will probably get even more in the next election. May be last election it was Anyone But Rahm, but now I’m seeing a movement where people want Chuy.

    272. realchicagomama | March 9, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I had to look all the way back at 14~and you are probably right~a plant to spead fear. Also, I see you don’t do your blog any longer, which is unfortunate bc I enjoyed it.

  • 274. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 7:51 am

    so many on here sound like the fox news faux team.
    Remember in 2007 when Obama ran for president and they all said he was not at all intelligent, and the only reason he got into Harvard was because he was black.
    They said he didn’t accomplish any thing, he was just a stupid community organizer.
    They said he was an anti-semite be because he worshiped with Jeremiah Wright.
    They said he wasn’t well connected like John McCain who was a long time senator-war vet.
    ’nuff said.

  • 275. Peter  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:50 am

    It is impossible for Chuy to fulfill his campaign promises without massive tax increases. Is that what Chicago needs right now?

    At least Rahm is trying to reduce outrageous public employee pension benefits.

  • 276. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:52 am

    @257 Angry Angie

    Thank you for the enlightenment on teacher greed.
    Move over hedge fund bankers, philip morris lobbyist, and walton heirs, Chicago Teachers got you beat. Money grubbing horrible people those teachers are taking that greedy living wage raise.

  • 277. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I suppose chuy could make it work by cutting funding elsewhere. That’s what the union contends — that there is enough waste and misspending in the budget that can be much better allocated. Probably true to some extent, but not sure its enough to cover the pensions.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 278. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

    @ 275 Peter

    Rahm will raise taxes.

    Ald. Austin: Chicago Property Tax Hike Highly Likely After Election
    http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2015/03/09/ald-austin-chicago-property-tax-hike-after-election-likely-unavoidable

  • 279. Patricia  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:06 am

    @277 CPSO Not sure how Chuy would make that work either. The largest cost is labor or workers………..which are union. So while he may parade out a few examples to try and stir outrage, I can’t see it working in reality. Then again, he is saying anything at this point to get elected. Certainly there is waste and let’s get rid of it, but this just sounds like another hollow unworkable solution to fill the massive pension hole.

    @took test. Throwing down the race card? Really? Saying if you do not think Chewey is as qualified as Rham is racist? I think the statements are based purely by comparing their accomplishments, not race. btw—-I’m a CNN junkie and repeated Obama voter 🙂

  • 280. Patricia  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

    @cpso, also as I think about it. Cutting waste in government takes someone with strength, conviction and a STRONG personality. Hmmm………who does that sound like? And Rham has cut a lot of waste. Certainly way more to go, but changing government is like turning around an air craft carrier in the Chicago River.

    Chewey strikes me as someone who is a go with the flow type of guy who has passively ridden the tides of Chicago politics over the years. He is probably a really nice guy, but how is that personality going to fix the fiscal mess in Chicago?

  • 281. Ogden IB Parent  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

    @ Patricia,
    Become an NPR junkie, its a much better high!

  • 282. Patricia  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    @281 YES, NPR too! I adore NPR it is so zen and insightful. Absolutely, I referenced CNN because of the Fox reference.

  • 283. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:35 am

    “That’s what the union contends — that there is enough waste and misspending in the budget ”

    No, that’s just Aaron Schock, And, as much as that is, it’s not enough to solve Chicago’s budget problem.

    Also, I had no idea that the Union’s had borrowed a page from the Republican platform–the *delusion* that waste, fraud and abuse are a large enough %age of the budget to close the deficit.

  • 284. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

    That’d be “Unions had”…gotta watch those apostrophes when you change sentence structure midstream.

  • 285. 3rd grade - neighborhood school parent  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:41 am

    the next Chicago mayor doesn’t need to be anything other than a pension deal-maker with Madigan, Cullerton, Rauner – Right now, that needs to be JOB#1. And as constituents we need to keep our focus there too…. the rest (crime, ed, development, jobs, waste cutting, etc.) can be addressed afterwards.

  • 286. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Patricia: re: race card.

    A certain someone who posts regularly expresses himself in a manner which certainly *can* be read with the subtext that ‘took test’ saw. I’ve seen it before, and can see it in the comment that led to the 274 comment. Not sure why that is, but it is.

    Now, spreading that to “many here”, nevermind ‘so many here’ is simply of a piece with the other spurious accusations coming the same source.

  • 287. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

    @279 Patricia

    CNN Junkie? Really?
    You may want to expand your daily information horizons.

    The missing malaysian aircraft blog is on a different site.

  • 288. Patricia  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:26 am

    @287 LOL! Yes, true, many repeats on CNN. Not like I watch the repeats all day. BBC is much better at global news anyway and of course NPR. I guess I am an “anyone but Fox’ viewer.

    Anyway, back on topic: Pensions!

  • 289. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 10:26 am

    @286 Chris

    …coming the same source.

    …coming *from* the same source.

  • 290. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:01 am

    @283 & others.

    Total agree on the waste, fraud & abuse. When Reagan and many after him said waste, he meant spending on things he did not think the federal government should be providing. Waste as actually inefficiencies in government was what Al Gore tackled, but there are tradeoffs in terms of bulk-purchasing, monitoring for fraud, etc.

    @261 “Still, I wish they’d put up cameras in the loop, institute a camera-enforced ‘don’t block the box’ (like in NYC) law, etc etc etc. It’s a choice thing–you can choose to drive attentively, and defensively, enough to avoid *all* traffic infractions, and if you don’t, then you pay the fine.”

    Agree, but Rahm has been outright greedy on the red-light tickets. His administration dropped the 3-second light to 2.9 seconds, and 3 was already too short w/ a 30 mph limit. It should be at least 3.7 seconds, really 4. Then he decided to keep the money for uncontested tickets cited in the 2.9-3.0 sec range. What’s worse the 3-sec yellow encourages you to accelerate through the intersection rather than risk getting caught breaking within it.

    Some aldermen say that the red light cameras make the city safer. There is actually no evidence of that. Raw rates will not tell you squat because many factors affect the overall accident rate. You would need to at least examine only accidents related to red-light jumping. What’s worse, they cited being in an accident when someone failed to stop in time; if that is true, then they are equally to blame. Red means stop, yellow means slow to stop, and green means proceed if safe, not step on the gas. A pedestrian jaywalking (please note, once the don’t-walk light blinks red or starts the countdown, you are not permitted to enter the intersection) or a car accelerating toward the intersection perpendicular to you means it is not safe.

    For the average car, it physically takes about 45 feet to go from 30 mph to a stop. But reaction time matters too, so depending on the reaction time it takes 75 feet to 105 feet to actually stop once you see the light change. Some of us can stop more quickly, but I guess that Chris is like me and stops more slowly than we need to only to keep the yahoo behind us from slamming our bumper. (so long as the car impacts at 10 mph or less and both of us have good bumpers, there shouldn’t be any damage but it is annoying).

  • 291. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

    took test:

    You want to play the “pick out the typo” game? Are you SURE??

    If so, I suggest you start triple checking before you hit ‘post’.

  • 292. otdad  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

    @289. took test:
    Picking out the typos or grammar in a forum is juvenile behavior.

  • 293. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

    @291 Chris

    That sounds like a super fun game, maybe we schedule a typo play date. But the game I like better is pointing out that you too make mistakes.

  • 294. Angie  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:20 am

    @276. took test : “Move over hedge fund bankers, philip morris lobbyist, and walton heirs, Chicago Teachers got you beat.”

    Actually, yes. These evil billionaires are not paid from my taxes, they didn’t kick my children out of school and go on strike to extort higher salary, and when they suck at their evil jobs, they go broke or get fired without the long legal procedure. Oh, and when they retire, they don’t expect me to pay their pensions.

    What else you got?

  • 295. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:21 am

    “(please note, once the don’t-walk light blinks red or starts the countdown, you are not permitted to enter the intersection)”

    Granted that this is a correct statement of the ordinance, but it means that there are a number of signalized intersections where you are not permitted to cross at all, as the signal goes directly to countdown, even tho the count is absurdly long for the able-bodied–I can safely, and unhurriedly, cross a 50′ street in 7 or 8 seconds, but the countdown often starts at 20.

    The ordinance made (some) sense when *all* the flashing signals were timed at sub 10 seconds and had no countdown, but is not anachronistic.

    And yes, agreed that, if *safety* is the principal issue, then a somewhat longer yellow is non-optional.

    I will note that many (far from all, but many, esp in the loop) intersections have introduced a delay (approx one sec) bt one direction changing to red and the other direction switching to green, which is a meaningful safety enhancement, and something fairly common in other parts of the country, but brand new in Chicago since Rahm/Gabe Klein.

  • 296. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:27 am

    took test:

    “maybe we schedule”

    “maybe we COULD schedule”?

    “maybe we SHOULD schedule”?

    “maybe we WOULD schedule”?

    “maybe we DID schedule”?

  • 297. parent  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Pretty sure ‘took test’ is anti-semitic, since s/he hates Rahm.
    Probably a Holocaust denier too.
    What do you mean there is nothing to support that conclusion?
    I just said it on the Internet, so it must be true.

  • 298. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I’m sorry for my part in contributing to this going down the rabbit hole–

    I think we should all take a deep breath and a step back, or this will devolve further…

  • 299. cpsobsessed  |  March 10, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Free pass on grammar for everyone.

    I’m busy with work today and can’t monitor. Please don’t make people come here to gawk, that’s all I ask.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 300. Mom2Boys  |  March 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    @274 Yes, I guess I had expected a more gracious discussion from folks on this forum. The tone of the thread quickly devolved from the start, reminding me more of what I might expect from Yahoo comments or FOX.

    While I enjoy NPR and believe it’s an improvement over irresponsible propaganda outlets such as Fox, I don’t feel its’ programming is exclusively non-partisan. Further, reporters such as Mara Liasson have long-running, on-air affiliations with Fox, which is a violation of several points under NPR’s own code of ethics. Nuff said.

  • 301. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Chuy should be outlining his plans before a debate. No expects him or anyone to be able to articulate a pension reform strategy in a debate. The devil is in the details and those need to be written out ( PowerPoint deck is not a plan, either.)

    But the argument that Garcia is not smart enough to be mayor and than Emanuel is simply does not pass muster. Emanuel is an excellent campaign strategist and fundraiser; his governing record, not so good. His stint as Obama’s chief of staff was abysmal. He is a politics expert, not a policy expert; that’s why he controls the City Council well but hasn’t made much progress on major issues, like pensions or crime. For example, what is the Chicago PD crime strategy? How has it changed under Emanuel?

    Garcia has been Preckwinkle’s floor leader. He played a key role in moving it toward consensus, and has helped pass two balanced budgets. So he has dealt with fiscal issues successfully.

    But the reason Chicago’s pensions are in a mess — and the police and other pensions are much worse off than the teachers’ pension — is because Daley never wanted to pay the bills and Emanuel doesn’t really want to either. The four city funds unfunded liability (over $19 billion in 2012) is over twice that of the CTPF (almost $8 billion), and CTPF’s unfunded liability as % of payroll is much less than all four of the city funds. Police and fire were not covered by the 2014 pension laws, and those together are higher than CTPF (over $10 billion).

    Anyone who says that they won’t raise taxes in some form is either a liar or a fool. It’s inevitable. Either that or complete junk status for bonds.

  • 302. parent  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    My apologies. Calling a stranger racist or anti-Semitic on a forum like this is completely inappropriate and rude. Sorry about that.

  • 303. Chris  |  March 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    “Either that or complete junk status for bonds.”

    Third way: BK, which some Springfield watchers think/fear might be unlocked for IL munis.

  • 304. took test  |  March 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    The Hedge Fund That Ate Chicago

    http://willblogforfood.typepad.com/will_blog_for_food/2014/04/the-hedge-fund-that-ate-chicago.html

  • 305. Patricia  |  March 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    @285. 3rd grade – neighborhood school parent

    “the next Chicago mayor doesn’t need to be anything other than a pension deal-maker with Madigan, Cullerton, Rauner – Right now, that needs to be JOB#1. And as constituents we need to keep our focus there too…. the rest (crime, ed, development, jobs, waste cutting, etc.) can be addressed afterwards.”

    Exactly! All the other things certainly are critically important, but will suffer if pensions are not resolved.

  • 306. michele  |  March 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Interesting read on the candidate selection criteria. Without getting into a debate I’d just like to quickly note some policy selections the current administration has tried to implement that have directly affected myself and families in my area. These are the policies that inform my voting. I hope by me sharing them with you they will also inform your vote.

    First, during the school consolidation the current administration incorrectly identified our two Near North neighborhood schools as good candidates for consolidation. Through strong community activism these schools were correctly removed from the closure list. Without getting into all the details it does make me wonder if these two schools were going to be consolidated based on misinformation how many others of the 48 closed or consolidated schools were victims of misinformation. Before you ask what happened next – each of the two near north neighborhood schools in question are now receiving additional resources (resources and attention that should have been in place to start with) and both schools have raised their overall CPS ratings to a 2 and are both schools are growing their enrollment.

    Second, our small CPS school in the neighborhood that has had an excellent pre-school program is now having trouble filling seats because of the policy of sliding scale expense for pre-school. Many people who have incomes between 45-90,000 (most often because 2 people work) are not willing to or are not able to pay for multiple kids in preschool so the seats are unfilled because there are not enough low income kids to fill the seats and people who make a lot more money go private. Our family is one who would not being sending our child to the same pre-school he went to only a few years ago.

    Third, it has been my family’s experience that this administration overwhelmingly selects to support a policy of Charter extensions over expanding successful tradition education CPS models. Current RFPs for 2014 again only asked for Charter and Alternative schools. If we really want better schools how about blending neighborhood and magnet models and creating more replicates of schools like Disney and LaSalle? If Charters can have 5 locations or more why can’t we have multiple schools built on successful traditional CPS models?

    Fourth, our neighborhood park was the proposed location for a new SES High School. Policy that supports takeover of a public park without community input is incorrect. The park in question already had two schools on its perimeter adding a third made no sense even from a use perspective. Again, community activism changed the course of this policy but it does make me ask where else are misinformed policy decisions being made in regards to park land.

    Fifth and final policy I question, supporting expanded retail development that encroaches on school properties with the effect of reducing student safety. Parents from our school successfully fought developers and the city from building a retail store parking garage and delivery dock entrance 25 feet from the front door of our school. It was estimated 650+ cars a day would be directly pointed at the outdoor gardens and front door of our school, increasing the chance a child at our school would be hit by a car. This policy was supported at the highest administration levels and only after much Parent advocating did the retailer withdraw from the proposal.

    These are just some examples of how policy really can effect the lives of real Chicago CPS families. Thanks for indulging me my couple minutes of Policy rant.

  • 307. HS Mom  |  March 10, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    “Fourth, our neighborhood park was the proposed location for a new SES High School. Policy that supports takeover of a public park without community input is incorrect. The park in question already had two schools on its perimeter adding a third made no sense even from a use perspective”

    This proposal was done in conjunction with your alderman to support the development going on in the neighborhood (which is/was desperately needed – some of the only development going on in the city at the time). The plan also called for providing SE education for the students mentioned in your first point. It’s location close to the River North area with the planned expansion of tech jobs would have complimented the community. Your statement that 2 schools were “incorrectly identified” is an exaggeration. These schools were and still are under-enrolled and suffer with severe academic issues. The area in front of the “family center” is a local hang out that our school bus driver refused to even stop at and had to re-designate that stop and is very close to where a student from Lincoln Park HS was killed last year.

    But not to worry – the plans have been trashed and the kids in the complex who weren’t lucky enough to get into Franklin, Newberry, LaSalle and Lincoln Park will remain in their schools

    I support development. I support jobs. It’s good for everyone in this city.

  • 308. otdad  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    306. Michele:
    From what you are describing, the administration seems to be willing to listen to community input. Is that a bad thing?

    As for school closing, both schools can serve 600+ students, but currently enrolled about 600 students total. Two half empty buildings within half mile distance seem very good candidates to be merged. The argument raised was Division street is a gang boundary. Yeah, the city has to respect gang boundaries, instead of tackle the gang problem.

    The expanded pre-school program is an effort to boost education of children from low income families, while the city is facing grim financial difficulties. Yes, we hate the sliding scale payment too, it’s not fair but we understand why (the city has no money!). The original Preschool-For-All program was for “at-risk” kids. Kids who are not at risk shouldn’t have attended in the first place. Our daughter attended Preschool-For-All (because home language was the “at risk” factor), but our son needed the sliding scale payment ($427?). We decided to send him to a park district play-school instead only for the social needs.

    You might want to think a little deeper on the issues you mentioned. If the city has money, do you think they have any reason to close schools, nickel-dime pre-school parents, using park land, charters, red light camera…?

  • 309. michele  |  March 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    @307 as I mentioned it’s not a debate – these are just examples of how proposed policy has had real effects on my own family. You may not know the location proposal for the new SES High School located in the park was acknowledged by the administration’s own spokesperson, Ms. Harte at a community meeting as a poor location choice for our area. At the meeting it was acknowledged that the Alderman was not told of the location selection until only 2 hours before the press announcement. The location for the SES High School is now being moved to a more appropriate location per the Mayor, the community and the Alderman’s support. As far as the school consolidation I would encourage anyone to stop by and meet the new Principal at my neighborhood school. He has in 7 months increased academic performance at the school to a Level 2, raised attendance, and engaged the community in the positive changes at the school. What was once one of the most poor performing schools in CPS is now at the CPS average. Yes there’s a ways to go but not bad for a school that was going to be given up on. There’s a new dance center for the community and school to take classes at, new music classes for students complete with instruments, evolving partnerships with with many high profile businesses, and in the fall there will be pay for preschool in the state of the art new preschool class rooms. My neighboehood school is now at a Level that was much higher than it was – with much more promise – run by a man from Harvard – It is the Nettlehorst turn around of today. Finally, we all want the best Chicago can give to our kids so I support policies that temper development with common sense, I support policies that support job creation and life long education, and I support a future that includes everyone’s voice in the creation in all those policies that are affecting each and everyone of us.

  • 310. karet  |  March 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    @274, 300: I’m a little confused by the Fox News comment. I’m a regular WBEZ listener and am still concerned about the CTU – Chuy connection. (I’m sure it’s a positive for some voters, not so much for others.)

    Did you all hear the discussion on the Afternoon Shift last week, “What Will It take to Build an Effective Black and Brown Coalition”? Both of the guest speakers were very pro-Chuy, but still at the end of the program candidly explained that he was “chosen” by Karen Lewis when she was unable to run. This doesn’t seem some sort of lie spread by the Rahm people.

    It’s around minute 26-27 if you are interested.

    http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-03-04/afternoon-shift-what-will-it-take-build-effective-black-and

  • 311. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:58 am

    @310 karet
    Interesting piece. As I see the “endorsements” for Garcia, it always strikes me that whoever stands next to him, overshadows him. He really has no presence and if I did not know who he was, I would think he was just standing there. Even in the clips of him shaking hands, those around him seem to have more confidence.

    This makes me wonder, if elected, who will really be in charge? He is going to keep Karen Lewis / CTU happy and he is going to keep Jessee Jackson happy, he is going to keep police happy, and he will always need to do whatever Preckwinkle wants, etc.? I can’t see Chewey standing up to anyone about anything. He may be a nice guy who is good at taking direction from someone else, but he does not strike me as a leader. And certainly not someone who can make tough decisions.

    Being Mayor of Chicago just seems like too big of a job for Chewy.

  • 312. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:19 am

    What Has Jesús “Chuy” García Actually Accomplished in Office? A Lot, It Turns Out.

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/17723/what_has_chuy_garcia_done

  • 313. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    @michelle
    Not debating, just commenting. Your comments on use of public land made me think of Mayor Daley taking over Meigs Field at 2am with bulldozers. I think politicians need to balance the input with actually getting something done. Chicago is a wonderful diverse place with a lot of opinions. Even on the examples you provide, there are others in your neighborhood that feel differently. Neither side is right or wrong, they are just different. I agree that input is important and I think Rham needs to do a better job enlightening people of why he is doing what he is doing as well as getting more input before decisions are made. Just because a decision is not exactly what you want, does not mean that everyone feels the same way. What is that term, “Democracy is messy”, it certainly is…..

    That said, there will not be any discussions on “new things” if the pensions are not resolved because there will be no money for any decisions except what to cut.

  • 314. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:36 am

    @312 Too funny! First, I think, “in these times” is completely whacked out left wing tea party proponents. Not sure, but it sure seems that way. But even given that, it I find it hilarious that it does not list Chewey’s accomplishments except that he is Preckwinkle’s guy. I was expecting a type of resume bullet pointed. It just bashes Rham and says pretty much NOTHING about accomplishments of someone who needs to be strong enough to lead Chicago.

    I feel like Mom2 who kept asking where Chewey will get the money for all his promises. I think she is still waiting for an answer? Another question, what has Chewey really accomplished to qualify him to run Chicago?

  • 315. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Definition of Rahm Emanuel (from the actual Dictionary):

    Napoleon: Rahm

    Complex: Emanuel

    A peronality complex that consists of power trips and false machismo to make up for short height and feelings of inferiority.

  • 316. Seriously, #312?  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Seriously, #312? Did you even read the article you posted a link to?

    I eagerly read that article, hoping to see FACTS about what exactly Garcia has done for the city, because it is not clear to me that he did a whole lot except stand next to people who may have actually done things for the city in the past 30 years. I eagerly was looking for evidence of a shrewd lawmaker, evidence of someone with a plan, someone worth my vote.

    Instead, Perlstein’s column is not fit for the bottom of my virtual birdcage. No facts, just race-baiting and re-typing of some snarky quotes that Garcia has said about the current mayor. This essay would not have passed PARCC muster, that’s for sure–you need to demonstrate text evidence of your main sentence and have an actual conclusion!

    I should not have to wait for the debates to find out a candidate’s plan to fix something as big as this pension nightmare–something more than some bogus “get rid of waste” rhetoric that cannot possibly fixed this hemorrhaging budget. The Garcia campaign needs to step it up and get some real information out there or even the most devoted CTU folks are going to have doubts that Garcia can wave a wand and make this pension nightmare go away.

  • 317. Learning CPS  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:44 am

    @ 312 No Rahm – I just read the article really wanting to know more about what Garcia has done historically as I don’t know many specifics. I didn’t feel this article gave me any more information other than his involvement as one of many lead by Harold Washington and Toni Preckwinkle, but nothing about how he was a leader in either of those administrations or what specific part he played. Are there more specifics out there somewhere to really show me his track record of leadership decisions? I find his campaign promises to be a bit unrealistic and would love to be able to temper that with a better understanding of how he has lead the decision making on big issues in the past.

  • 318. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I did like the “inthesetimes” article where it says that chuy is good with the understated digs against rahm. I could use more of those in the media.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 319. Angie  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

    @312. No Rahm: I’m confused. So what exactly has Chuy accomplished, besides standing next to Washington and Preckwinkle while they were doing the actual work?

    “It was the mayoral administration of Harold Washington’s, with García as a key aldermanic ally, that trimmed the city’s patronage-inflated workforce by 15 percent and, a year before his decisive 1987 reelection, raised property taxes taxes by double digits. (Emanuel, the guy the Trib and Sun-Times claim has the courage to support tough decisions, used that 1986 city council by Garcia vote as a political attack.) More recently, Chuy has been floor leader for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, when she balanced the county budget for the first time in years while also lowering taxes.”

    The rest of the article is filled with anti-Rahm propaganda, which is supposed to divert the reader’s attention from Chuy’s inability to run something as complex as this the city.

    Looks like Rahm’s latest ad is right on. Uh-oh.

  • 320. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:15 am

    The Mayor’s plan. He calls it “Honesty and Solutions”

    http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/iframe/just_the_facts.html

    Must be my eyes, I do not see the Solutions section.
    Could you be so kind and please post the solutions section missing from this page?

  • 321. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    “he is going to keep Jessee Jackson happy, he is going to keep police happy”

    How’s he going to do both of those things at once? Won’t he have to fire a bunch of mook cops to clean up CPD, to satisfy Jesse? How will that make the cops happy?

    Will he make CFD happy by going back to allowing false expense/mileage claims?

    Will the near elimination of OT pay (the only real suggestion on how to partially pay for 1,000 new cops) *actually* make CPD happy? I think a lot of rnak and file officers *like* their OT pay.

  • 322. Angie  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    @320. No Rahm: Click on “Back” button, then on “Time for Solutions Share you ideas button”, and offer your own suggestion. This is not a plan, but an opportunity for discussion.

  • 323. otdad  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I could understand the anti-Rahm sentiment, but Garcia is not even his own man, a puppet of race baiter Karen Lewis. I have no problem hire him to do my garden, but Chicago mayor, he is not even remotely qualified.

  • 324. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

    “a puppet of race baiter Karen Lewis. I have no problem hire him to do my garden”

    The irony in this is too thick for me…

  • 326. Peter  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Chuy has no plan other than higher taxes. How much will they need to go up without meaningful pension reform (Chuy is opposed to reform)?

    Double, triple? Will that help the middle class?

  • 327. Yikes  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    “@276. took test : “Move over hedge fund bankers, philip morris lobbyist, and walton heirs, Chicago Teachers got you beat.”
    Actually, yes. These evil billionaires are not paid from my taxes, they didn’t kick my children out of school and go on strike to extort higher salary, and when they suck at their evil jobs, they go broke or get fired without the long legal procedure. Oh, and when they retire, they don’t expect me to pay their pensions.
    What else you got?”

    Lol. And this is where the hands have come to on the clock. This is actually the mindset of certain people. This country is doomed.

  • 328. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    “How much will [taxes] need to go up without meaningful pension reform…Double, triple?”

    I’ve not dug in to the numbers/ratio for the CPS pension funding gap, but on the city side (aka mostly cops & fire), it is an approximate doubling of the City’s levy, which would mean an approximate 18% increase in property tax bills.

    An 18% increase in Chicago property taxes would still leave Chicago with one of the lowest effective tax rates in the metro. Oak Brook and Lake Forest are the only places *currently* lower.

  • 329. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    @302 Oh, but we were so close to confirming Godwin’s Law.

    @303 I’m sleep deprived — on my first read I thought, How would taking everyone for Whoppers help? No one wants to go the way of Detroit.

    @312 Rick Perlstein is an excellent historian; he wrote a touching tribute when William F. Buckley, Jr. died. But this is hackish work. Chuy could have used a good article by Perlstein.

  • 330. Really?!  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Yikes! Yes, Let’s pity the billionaire. If you don’t think their stealing the teachers pensions and yours, THINK AGAIN. They steal from you and your just do not want to no it. It is easier to blame public or the poor. Wake up.

  • 331. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Everyone read @328 because Chris is right here.
    If you go down to Springfield and talk about Chicago’s problems, this is what downstate legislators will tell you. When Chicagoans wail, our pensions are killing us, they say, your city made this mess, you clean it up.

  • 332. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    “No one wants to go the way of Detroit.”

    I think of municipal bankruptcy as “going the way of Orange County”.

    Even were Chicago to file bankruptcy, that is not ‘going the way of Detroit’, in any common use of the phrase.

  • 333. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    “When Chicagoans wail, our pensions are killing us, they say, your city made this mess, you clean it up.”

    That applies 100% to the City side of the pension problem.

    It is far less clear on the CPS side. Springfield made a ‘commitment’ (to proportional funding of CTPF and TRS) and then didn’t follow through. “following thru” would have meant at least $450m into CTPF in 2014, and something like $5 Billion over the 20 years since the ‘commitment’.

    With returns matching actual results over those 20 years, the CTPF would be very close to fully funded, has the State lived up to that ‘commitment’. There *certainly* would be no current crisis.

  • 334. Mom2Boys  |  March 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    @#323 OTdad ” I have no problem hire him to do my garden…” Besides the bad grammar, this is a blatantly racist comment. So in your world, Mexican-Americans are only suitable for landscape work?

    @#322 Angie Sounds like you’re giving Rahm a free pass. As mayor, he should be posing solutions, just like you’re asking Chuy to do.

  • 335. mom2  |  March 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I’m not Angie but one thing that is different between Rahm and Chuy is that we have had 4 years to see Rahm’s methods and solution ideas. He isn’t making all these new grand promises that people just love with no explanation on how to pay for them.

    We know what Rahm did over the last 4 years. We know he has tried to improve Chicago’s financial situation through partnerships and incentives for businesses to come here/stay here and bring jobs, he focuses on things Chicago can do to attract more tourists which brings money to the city, he closed schools and tried to work out new contracts with the teachers which upset some people but with the hopes of it reducing long term costs to CPS. He also added red light and speed cameras and although I hate them, they are bringing some money to the city, too. I’m sure there are many more things but I don’t work for him. I’m just a mom.

    So, you see, we have knowledge of Rahm. We have no ideas presented from Chuy on where he will get the money for all his promises.

  • 336. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Personally, I think we should go the way of Detroit, and another Chicagoan thinks so as well..

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2015/03/04/what-would-mayor-rahm-do-without-detroit

  • 337. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    M2: “We have no ideas presented from Chuy on where he will get the money for all his promises.”

    By stopping the pension funds from investing with PE firms, of course! Even tho *NET OF FEES*, the PE investments are running about 25% better than the total

    Take away that 2% management fee from the $300m of the CTPF that’s in PE, and all our problems are solved*.

    *For values of ‘solved’ that include not even replacing 10% of the RLC revenue.

  • 338. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    “another Chicagoan “–Joravsky

    Chuy would tell us he isn’t a real Chicagoan, and doesn’t understand the problems of real Chicagoans, because he didn’t go to high school in the city or something.

  • 339. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I guess I am the only one here today that likes Rick Perlstein’s article.

    You think the dress is blue,
    and I think the dress is gold.

  • 340. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    @338

    Evanston.
    No, not the hard knock life of Pilsen.
    But light years from Winnetka.
    He might get a pass from Chuy.

  • 341. Peter  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    @339, yes, you are the only one who found anything worthwhile in that drivel.

  • 342. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    “I am the only one here today that likes Rick Perlstein’s article”

    So, the case *for* Chuy amounts to “he’s not Rahm”?? That’s all of it, ain’t it?

    Oh, and I guess that he was against Fast Eddie. Good for him.

  • 343. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    “But light years from Winnetka.”

    Wilmette can be a long way from Winnetka, too.

  • 344. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I thought New Trier was in Winnetka. I did not know they moved the school.

    Im sure Dj Fast Eddie will be throwing down some deep house April 7th when Chuy wins. Maybe Ed Vrdolyak will twerk.

  • 345. Pro Elected School Board and Garcia Voter  |  March 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    #323. I could understand the anti-Rahm sentiment, but Garcia is not even his own man, a puppet of race baiter Karen Lewis. I have no problem hire him to do my garden, but Chicago mayor, he is not even remotely qualified.

    I gave you a pass last time, assuming you did not mean to sound racist. No more. That comment was disgusting.

  • 346. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Well, the case for chuy is that he’s for the working people. Rahm’s interests can seem to skew towards the upper class. Given the revolution brewing in this country with the lower and middle class demanding more monetary fairness, I think chuy’s goals are admirable and timely.

    They’re just not realistic given the financial status of the city.

    But there’s more to him than “not rahm.”

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 347. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    “there’s more to him than “not rahm.””

    Please to explain. I’ve asked many times, in many places.

    And reference to any of the unfunded promises will be duly discounted.

  • 348. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    “I thought New Trier was in Winnetka”

    Oh, so it’s about the location of the school, not where one lives?

    So, when someone from Englewood goes to Payton, she becomes a Northsider?

  • 349. or something  |  March 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    @338. Chris

    “…, because he didn’t go to high school in the city or something.”

    “or something”*

    *suffix added to a phrase to lessen the stupidty of it.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=or+something

  • 350. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    @Chris
    I agree. What more is Chewey? Ok, he is not Rham, but what else? I too am waiting. Also waiting for Mom2 question regarding how Chewey will pay for all his promises.

    @cpso “Given the revolution brewing in this country with the lower and middle class demanding more monetary fairnes”

    Interestingly enough, Rham is the one who got the minimum wage raised. This certainly helps address monetary fairness. Of course, more to do but getting movement on the minimum wage was HUGE for the working class. The political strategists are fantastic puppeteers to dismiss raising the minimum wage.

  • 351. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    “*suffix added to a phrase to lessen the stupidty of it.”

    Chuy claims that Rahm doesn’t get Chicago’s issues because he spent part of his (older) childhood living about 4 miles north of the city.

    Rahm is someone: “who never grew up in a Chicago neighborhood and doesn’t really understand neighborhoods, and thus the plight of ordinary people and working people in the city of Chicago”

    Of course, the Emanuels did live in the city before moving to Wilmette, when Rahm went to Anshe.

    So, apparently, the key age range to “growing up in Chicago” starts sometime after age 9 (the age Chuy was when he got here), and ends at 18.

    hence, ‘or something’, since I don’t understand WTF Chuy was saying otherwise.

  • 352. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    “how Chewey will pay for all his promises”

    He’s apparently against a commuter tax, an increase in the property tax, doesn’t feel positive about a financial transaction tax (all of which he is **broadly speaking** right about, if unrealistic about property taxes), and is unconcerned about losing the $70m from traffic cams.

    Raising the sales tax would be counter to his general views, as that’s pretty regressive. Same with a broad expansion of the sales tax into services.

    I don’t know what’s really left except a city income tax, which would require a veto override in Springfield, which ain’t gonna happen.

    He *could* bring back the head tax, but I think that’s unlikely.

  • 353. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    @351
    So I am not a Chicagoan? My immigrant grandparents from both sides came to Chicago and raised 9 kids in the city. My parents moved to a near suburb because they wanted their kids (me included) to attend better schools, knowing education was key. We came to the city many times a week because our church was still in the city. Then as soon as I graduated from college and could afford it, I moved to the city……..where I work hard, pay taxes, raise my kids in the city sending them to CPS schools (where I like many others spend hundreds of hours and dollars trying to help my kids schools). I thought I had a passion and love for this city, but I guess it doesn’t count.

    I guess I am not a Chicagoan in Chewey’s definition.

  • 354. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Well, Patricia, you certainly aren’t qualified to be mayor of Chicago; since you didn’t grow up in the city (note: before age 9, ok to live somewhere else), you can’t possibly understand the neighborhoods and the plight of working people in Chicago.

    It’s the same sort of phrasing that racists use.

    NOTE: I’m not calling Chuy a racist, but he’s borrowing their rhetorical phrasing.

  • 355. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    @353 Patricia

    Doesn’t look like the suburbs paid off in terms of better education… It’s Chuy. Not Chewey.
    Say hello to the new Mayor of Chicago, Chuy Garcia!

    Updated 27 mins ago
    CHICAGO (WLS) — Willie Wilson has announced that he is throwing his support behind Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the race for Chicago mayor.

    Wilson has met with both Garcia and Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he’s weighed his decision.

    Wilson said he came to his decision based on feedback he got from people who supported him in last month’s election.

    Wilson finished third, with just more than 10 percent of the vote. Both Garcia and Emanuel have been trying to win his support for the April 7 runoff.

  • 356. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    @355
    I know how he spells his nickname.

    GREAT, now Chewey needs to keep promises to Willie Wilson. Who will really the the puppeteer behind Chewey as mayor?

  • 357. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    @356 Patronizing Pat

    GREAT, so you are intentionally showing off your suburban education.

  • 358. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    OK, back on topic while others choose to run down their self made rabbit hole.

    Pensions, how the heck will pensions be resolved?

  • 359. Chris  |  March 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    “Pensions, how the heck will pensions be resolved?”

    Time Machine.** Go back and make Daley actually fund the normal cost of City pension all those years, and go to Springfield and demand the state live up to its commitment to prorata funding of CTPF.

    Anything else is going to be *extremely* painful.

    **btw, in all seriousness, this is as legitimate an option as anything I have heard proposed by anyone w/r/t City and CPS pension funding shortfalls. The next person who makes a real suggestion, with a real path to implementation, will be the first.

  • 360. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I just saw an anti-chuy ad where they grill him on where money will come from and he says with a straight face some roundabout answers. Gotta admire the guy for getting up there, facing the media, and winning the votes he did.

    On the other hand, how will Rahm, or anybody without a time machine make the pension problem work? HOW?

    I would love to give all the workers their promised pension, or at least a good portion of that. “A promise is a promise.” Yes (well, I lost 401K money from an internet company that went under so I guess a promise isn’t always a promise if circumstances change.)

    But where will that money come from? For real, no matter who is mayor the $ just does not exist. How long can we keep fighting about money that doens’t exist? do we all pay 50% taxes for 20 years to make it work?

    Can the state/city just print money and make it magically work?

  • 361. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    @358 Patty

    What the Illinois Supreme Court decides on State Pension Reform will have massive ramifications in Chicago. The immediate pension resolution you are desiring depends on what happens in court.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/7/71/429822/pension-show-nears-ill-supreme-court

    —————————————————-

    David Vitale, wrote an Op-Ed in the Tribune last week:

    How an Illinois Supreme Court ruling could devastate Chicago’s schools

    In a few days, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments in the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that recent legislation reforming four state pension funds is unconstitutional. The lower court ruled that the Illinois Constitution’s pension clause prohibits the state from modifying pension benefits, even in exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to protect the public welfare.
    You may not realize that if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s approach, it will have a significant impact on Chicago Public Schools and the nearly 400,000 students we serve. These consequences are potentially catastrophic, and even under a best-case scenario, would still cripple CPS’ ability to fulfill its obligation to educate these students, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds or in need of special education services. The fact is, CPS does not have the resources to both shoulder the entire burden of saving the pensions and serving its students.
    In the absence of changes to pension funding, CPS will be forced to decide between funding the pensions of retired employees and funding the education of Chicago students.

    CPS’ unfunded pension obligations total $9.5 billion. In fiscal year 2014 we contributed $613 million. In 2015, we will contribute $634 million. We are required to contribute $688 million in 2016 and an estimated $708 million in 2017.

    While our pension costs skyrocket, our revenue remains flat, and in some instances has actually decreased. More than one-quarter of CPS’ 2015 budget depends upon funding from the state. But state funding in 2015 is actually less than it was in 2008 (while our 2015 pension contribution is $500 million more than it was in 2008). Slightly more than one-third of our revenue comes from property taxes. The effect of the state cap on property tax revenue is that CPS has no ability to increase that revenue source to absorb increased pension contributions.

    In 2015, as we have for several years, we utilized every available strategy to stretch our resources and to keep cuts away from the classroom. Since 2011, we have made more than $740 million in non-classroom-related cuts, eliminating hundreds of administrative positions, slashing noninstructional costs and renegotiating vendor contracts. We have also exhausted our reserves.

    But as aggressive and vigilant as we have been, our present course is simply not sustainable. CPS’ projected deficit for next year is $1.1 billion, and pension costs account for approximately $700 million of that amount. While pension reform alone will not eliminate that huge deficit, it is an essential component of any solution. Without pension reform, there simply will be no alternative to implementing even deeper, more painful cuts that will directly affect the classroom; we have exhausted all other alternatives. To put these cuts into perspective, each $100 million spent on pensions translates into 1,000 fewer teachers. And a smaller number of teachers translates directly into larger class sizes and less attention and fewer educational opportunities for students.

    But it is not just a question of hiring or retaining teachers. It is also a question of having the resources to continue to provide valuable, essential programs to serve the more than 85 percent of our students who come from low-income families, the 48,000 CPS students receiving special education services, the nearly 1 in 6 students who speak a primary language other than English, and the substantial number of students who are transitory or homeless and who rely on schools to support basic needs.

    Meeting their needs requires that we have the depth and breadth of resources to do the job the residents of Chicago properly expect of us. We will not have those resources if there is no relief from the crushing pension burden we confront. We will, instead, be required to decide which essential programs and services we must eliminate.

    These are the choices we will be confronting, soon and for every year to come, if the Supreme Court upholds the trial court’s view that the constitution operates as an absolute bar against reasonable, balanced pension reforms.

    David Vitale is president of the Chicago Board of Education.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-cps-pensions-teachers-education-students-chicago-perspec-0309-jm-20150306-story.html

  • 362. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    @358 Patty

    What the Illinois Supreme Court decides on State Pension Reform will have massive ramifications in Chicago. The immediate pension resolution you are desiring depends on what happens in court.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/7/71/429822/pension-show-nears-ill-supreme-court

  • 363. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    @358 Patty

    David Vitale, Op-Ed. Tribune March 16:

    How an Illinois Supreme Court ruling could devastate Chicago’s schools

    In a few days, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments in the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that recent legislation reforming four state pension funds is unconstitutional. The lower court ruled that the Illinois Constitution’s pension clause prohibits the state from modifying pension benefits, even in exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to protect the public welfare.
    You may not realize that if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s approach, it will have a significant impact on Chicago Public Schools and the nearly 400,000 students we serve. These consequences are potentially catastrophic, and even under a best-case scenario, would still cripple CPS’ ability to fulfill its obligation to educate these students, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds or in need of special education services. The fact is, CPS does not have the resources to both shoulder the entire burden of saving the pensions and serving its students.
    In the absence of changes to pension funding, CPS will be forced to decide between funding the pensions of retired employees and funding the education of Chicago students.
    CPS’ unfunded pension obligations total $9.5 billion. In fiscal year 2014 we contributed $613 million. In 2015, we will contribute $634 million. We are required to contribute $688 million in 2016 and an estimated $708 million in 2017.
    While our pension costs skyrocket, our revenue remains flat, and in some instances has actually decreased. More than one-quarter of CPS’ 2015 budget depends upon funding from the state. But state funding in 2015 is actually less than it was in 2008 (while our 2015 pension contribution is $500 million more than it was in 2008). Slightly more than one-third of our revenue comes from property taxes. The effect of the state cap on property tax revenue is that CPS has no ability to increase that revenue source to absorb increased pension contributions.
    In 2015, as we have for several years, we utilized every available strategy to stretch our resources and to keep cuts away from the classroom. Since 2011, we have made more than $740 million in non-classroom-related cuts, eliminating hundreds of administrative positions, slashing noninstructional costs and renegotiating vendor contracts. We have also exhausted our reserves.
    But as aggressive and vigilant as we have been, our present course is simply not sustainable. CPS’ projected deficit for next year is $1.1 billion, and pension costs account for approximately $700 million of that amount. While pension reform alone will not eliminate that huge deficit, it is an essential component of any solution. Without pension reform, there simply will be no alternative to implementing even deeper, more painful cuts that will directly affect the classroom; we have exhausted all other alternatives. To put these cuts into perspective, each $100 million spent on pensions translates into 1,000 fewer teachers. And a smaller number of teachers translates directly into larger class sizes and less attention and fewer educational opportunities for students.
    But it is not just a question of hiring or retaining teachers. It is also a question of having the resources to continue to provide valuable, essential programs to serve the more than 85 percent of our students who come from low-income families, the 48,000 CPS students receiving special education services, the nearly 1 in 6 students who speak a primary language other than English, and the substantial number of students who are transitory or homeless and who rely on schools to support basic needs.
    Meeting their needs requires that we have the depth and breadth of resources to do the job the residents of Chicago properly expect of us. We will not have those resources if there is no relief from the crushing pension burden we confront. We will, instead, be required to decide which essential programs and services we must eliminate.
    These are the choices we will be confronting, soon and for every year to come, if the Supreme Court upholds the trial court’s view that the constitution operates as an absolute bar against reasonable, balanced pension reforms.
    David Vitale is president of the Chicago Board of Education.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-cps-pensions-teachers-education-students-chicago-perspec-0309-jm-20150306-story.html

  • 364. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    @cpso
    I was also glad to see some alderman I respect very much ask questions about where the money will come from for all of Chewey’s promises. Hopefully, Chewey will stop all the promises to reopen the 50 schools, shorten the school day, hire 1000 cops, etc. etc. etc.

    “do we all pay 50% taxes for 20 years to make it work”

    Pensions is a huge issue. If Chewey is elected, he will protect labor as much as possible at the expense of everyone else. At least I trust Rham will try to be more balanced and fair. Now the union stance as was presented in the IL supreme court hearing today is NO movement or negotiation.

    @Chris
    What do you see as the difference in Detroit bankruptcy vs. Oakland CA bankruptcy. That may realistically be what we are looking at. You seem knowledgeable on the topic.

  • 365. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    @358 Pat a cake

    correction: the David Vitale article was March 6 (not 16)

  • 366. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    @ No Rham

    If the Chewster does not respect students and wants to shorten the school day so they can do laundry, he does not deserve my respect or my vote.

  • 367. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    @366 Paddy

    You and Rahm deserve each other.

  • 368. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Ahhhh, the laundry. I laugh every time. (And then I feel bad about it.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 369. Patricia  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    @ NoRham

    …..as do you and Chewey.

    Good night all, I am done feeding the troll for the day 🙂

  • 370. No Rahm  |  March 11, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    @369 Pat Sajak

    I might be a troll but you are in love with the hobbit.

  • 371. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 5:35 am

    “What do you see as the difference in Detroit bankruptcy vs. Oakland CA bankruptcy”

    Orange County. Oakland hasn’t filed bankruptcy (yet). The difference is that Orange County was and is prosperous and growing, and Detroit wasn’t. Just a point that the mere fact of filing a municipal bankruptcy doesn’t make a city “Detroit”.

    Now, the thing that led OC in was the reckless investment practices of one county official, so there is a real, big, difference between OC and Chicago, but there’s also a big difference between Chicago and Detroit.

    Find it funny that a Chuy supporter cites Vitale for anything. And the SCt is definitely going to rule that SB1 is unconstitutional; the only real question is how broad they make the ruling.

  • 372. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 12, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Everyone wants to know Chuy’s plans for funding pensions~what about RAHMBO’s? He’s put off until December a decision on how Chicago will meet a state-mandated $550 million payment to shore up police and fire pension funds. I’ve been hearing ppl complaining that RAHMBO has no plans.

  • 373. Peter  |  March 12, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Can CPS declare BK?

  • 374. Peter  |  March 12, 2015 at 8:38 am

    It is bankrupt or will be next fiscal year.

  • 375. ChiTown2  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Have you followed the recent news on the IL supreme court? Because labor unions were able to put wording into the IL constitution, taxpayers may have to pay up regardless of the ability to pay or the true impact on the children (bigger classrooms less teachers no funding for anything). That is totally wrong to be forced to pay with no recourse. If citizens run out of money, they tighten their budgets and make cuts. If companies run out of money, they cut budgets, cut staffs, sell assets. Or, we will have to force into bankruptcy and then the unions will get nothing. If bankruptcy is an option, I assume the pension liability goes away and a small amount is paid by the federal government. Does anyone know what options there are?
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-pension-supreme-court-met-0312-20150311-story.html#page=1

  • 376. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

    This story from the International Business Times.

    It is the kind of transaction Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s much-touted ethics reforms appeared designed to halt: Chicago teachers’ pension money flowed to financial companies connected to some of the mayor’s friends and top donors. Emanuel, whose administration appoints some members of the teachers’ pension-fund board, received campaign cash from those same financial firms despite his own 2011 executive order purportedly preventing donors from receiving city business.

    “When Mayor Emanuel took office, he said he was going to stop the culture of pay-to-play,” said Alderman Scott Waguespack, who is among a group of lawmakers asking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether the donations also violated that agency’s anti-corruption rule. “This is an example of his failure to follow through on those promises.”

    Emanuel’s office declined an International Business Times request for comment.

    According to city documents obtained by IBTimes, the firm affiliated with Illinois’ Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner — a longtime friend of Chicago’s Democratic mayor — as well as executives at private-equity giant Madison Dearborn have gained substantial investments from the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) since Emanuel took office. The documents also show the CTPF has an indirect equity stake in Grosvenor Capital Management. Executives at the latter two firms have donated nearly $1.8 million to Emanuel’s campaign and political organizations since 2011.

    The teachers’ pension money went to the donors’ firms even though the Chicago Teachers Union has become one of Emanuel’s most outspoken opponents after the mayor shuttered 50 schools across the city and proposed cutting public employees’ retirement benefits. SEC rules are designed to prohibit campaign contributions to city officials from executives at firms managing city pension money. Those rules are in addition to the executive order signed by Emanuel that purports to prohibit campaign donations from city contractors and subcontractors.

  • 377. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:52 am

    @375 ChiTown2 – I have the same questions. From what I could follow, it looks like because of the union’s wording, we are all going to have to pay huge tax increases to pay for pensions that are far too generous compared to the private sector and that just hurts the private sector even more. My family would gladly move out of this state and certainly most of the wealthier families that have those options will move. What does that do to the remaining people? Everyone is hurt by this. Why can’t the unions see the long term consequences of not being willing to negotiate some changes? Besides the impact on everyone else, eventually there won’t be those horrible wealthy tax payers to fund them and they will be out much more than what a negotiated change would give them. I love my city and state but I’m very concerned about its future.

  • 378. Peter  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

    mom2 is absolutely correct. People with the means will simply leave. Then the City is in worse shape. People are complaining about property taxes now, middle class people. WAKE UP Chicago!

  • 379. Peter  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

    If you want to work in order to pay for obscene unrealistic pensions. Chuy is definitely the candidate.

  • 380. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

    “Everyone wants to know Chuy’s plans for funding pensions~what about RAHMBO’s?”

    Rahmbo isn’t promising a $70m cut in revenue and $100m is new spending that Chuy is.

    Neither of them have a plan for the $500m pension payment–only one of them is making a bunch of promises that cost MORE money, with no plan for paying for the MORE.

  • 381. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:10 am

    “Can CPS declare BK?”

    Same as any other ‘municipal’ government in IL–it *can* but needs permission from Springfield.

  • 382. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Peter, you are working to pay private equity firms their fees. Why not work to change their fees structures because that is the source of the problem. If blaming teachers makes you feel better go ahead. PEFs will take your money from you personally through fees on your 401K and as long as they are in charge of pension funds through your taxes. It is interesting your are blaming teachers when they are the ones you rely on the most. You might need a policeman or a fireman in a crisis but a teacher you rely on most everyday. Your like the family member that is mean to his family but kinder to strangers. You probably know more teachers than any other public servant and yet you belittle them most.

  • 383. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Wow – no one is blaming teachers or belittling them. I think most parents on this forum love the majority of their kids’ teachers and want the best for them, but they love their city and their own future more. They want everyone to see the big picture and for everyone, even the most wonderful teachers, to be willing to see reality of our financial situation and make some concessions just like the rest of us have already had to do and continue to do in the private sector. No one likes having a pay freeze or a reduction in their health care or other benefits. It has happened to most of us numerous times and most of us expect it will happen again. Why is that fine but it isn’t fine in the public sector? It makes no sense to me.

    Wow, could you better explain the private equity firms and how changes to what they get will allow us to pay everyone everything they are promised forever and get rid of red light cameras and open closed schools and hire 1000 police officers and not raise taxes? I guess I don’t fully understand this.

  • 384. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

    “According to city documents obtained by IBTimes … Madison Dearborn have gained substantial investments from the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) since Emanuel took office.”

    Per all of the trustee and manager reports, CTPF has zero direct investments in Madison Dearborn Partners funds. The investments that have been made have been directed there by the managers hired by the CTPF board (NOTE: THREE of the board members are appointed by the beneficiaries–did they all vote against hiring the mangers??), and those investments go back to the second MDP Fund which was raised in 1997.

    And, anyway, where do all you anti-wallstreeters think that Pension Funds *should* invest their money? Should it just sit in a savings account drawing 50 bips??

  • 385. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:35 am

    “you are working to pay private equity firms their fees.”

    Net of those fees, the CTPF’s private equity investments have performed better than the average of all of the CTPF investments over the past 10 years. You can look it up.

    So, are you saying that the CTPF should seek out a *lower* return, just to avoid paying a manger a fee?? Are you for real??

  • 386. Han Solo  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I think Chewbacca has proven himself to be a reliable sidekick more than willing to step up to every one of my commands. Chewey adds considerable depth to every photo when he is next to or behind me. What??….Chuy? Never mind.

  • 387. cpsobsessed  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Ok, that made me actually lol.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 388. cpsobsessed  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:02 am

    @chris, the lower return is in hindsight. Shouldn’t one always seek lower fees? (unless there is a guarantee of ongoing lower rates of course.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 389. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Mom2 I hope this helps.

    There’s $2.6 trillion in state pension money under management in America, and there are a lot of fingers in that pie. Any attempt to make a neat Aesop narrative about what’s wrong with the system would inevitably be an oversimplification. But in this hugely contentious, often overheated national controversy – which at times has pitted private-sector workers who’ve mostly lost their benefits already against public-sector workers who are merely about to lose them – two key angles have gone largely unreported. Namely: who got us into this mess, and who’s now being paid to get us out of it.

    The siege of America’s public-fund money really began nearly 40 years ago, in 1974, when Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. In theory, this sweeping regulatory legislation was designed to protect the retirement money of workers with pension plans. ERISA forces employers to provide information about where pension money is being invested, gives employees the right to sue for breaches of fiduciary duty, and imposes a conservative “prudent man” rule on the managers of retiree funds, dictating that they must make sensible investments and seek to minimize loss. But this landmark worker-protection law left open a major loophole: It didn’t cover public pensions. Some states were balking at federal oversight, and lawmakers, naively perhaps, simply never contemplated the possibility of local governments robbing their own workers.

    Politicians quickly learned to take liberties. One common tactic involved illegally borrowing cash from public retirement funds to finance other budget needs. For many state pension funds, a significant percentage of the kitty is built up by the workers themselves, who pitch in as little as one and as much as 10 percent of their income every year. The rest of the fund is made up by contributions from the taxpayer. In many states, the amount that the state has to kick in every year, the Annual Required Contribution (ARC), is mandated by state law.

    Chris Tobe, a former trustee of the Kentucky Retirement Systems who blew the whistle to the SEC on public-fund improprieties in his state and wrote a book called Kentucky Fried Pensions, did a careful study of states and their ARCs. While some states pay 100 percent (or even more) of their required bills, Tobe concluded that in just the past decade, at least 14 states have regularly failed to make their Annual Required Contributions. In 2011, an industry website called 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the 10 brokest, most busted public pensions in America. “Eight of those 10 were on my list,” says Tobe.

    Among the worst of these offenders are Massachusetts (made just 27 percent of its payments), New Jersey (33 percent, with the teachers’ pension getting just 10 percent of required payments) and Illinois (68 percent). In Kentucky, the state pension fund, the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS), has paid less than 50 percent of its ARCs over the past 10 years, and is now basically butt-broke – the fund is 27 percent funded, which makes bankrupt Detroit, whose city pension is 77 percent full, look like the sultanate of Brunei by comparison.

    Here’s what this game comes down to. Politicians run for office, promising to deliver law and order, safe and clean streets, and good schools. Then they get elected, and instead of paying for the cops, garbagemen, teachers and firefighters they only just 10 minutes ago promised voters, they intercept taxpayer money allocated for those workers and blow it on other stuff. It’s the governmental equivalent of stealing from your kids’ college fund to buy lap dances. In Rhode Island, some cities have underfunded pensions for decades. In certain years zero required dollars were contributed to the municipal pension fund. “We’d be fine if they had made all of their contributions,” says Stephen T. Day, retired president of the Providence firefighters union. “Instead, after they took all that money, they’re saying we’re broke. Are you fucking kidding me?”

    There’s an arcane but highly disturbing twist to the practice of not paying required contributions into pension funds: The states that engage in this activity may also be committing securities fraud. Why? Because if a city or state hasn’t been making its required contributions, and this hasn’t been made plain to the ratings agencies, then that same city or state is actually concealing what in effect are massive secret loans and is actually far more broke than it is representing to investors when it goes out into the world and borrows money by issuing bonds.

    Some states have been caught in the act of doing this, but the penalties have been so meager that the practice can be considered quasi-sanctioned. For example, in August 2010, the SEC reprimanded the state of New Jersey for serially lying about its failure to make pension contributions throughout the 2000s. “New Jersey failed to provide certain present and historical financial information regarding its pension funding in bond-disclosure documents,” the SEC wrote, in seemingly grave language. “The state was aware of . . . the potential effects of the underfunding.” Illinois was similarly reprimanded by the SEC for lying about its failure to make its required pension contributions. But in neither of these cases were the consequences really severe. So far, states get off with no monetary fines at all. “The SEC was mistaken if they think they sent a message to other states,” Tobe says.

    But for all of this, state pension funds were more or less in decent shape prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The country, after all, had been in a historic bull market for most of the 1990s and 2000s and politicians who underpaid the ARCs during that time often did so assuming that the good times would never end. In fact, prior to the crash, state pension funds nationwide were cumulatively running a surplus. But then the crash came, and suddenly states everywhere were in a real, no-joke fiscal crisis. Tax revenues went in the crapper, and someone had to take the hit. But who? Cuts to corporate welfare and a rolled-up-newspaper whack of new taxes on the guilty finance sector seemed a good place to start, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, it was then that the legend of pension unsustainability was born, with the help of a pair of unlikely allies.

    Most people think of Pew Charitable Trusts as a centrist, nonpartisan organization committed to sanguine policy analysis and agnostic number crunching. It’s an odd reputation for an organization that was the legacy of J. Howard Pew, president of Sun Oil (the future Sunoco) during its early 20th-century petro-powerhouse days and a kind of australopithecine precursor to a Tea Party leader. Pew had all the symptoms: an obsession with the New Deal as a threat to free society, a keen appreciation for unreadable Austrian economist F.A. Hayek and a hoggish overuse of the word “freedom.” Pew and his family left nearly $1 billion to a series of trusts, one of which was naturally called the “Freedom Trust,” whose mission was, in part, to combat “the false promises of socialism and a planned economy.”

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926#ixzz3UBp7PlgN
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

    By Bill Snow from Mergers and Acquisitions For Dummies

    One possible type of buyer in an M&A transaction is a Private Equity (PE) firm. A private equity firm (sometimes known as a private equity fund) is a pool of money looking to invest in or to buy companies. For all intents and purposes, the firm has no operation other than buying and selling companies, which go into its portfolio.

    PE firms raise money from limited partners (LPs). LPs often include university endowments, pension funds, capital from other companies, and funds of funds (which are simply investments that invest in other funds, not in companies). Wealthy individuals also invest in PE firms.

    As Seller, don’t assume a PE firm has money to burn. PE firms aren’t bottomless pits of money; they’re using Other People’s Money, so executives are beholden to their LPs.

    General partners (GPs) manage the money from the LPs. The GPs oversee the day-to-day operations of the firm, making investor decisions and managing the acquired companies (which become known as portfolio companies after acquisition).

    PE firms make money by charging an annual management fee of 2 percent to 3 percent of the money under management and then taking a cut (called the carry) of the profits when they sell portfolio companies. Most often, the PE firm’s carry is 20 percent. The LPs get their original investment back plus 80 percent of the profits.

    Getting the founder of a company “out of the way” is often an underappreciated role of PE firms. The PE firm can step in and help bridge a company’s transition from an entrepreneurial firm to a company that better fits with a large acquirer.

    This role is especially important when the acquired company is a closely held company run by the founding entrepreneur because in that case the transition can be too big to otherwise handle.

    Some investors are actually fundless sponsors, or Buyers without money. They look for a company to buy, work out a deal with the owner, and then they try to find the money to close the deal. These groups can and do complete deals, but most often, a fundless sponsor adds a layer of complexity to an already-complex subject.

  • 390. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:50 am

    “Shouldn’t one always seek lower fees? ”

    No, not always, when one is managing $10 billion.

    If you’re talking about $50,000 in your 401k, yeah, that’s totally true.

  • 391. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:57 am

    @ wow – I followed all of your information about how we got into this mess just fine. Thank you for that. It stinks that the people of Illinois and Chicago allowed this to take place. I assume everyone was okay with it (or didn’t look into it much) because they were getting all this other “free” stuff – funding for childcare, mental health clinics, etc. (All the things that Rauner is now saying we can’t afford). But, once you got to the rolling stone link and By Bill Snow from Mergers and Acquisitions For Dummies…, well you lost me on how changes to what private equity firms get will allow us to pay everyone everything they are promised forever and get rid of red light cameras and open closed schools and hire 1000 police officers and not raise taxes.

  • 392. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 11:59 am

    @ wow – are you saying that if the PE firms were only allowed to get 2 or 3% for their efforts, then everything would be perfect financially?

  • 393. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    mom2 No.
    The bottom line is that the “unfunded liability” crisis is, if not exactly fictional, certainly exaggerated to an outrageous degree. Yes, we live in a new economy and, yes, it may be time to have a discussion about whether certain kinds of public employees should be receiving sizable benefit checks until death. But the idea that these benefit packages are causing the fiscal crises in our states is almost entirely a fabrication crafted by the very people who actually caused the problem (private equity firms). It’s like Voltaire’s maxim about noses having evolved to fit spectacles, so therefore we wear spectacles. In this case, we have an unfunded-pension-liability problem because we’ve been ripping retirees off for decades – but the solution being offered is to rip them off even more.

    Everybody following this story should remember what went on in the immediate aftermath of the crash of 2008, when the federal government was so worried about the sanctity of private contracts that it doled out $182 billion in public money to AIG. That bailout guaranteed that firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank could be paid off on their bets against a subprime market they themselves helped overheat, and that AIG executives could be paid the huge bonuses they naturally deserved for having run one of the world’s largest corporations into the ground. When asked why the state was paying those bonuses, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers said, “We are a country of law. . . . The government cannot just abrogate contracts.”

    Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?

    Now, though, states all over the country are claiming they not only need to abrogate legally binding contracts with state workers but also should seize retirement money from widows to finance years of illegal loans, giant fees to billionaires like Dan Loeb and billions in tax breaks to the Curt Schillings of the world. It ain’t right. If someone has to tighten a belt or two, let’s start there. If we’ve still got a problem after squaring those assholes away, that’s something that can be discussed. But asking cops, firefighters and teachers to take the first hit for a crisis caused by reckless pols and thieves on Wall Street is low, even by American standards.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926#ixzz3UByPbDdL
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

  • 394. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    “The bottom line is that the “unfunded liability” crisis is, if not exactly fictional, certainly exaggerated to an outrageous degree. ”

    Oh, so we don’t need to put extra money into the pensions?

    Good to hear!

    Now, get Springfield to change the law requiring it. Get the bond rating agencies to agree that the “unfunded liability” (nice scare quotes) isn’t an issue.

    Once you have those two things taken care of, no problem-o.

  • 395. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    and, OBTW, the only thing “Wall Street” did to get the CTPF underfunded was provide high enough returns in the 90s that Daley (who cannot be sufficiently damned for his mismanagement of Chicago, as far as I am concerned) felt comfortable taking a funding holiday for a *decade* and *never* pushing Springfield to live up to its commitment to proportionate funding of CTPF and TRS.

    Wall Street is just a boogie man on this one folks. The fault lies *entirely* with Daley and Illinois state politicians, robbing from the future to protect their electoral prospects from 1995 on.

  • 396. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Don’t give workers money to retire! Give it to hedge funds, Chris!

    One of the most garish early experiments in “alternative investments” came in Ohio in the late 1990s, after the Republican-controlled state assembly passed a law loosening restrictions on what kinds of things state funds could invest in. Sometime later, an investigation by the Toledo Blade revealed that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation had bought into rare-coin funds run by a GOP fundraiser named Thomas Noe. Through Noe, Ohio put $50 million into coins and “other collectibles” – including Beanie Babies.
    The scandal had repercussions all over the country, but not what you’d expect. James Drew, one of the reporters who broke the story, notes that a consequence of “Coingate” was that states stopped giving out information about where public money is invested. “If they learned anything, it’s not to stop doing it, but to keep it secret,” says Drew.

    Invasion of the Home Snatchers
    In fact, in recent years more than a dozen states have carved out exemptions for hedge funds to traditional Freedom of Information Act requests, making it impossible in some cases, if not illegal, for workers to find out where their own money has been invested.
    The way this works, typically, is simple: A hedge fund will refuse to take a state’s business unless it first provides legal guarantees that information about its investments won’t be disclosed to the public. The ostensible justifications for these outrageous laws are usually that disclosing commercial information about hedge funds would place them at a “competitive disadvantage.”

    In 2010, the University of California reinvested its pension fund with a venture-capital group called Sequoia Capital, which in turn is a backer of a firm called Think Finance, whose business is payday lending – a form of short-term, extremely high-interest rate lending that’s basically loan-sharking without the leg-breaking, and is banned in 15 states and D.C. According to American Banker, Think Finance partnered with a Native American tribe to get around state interest-rate caps; someone borrowing $250 in its “plain green loans” program would owe $440 after 16 weeks, for a tidy annual percentage rate of 379 percent. In a more recent case, the pension fund of L.A. County union workers invested in an Embassy Suites hotel that is trying to prevent janitors and other employees from organizing. California passed a law in 2005 making hedge-fund investments secret.

    The American Federation of Teachers this spring released a list of financiers who had been connected with lobbying efforts against defined-benefit plans. Included on that list was hedge-funder Loeb of Third Point Capital, who sits on the board of StudentsFirstNY, a group that advocates for an end to these traditional plans for public workers – that is, pensions that promise a guaranteed payout based on one’s salary and years of service. When Rhode Island union rep Reback complained about hiring funds whose managers had anti-labor histories, she was told the state couldn’t make decisions based on political leanings of fund managers. That same month, Rhode Island moved to disinvest its workers’ money from firearms distributors in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

    Hedge funds have good reason to want to keep their fees hidden: They’re insanely expensive. The typical fee structure for private hedge-fund management is a formula called “two and twenty,” meaning the hedge fund collects a two percent fee just for showing up, then gets 20 percent of any profits it earns with your money. Some hedge funds also charge a mysterious third fee, called “fund expenses,” that can run as high as half a percent – Loeb’s Third Point, for instance, charged Rhode Island just more than half a percent for “fund expenses” last year, or about $350,000. Hedge funds will also pass on their trading costs to their clients, a huge additional line item that can come to an extra percent or more and is seldom disclosed. There are even fees states pay for withdrawing from certain hedge funds.

    In public finance, hedge funds will sometimes give slight discounts, but the numbers are still enormous. In Rhode Island, over the course of 20 years, Siedle projects that the state will pay $2.1 billion in fees to hedge funds, private-equity funds and venture-capital funds. Why is that number interesting? Because it very nearly matches the savings the state will be taking from workers by freezing their Cost of Living Adjustments – $2.3 billion over 20 years.
    “That’s some ‘reform,'” says Siedle.

    “They pretty much took the COLA and gave it to a bunch of billionaires,” hisses Day, Providence’s retired firefighter union chief.
    When asked to respond to criticisms that the savings from COLA freezes could be seen as going directly into the pockets of billionaires, treasurer Raimondo replied that it was “very dangerous to look at fees in a vacuum” and that it’s worth paying more for a safer and more diverse portfolio. She compared hedge funds – inherently high-risk investments whose prospectuses typically contain front-page disclaimers saying things like, WARNING: YOU MAY LOSE EVERYTHING – to snow tires. “Sure, you pay a little more,” she says. “But you’re really happy you have them when the roads are slick.”
    Raimondo recently criticized the high-fee structure of hedge funds in the Wall Street Journal and told Rolling Stone that “‘two and twenty’ doesn’t make sense anymore,” although she hired several funds at precisely those fee levels back before she faced public criticism on the issue. She did add that she was monitoring the funds’ performance. “If they underperform, they’re out,” she says.
    And underperforming is likely. Even though hedge funds can and sometimes do post incredible numbers in the short-term – Loeb’s Third Point notched a 41 percent gain for Rhode Island in 2010; the following year, it earned -0.54 percent. On Wall Street, people are beginning to clue in to the fact – spikes notwithstanding – that over time, hedge funds basically suck. In 2008, Warren Buffett famously placed a million-dollar bet with the heads of a New York hedge fund called Protégé Partners that the S&P 500 index fund – a neutral bet on the entire stock market, in other words – would outperform a portfolio of five hedge funds hand-picked by the geniuses at Protégé.
    Five years later, Buffett’s zero-effort, pin-the-tail-on-the-stock-market portfolio is up 8.69 percent total. Protégé’s numbers are comical in comparison; all those superminds came up with a 0.13 percent increase over five long years, meaning Buffett is beating the hedgies by nearly nine points without lifting a finger.

    Union leaders all over the country have started to figure out the perils of hiring a bunch of overpriced Wall Street wizards to manage the public’s money. Among other things, investing with hedge funds is infinitely more expensive than investing with simple index funds. On Wall Street and in the investment world, the management price is measured in something called basis points, a basis point equaling one hundredth of one percent. So a state like Rhode Island, which is paying a two percent fee to hedge funds, is said to be paying an upfront fee of 200 basis points.

    How much does it cost to invest public money in a simple index fund? “We’ve paid as little as .875 of a basis point,” says William Atwood, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment. “At most, five basis points.”

    So at the low end, Atwood is paying 200 times less than the standard two percent hedge-fund fee. As an example, Atwood says, the state of Illinois paid a fee of just $57,000 last year on $550 million of public money they put into an S&P 500 index fund, which, again, is exactly the sort of plain-vanilla investment that Warren Buffett used to publicly kick the ass of Wall Street’s cockiest hedge fund.
    The fees aren’t even the only costs of “alternative investments.” Many states have engaged middlemen called “placement agents” to hire hedge funds, and those placement agents – typically people with ties to state investment boards – are themselves paid enormous sums, often in the millions, just to “introduce” hedge funds to politicians holding the checkbook.

    Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
    In Kentucky, Tobe and Siedle found that KRS, the state pension funds, had paid a whopping $14 million to placement agents between 2004 and 2009. In Atlanta, a member of the city pension board complained to the SEC that the city had hired a consultant, Larry Gray, who convinced the city pension fund to invest $28 million in a hedge fund he himself owned. Raimondo says she never hired placement agents, but the state did pay a $450,000 consulting fee to a firm called Cliffwater LLC.
    Doughty says the endless system of highly paid middlemen reminds him of old slapstick comedies. “It’s like the Three Stooges,” he says. “When you ask them what happened, they’re all pointing in different directions, like, ‘He did it!'”

    How Wall Street Is Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution
    Even worse, placement agents are also often paid by the alternative investors. In California, the Apollo private-equity firm paid a former CalPERS board member named Alfred Villalobos a staggering $48 million for help in securing investments from state pensions, and Villalobos delivered, helping Apollo receive $3 billion of CalPERS money. Villalobos got indicted in that affair, but only because he’d lied to Apollo about disclosing his fees to CalPERS. Otherwise, despite the fact that this is in every way basically a crude kickback scheme, there’s no law at all against a placement agent taking money from a finance firm. The Government Accountability Office has condemned the practice, but it goes on.

    “It’s a huge conflict of interest,” says Siedle.
    So when you invest your pension money in hedge funds, you might be paying a hundred times the cost or more, you might be underperforming the market, you may be supporting political movements against you, and you often have to pay what effectively is a bribe just for the privilege of hiring your crappy overpaid money manager in the first place. What’s not to like about that? Who could complain?

    Once upon a time, local corruption was easy. “It was votes for jobs,” Doughty says with a sigh. A ward would turn out for a councilman, the councilman would come back with jobs from city-budget contracts – that was the deal. What’s going on with public pensions is a more confusing modern version of that local graft. With public budgets carefully scrutinized by everyone from the press to regulators, the black box of pension funds makes it the only public treasure left that’s easy to steal. Politicians quietly borrow millions from these funds by not paying their ARCs, and it’s that money, plus the savings from cuts made to worker benefits in the name of “emergency” pension reform, that pays for an apparently endless regime of corporate tax breaks and handouts.
    A notorious example in Rhode Island is, of course, 38 Studios, the doomed video-game venture of blabbering, Christ-humping ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who received a $75 million loan guarantee from the state at a time when local politicians were pleading poverty. “This whole thing isn’t just about cutting payments to retirees,” says syndicated columnist David Sirota, who authored the Institute for America’s Future study on Arnold and Pew. “It’s about preserving money for corporate welfare.” Their study estimates states spend up to $120 billion a year on offshore tax loopholes and gifts to dingbats like Schilling and other subsidies – more than two and a half times as much as the $46 billion a year Pew says states are short on pension payments.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/looting-the-pension-funds-20130926#ixzz3UC2ckqop
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

  • 397. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Trying to be reasonable here. I agree that when you look at what some high level executives make, it makes your head spin. When trying to talk to some wealthier friends about this, they say that in corporate America, people fight for the best leaders and will pay what is necessary to get and keep them. I still feel it is totally crazy and they might be surprised to find other people willing to take a lot less that could do just as good a job if not better. However, even if they made a lot less, would that fix our issues? It doesn’t seem like it. And besides, unless you want us to become socialists or communists, I don’t think you can make tons of changes here. So, from my perspective, it seems wrong that people are unwilling to look into some changes to the pension system (and paying until death, etc.) until we somehow force all these rich people to be less rich.

    How would we do this exactly? How much less do they have to earn? Who exactly must be forced to earn less? What would be the process? I heard we cannot pay “giant fees” to Dan Loeb and we cannot give “billions in tax breaks to the Curt Schillings of the world”. So, how much can we pay “Dan Loeb”? How much can we give and to whom?

  • 398. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    mom2 What I hear you saying is, “All this is too bad and teachers still have to pay the price for the sins of the hedge funds.” This is the easiest way out.
    I do not begrudge anyone making lots of money if it is made legally. Clearly, raiding pensions and spinning that it is public employee faults is not legal.
    These pension contracts were written a long time ago. Things change. I get it. Teachers made $8,000 back in the ’70’s.
    Teacher are required to earn advanced degrees in order to teacher most everything today. That is at least a $20,000 investment from our own dime to pay for it for one new degree or endorsement. We rarely make that money back even with a step increase. Regulations mandate we earn these expensive degrees in order to teach. Let’s get rid of the regulations for teachers too while we do not require disclosure from Hedge Funds. Student Loans are out of control too. I suppose that is the teachers fault too.

  • 399. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    “Don’t give workers money to retire! Give it to hedge funds, Chris!”

    Who’s “giving” me (a worker!!) money to retire?

    What would you have the pension fund invested in, Wow? You seem to be an expert in all the ways that the PE and Hedgie industries screw the little guy–you have to have *some* alternate proposal.

  • 400. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Wow:

    “What I hear you saying is”…

    What I see you doing is throwing up strawman after strawman, and offering NOTHING in the way of suggestions to make things better.

    Yes, let’s have the PE guys disgorge their management fees back into the CTPF. That’s 13 years, times less than $20m per year, which would cover about 1/3 of the 15-16 required funding amount.

    Then what? Where’s the other $500 million come from?

    Why are some workers more equal than other workers?

  • 401. Mom2Boys  |  March 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    We should all be concerned about the hedge funds that are robbing pension accounts. See statement below from AARP:

    Wall Street is lining its pockets with our retirement savings.

    Here’s the outrageous truth: thanks to a legal loophole, financial advisors are free to recommend retirement investments with expensive fees and low returns – while they receive big kickbacks. That means your retirement savings grow smaller, while their wallets keep getting bigger and bigger.

    And we’re not talking about a few dollars here and there. This bad advice could cost hard-working Americans like you nearly one quarter of your retirement savings.

    It’s time to say enough is enough. A new proposal could close this loophole, but already some in Congress are ready to side with Wall Street, instead of working to protect your savings. We need to show our elected officials that we’re watching – and counting on them to protect our hard-earned retirement savings. Tell Congress: Stop Wall Street from shrinking Americans’ retirement savings.

    For decades, this loophole has let some bad actors on Wall Street tell you where to put your money based on what’s best for their own bottom line…even if it means your retirement savings go down the drain. After working for years to earn a secure retirement, you deserve to know that your nest egg will be protected, not exploited by Wall Street.

    The U.S. Department of Labor is considering a new standard that would hold anyone who gives investment advice genuinely accountable for helping you choose the best investments for you and your family. But already some in Congress are pushing bills that would protect these bad advisors and make it impossible to enforce these new standards.

    Wall Street and its Congressional allies have stopped attempts to close this loophole before – we can’t let them get away with it again.

    Make sure your members of Congress know where you stand. Send them a message right now, and tell them to support closing the retirement advice loophole.

    I know we can win this fight to protect the retirement savings we’ve earned, but it’s going to take a lot of pressure to make it happen. After you send your message, make sure to forward this message to your friends and family too.

    Thanks for speaking out at this critical moment. Your voice will make a difference.

    Fred Griesbach
    AARP Campaigns

  • 402. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Why are some workers more equal than other workers? That is a good question, Chris. You are upset that you work for a corporation that does not have a pension. Teachers are upset that firemen and police receive a fatter pension. What about the janitor? He works hard too.
    It is a complicated problem. My solution will not solve this problem completely.

    1. PEFs should be required by law to payback a portion of their fees and then they need to be regulated and we must demand transparency

    2. Eliminate Corporate Welfare

    3. Reinstate the tax levels that President Eisenhower legislated.

    4. Reduce military spending

    5. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall act

    6. Stop requiring teachers to earn a new degree for every subject they want to teach. Once a teacher has a master’s degree or a certain number of years experience, they are mentored to teach in a new area.

  • 403. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    @371 “the way of Detroit” meant becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy.

    PE or hedge funds don’t get 20% of the profits unless the profits exceed the performance levels set by investors, and the performance fee is not always as high as 20%. Many contracts provide for claw-backs, too. If you miss a mark, you have to pay back some of the fee you collected or you have to pay-out the investor’s entire position. In general, if a fund does not better than an index, like the S&P, it does not get the performance fee. So if the S&P goes up by 10%, and the fund also returned 10%, then no 20% cut of the profits.

  • 404. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I’m not saying too bad for the teachers but they have to pay for sins hedge funds. I thought the issue was that the politicians didn’t fund the pensions? Is it the fault of politicians, too? I thought so but I don’t recall any proof that the politicians took the money for themselves. Instead, they used it for other things for the city that people begged and lobbied for such as mental health clinics and child care and other social services. If they put it into the pensions, they would have had to cut all these things and many people would have yelled and screamed and never voted for them again. Right?

    If we took every hedge fund person that made money specifically off of the Chicago teachers pension, and made them give it all back plus reasonable interest, and we never gave a single dime to a hedge fund person in the future, would we have enough money to fund pensions forever and reopen closed schools and hire 1000 police officers and get rid of red light cameras, and still fund social services, fire department, run the city, run the state, etc.?

    Now, I’m trying to find solutions for the future. It just seems like you can’t get past the blame game (which I understand because our politicians were totally wrong to do this), but it is frustrating me to keep reading this because we have to get past it or we are all in trouble. To me, the solution lies in reducing the number of layers of government but others will say that will cause people to lose jobs and that would be terrible.

  • 405. mom2  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Wow – sorry. I see you offered some ideas as I was writing my reply.

  • 406. Chris  |  March 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    “[Wow’s] solution will not solve this problem completely.”

    Your ‘solution’ addresses $0.00 of on-going pension funding, after an initial clawback.

    Eisenhower tax rates also means Eisenhower spending levels. He felt taxes and spending were the some thing (he was right).

  • 407. Chicagodad  |  March 12, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Time to look at the big picture, rather than spout ridiculous platitudes about hedge funds. We are in trouble, and will be in deeper trouble if we take our eyes off the ball.

    For all of Daley’ faults, and Emanuel’s faults, they shared a pride of the city. They had VISION. They both made Chicago a beautiful city, which attracted many companies and their high paying jobs, thus expanding our tax base much more than if some political hacks without vision were mayor over the same time.

    Does anyone on this thread really believe the many improving neighborhoods of Chicago (Bucktown, Wicker Park, North Center, Pilsen, Bridgeport, West Loop, South Loop, just to name a few) would be as vibrant as they are today, and generating as much tax revenue as they do, without efforts to attract businesses and urbanites to Chicago (the Bean, the Pritzker Pavilion, the Selective Enrollment schools, the boulevard planters, etc). The next mayor MUST continue this trend, and make it a top priority, because other mayors in other cities DO have the smarts to realize how important “selling” their cities are. Because if companies can move here, they can leave, too, and take their tax revenue with them.

  • 408. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    So Chris, just what is your solution? What should we do to prevent future problems? Is this really all the greedy teachers fault? Chicagodad, should we spend money on more items that make the city beautiful? Daley may have loved the city but Rahm is in this for Rahm. The Pritzker’s bought their Pavillion, maybe they will help pay for the pension crisis. They have that wonderful hotel that makes money. They own all three credit rating agencies. They do some much for the public. What is the answer? Even if teachers do end up paying for this crisis, it will not be over soon.

  • 409. Chicagodad  |  March 12, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Rahm at least recognizes the importance of the issue I raised. He does have vision. That’s why he’s doing the Bloomingdale trail, the Lucas museum, the Obama library, the redevelopment of the southeast side, etc.

    I have yet to see any evidence that Chuy grasps the importance of contnually growing and selling Chicago, and we will all suffer as a result.

  • 410. Wow  |  March 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    All those ideas are from his cronies, which will keep him in their pockets. He will give whomever gave him money, the key to the city, not the citizens. While the city will look beautiful many citizens will suffer hence your statement, “Time to look at the big picture, rather than spout ridiculous platitudes about hedge funds. We are in trouble, and will be in deeper trouble if we take our eyes off the ball.”
    Let’s correct these issues now and for the long term. There needs to be some regulations on how pensions are managed so this does not happen again. Politicians should not be dipping into retirement plans. All retirement plans need oversight.

  • 411. HS Mom  |  March 12, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    @285 – “the next Chicago mayor doesn’t need to be anything other than a pension deal-maker with Madigan, Cullerton, Rauner – Right now, that needs to be JOB#1. And as constituents we need to keep our focus there too…. the rest (crime, ed, development, jobs, waste cutting, etc.) can be addressed afterwards.”

    While I agree in the importance, the rest needs to be addressed now. In order to pay the extra taxes under Chuy (assumed since he has not offered up any other money sources) that will certainly trickle down we need more strong good paying jobs and vibrant business. Middle class needs that support now. I’m working for 2 different medium sized businesses right now. One is definitely moving to the burbs and the other is contemplating a move maybe out of the city. More/higher taxes will definitely push that move. Finding a new job for comparable or even lower money at my age will be challenging. I’m with Mom2 – I could definitely see myself moving out of state – maybe some place like Colorado where I can kick back and read about Chicago. They’re hiring.

    @407 – I agree with you completely. Driving home from Hyde Park the other day I mused on how much that area has suddenly developed and took in our magnificent skyline with it’s ever evolving face filled with everything I would want in a city – art, architecture, commerce, lake front.

  • 412. No Rahm  |  March 12, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    @257 Angie

    “Rahm’s serving as a Chief of Staff for the first-ever African American President of the United States pales in comparison.”

    Rahm was fired. By Michelle.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/the-obamas-book-jodi-kantor_n_1190100.html?ref=politics

  • 413. No Rahm  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    409. Chicagodad

    Rahm doesn’t have vision. Let’s take for example the Lucas museum concept.
    George Lucas is married to Mellody Hobson who was born in Chicago. She’s a Harvard grad, who ran Ariel Investents here in Chicago which was founded by John Rogers who was married to Desiree Rogers who was Michelle Obama’s social secretary and best friends with Michelle, and Valerie Jarrett who is the Presidents right hand woman and who happens to be a Chicagoan who deeply despises Rahm…so the Lucas museum in Chicago is a possibility not because of Rahm– its coincidental, he just happens to be mayor because the Chicago electorate that put him in office are a bunch of unenlightened zombies.

  • 414. Angie  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    @412. No Rahm: Do you actually read the articles you post? I mean, beyond the headlines?

  • 415. No Rahm  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    @409. Chicagodad

    You might enjoy Ben Joravsky’s pop quiz on the Library. I pick answer a.)

    With parents and students up in arms over the state’s insistence on shoving another dumbass standardized test down their throats, I thought it would be as good a time as ever to come up with a multiple-choice quiz of my own.

    My quiz, however, has a practical application, as it’s about local politics. Specifically, the subterranean motivations that guide our leaders to do the things they do.

    Since we all agree their stated reasons—when they give them at all—are too preposterous to believe.

    So without further ado, let’s get to our quiz, which has to do with Mayor Rahm, President Obama, and the Obama presidential library . . .

    For the last year or so, President and Mrs. Obama have been courting sites competing for the library, weighing them against one another to see which most deserves it.

    Or as one particularly jaded politician we’ll call Alderman X told me . . .

    “To get that library, they’re making us suck the presidential d—.”

    Oh, let’s not be vulgar.

    Anyway, there are four contenders. Hawaii, which no one thinks is really in the running, is one.

    North Lawndale—which won’t get it in a million years, as I’m pretty much the only one outside of North Lawndale who’s endorsing it—is another.

    Then there’s New York City, with its Columbia University proposal, and a second local bid, the University of Chicago’s proposal for Washington Park or Jackson Park.

    All the wisenheimers tell me it’s coming down to Columbia versus the University of Chicago.

    For the longest time, the president said he’d make his announcement by the end of March, which, as you know, is just days before the April 7 runoff pitting Mayor Rahm against Chuy Garcia.

    Which no one predicted. Except for me, as I will undoubtedly be bragging about for at least another year.

    A few days ago, the Obamas quietly let it be known—without explanation—that they were delaying the big announcement until sometime in April.

    Conveniently, after our mayoral election is over.

    So, here’s your multiple-choice quiz, Chicago:

    The Obamas are delaying their announcement because _______________.

    (a) Michelle Obama and a dear friend of hers, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, hate Mayor Rahm so much they enjoy watching him squirm.

    (b) They’ve decided to bring it to Chicago, but Mayor Rahm asked them to hold off the announcement because he thinks it will help him win votes by running around the south side telling voters we’re not gonna get the library if Chuy’s elected mayor.

    (c) The Obamas have already chosen New York City, but they’re holding off on the announcement as a favor to Rahm so Chuy can’t run around the south side telling voters the mayor’s so worthless he can’t even get his presidential pal to deliver on the library.

    (d) They don’t give a hoot about Rahm or Chuy; they just can’t make up their minds.

    I’m going with (c), though I haven’t ruled out (b). Hell, Michelle and Valerie despised Rahmlong before it was fashionable.

    I have to think that, if he could, the mayor would stage a huge library-announcement event on the south side days before the election, with Prez Obama giving him a big kiss on the cheek.

    Apparently, last month’s presidential hug—which the mayor ran on endless TV commercials—was only good enough to get Rahm into a runoff.

    For another opinion, I checked back in with Alderman X, who went with (b).

    “What!” I exclaimed. “You think that Rahm would rather pretend he doesn’t know we’re getting the library than run endless commercials in which he brags about getting it?”

    “Yes, the library is a valuable issue against Chuy, if we don’t know who’s getting it. That way Rahm can continue a whispering campaign that Chuy won’t be able to get stuff done.”

    You know, Mr. Mayor, it’s pretty bad when the people who know you best have a more cynical interpretation of your motives than even I do.

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2015/03/12/a-presidential-library-pop-quizonly-in-the-reader

  • 416. No Rahm  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    @414 Angie

    Hyperbole my friend. He was fired by the President (after Michelle gave him no choice) for not being capable of running the White House (they made it look like resignation), and for being the most despised person in Washington. The President was never going to admit he made a lousy choice in chief of staff. He had to give him a public hug.
    After he failed miserably in DC, lucky Chicago got him. And now that the city is awake, he will be fired again.

  • 417. Angie  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    @416. No Rahm :”The President was never going to admit he made a lousy choice in chief of staff. ”

    Hardly. If Rahm butted heads with the First Lady, one of them had to go, and obviously she was not going anywhere. These things happen.

    “You might enjoy Ben Joravsky’s pop quiz on the Library.”

    No one enjoys this CTU mouthpiece, except for its members.

  • 418. Princess Leia  |  March 12, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I choose “c”.

  • 419. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:35 am

    This is not that hard. What is Rahm’s plan for the pensions compared to Chuy’s plan. How much city-controlled taxes will they raise? What city-controlled services will they cut? How much will they rely on Springfield. Put them up head to head. on each item.

  • 420. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:43 am

    I’m sorry. That was a PARCC-like trick question. Neither candidate’s website presents any plan.

    This is the 21st century. Provide links to the candidate’s plan. I can’t see any at either site.

    Basically, neither has courage to lay out the plan. Of course, neither has the incentive to. Rauner won an election based on a non-plan for the state budget.

  • 421. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Chuy’s new plan: http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83045531/ (may require paid subscription for access)

    Headline: How to save our city

    Next: long list of anti-Rahm slams.

    Actual “plan”:

    “Clearly, this is unsustainable. But we can begin to get out of this hole without gutting city services, slashing workers’ retirement security and ultimately hitting our revenue base even harder.

    I propose a complete overhaul of the way the city budgets and spends — one designed to free our government from the current administration’s addiction to irresponsible borrowing and budgeting.

    As mayor, I will tackle the total cost of Chicago government with four core principles: better and more efficient service; transparency and public accountability; comprehensive revenue reforms that are equitable and sized to meet the needs of a well-functioning government; and collaboration with our government partners, public employees, service providers, the City Council and our collective constituents.

    This approach has worked well for Cook County, which has held the line on property taxes, cut an unpopular and regressive sales tax, and maximized efficiencies in frontline services.

    We can do more if Chicago and Cook County collaborate more widely on shared areas of common concern.

    We must immediately implement financial and performance audits of city departments, starting with those with the biggest budgets — something that has essentially never been done in Chicago.

    These audits, which should be made public, will form the factual basis for systematic improvements in services, public performance and financial management. We can expect fiscal savings as we work through improvements with managers and workers, suppliers and service providers, the City Council and our public stakeholders.”

    My conclusion: There’s no plan. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.

  • 422. IB Obsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 7:59 am

    And Rahm’s plan Angie? It’s fine if Rahm doesn’t have a spelled out plan, but a deal breaker for any other candidate.? You’re for Rahm no matter the facts? Wow, you are his dream supporter.

    Chris, How’d you calculate that 100m in new spending you allege Chuy promises??

  • 423. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Interesting overview from Heinz at Crains.
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150312/BLOGS02/150319923/its-showtime-garcia-unveils-his-financial-plan-for-chicago

    “But Emanuel at least has passed pension reform, ushering through changes in the laborers’ and municipal funds that cover about half of city workers. And he pushed through a boost in telephone taxes to begin to pay the city’s cost.”

    I forgot about this accomplishment. Rahm can and will negotiate to resolve the pension mess.

  • 424. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:43 am

    @421 Angie
    “We can do more if Chicago and Cook County collaborate more widely on shared areas of common concern.”

    Hmmm………………..who will actually be in charge?

  • 425. IB Obsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

    How is Rahm given us any more specific plan than this? What am I missing?

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/1826/article/p2p-83045531/

  • 426. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Crains op-ed from Karen Lewis.
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150312/OPINION/150319912/karen-lewis-chuy-garcia-should-be-next-mayor-of-chicago

    So basically, she endorses Garcia because he will do what she says. Protect union workers, sue the banks, tif reform and tax the rich. It doesn’t really say anything about why he would be qualified.

    Who will actually be in charge?

  • 427. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:53 am

    @425 IB Obsessed
    What is missing is the fact that the CTU will not have any discussion to find a reasonable fair solution. They want it all and will take down Illinois and Chicago in the process. This is just not realistic. Rahm has shown that he can and will negotiate and I personally trust he will have a more balanced view than the muppet the CTU is trying to get in office so they can run the agenda.

  • 428. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 8:54 am

    @422. IB Obsessed:”And Rahm’s plan Angie? It’s fine if Rahm doesn’t have a spelled out plan, but a deal breaker for any other candidate.”

    Rahm has been in charge for 4 years, and he is planning to continue attracting businesses, trying to talk some sense into public unions, trying to restructure the debt Daley saddled us with, and so on. These are the facts. I agree with most of what he has done so far, and that’s why he has my vote.

  • 429. cpsobsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:01 am

    @patricia:
    I didn’t read the article but one could argue that the things karen lewis wants are also things that many working class people in the city want.

    One can see those points appealing to citizens of chicago who aren’t as entitled or supportive of big/private biz.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 430. No Rahm  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:18 am

    thanks Patri-cia Gar-cia for the link.

    By Karen Lewis

    The day of reckoning for Chicago’s pension problem is coming. Let’s be clear, however—it was years of the city’s nonpayment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund and structured underpayment to police and fire departments that created the current crisis. The city did not make any efforts during more flush times to address the issue, even though it was crystal clear that future challenges would result. In the case of the CTPF, it was the Illinois Legislature and Mayor Richard M. Daley that eliminated the fund’s dedicated property tax line in 1995.

    While Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is stumping for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel by imprudently comparing our city to Detroit, Chicago can take a different route to stability by closing corporate loopholes, taking legal action against banks engaged in predatory financial deals and raising taxes on the wealthy. The only solution is a sufficient, dedicated funding stream that can’t be diverted to operations.

    Unfortunately, Emanuel has sided with his Republican brethren and big banks in virtually every instance during his four years in office and now is working overtime to limit the liability of banks. Our city is ready for a leader who will defend us against the rapacious interests of the banks. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is that leader.

    Emanuel has continued the policies of his predecessor: privatization of public assets like parking meters, the attempt to privatize Midway Airport, scoop-and-toss bonding and intensification of regressive fines and fees.

    Garcia has proposed major tax increment financing changes and supports a graduated state income tax. If Garcia takes on the banks, we’re already much further ahead. The key is to move toward straightforward decisions that can’t be gamed by financial institutions.

    Take on the banks. By taking legal action against banks that have engaged in toxic swaps and taken advantage of an economic crisis of their own creation, Chicago could recover all of the money paid to these banks, as well as any future payments or termination penalties. This would be worth up to $800 million, which includes estimated net payments of $534 million from the city and $237 million from CPS on the swap deals through last August.

    The city has engaged in these complex financing deals with hidden costs and hidden risks because it does not have enough revenue coming in and now is seeking a way to make up the difference. Chicago needs to increase revenue so our city does not have to rely on these predatory deals from Wall Street to make ends meet.

    Take on TIFs. Up to a billion dollars in surplus sits in TIF coffers every year and primarily benefits luxury car dealerships, profitable corporations and real estate developers. This money would be much better used to reduce financial liabilities, restructure predatory loans, re-amortize pension obligations, fund critical school improvements and expand services.

    Take on the wealthy. The city’s widening wealth gap has been accompanied by inhumane budget cuts, the refusal to release Chicago Housing Authority vouchers in a timely manner and closure of schools and mental health facilities. If we want a city that serves all its residents, we need to address this growing disparity. Instead, Emanuel has fleeced taxpayers with red light cameras, cellphone taxes, parking fees and increased utility bills.

    Chicago needs a fair tax where the wealthy pay their share. A Democratic supermajority in the Legislature is capable of enacting the constitutional referendum necessary to allow the rich to pay more, but instead of calling for such a solution, the mayor has sat silently on the sidelines with his friends Ken Griffin and Gov. Bruce Rauner as they protect their vast wealth. Both California and Minnesota have seen economic growth and budgets move into the black with progressive revenue reform. Our city and state must join this growing movement to address income inequality.

    Chuy Garcia offers a clear alternative for a city that is on the wrong path, and on April 7, Chicagoans from all 77 community areas will have a clear choice of what kind of future we desire. Chuy will focus on our neglected neighborhoods, restore fairness to the tax system, negotiate humanely with our elderly public servants and reset our collective priorities to help all Chicagoans, but especially those who are most in need. Without him, our city will become more separate and more unequal.

    Karen Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union and considered running for mayor of Chicago.

  • 431. No Rahm  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:23 am

    @428 Angie

    Yes, Rahm has accomplished A LOT.

    Here is an excellent list of those accomplishments.

    http://www.rahmsaccomplishments.com

  • 432. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:25 am

    “…hedge funds that are robbing pension accounts. See statement below from AARP”

    AARP is not referring to hedge funds but to personal financial advisors and to retail investment firms. This is not the hedge fund world — the minimum investment in most hedge funds is $500,000 to $1 million. Under SEC regulations, you cannot invest in a hedge fund unless you have $1 million in net and cannot include the value of your primary residence as an asset, but any debts tied to the residence are subtracted from your other gross assets. By GAO estimates, we are talking about 7% or 8% of households in the US. (Keep in mind this is net worth, not annual income; if annual income is used then an estimated 4% of households could invest in these)..

  • 433. IB Obsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Baffled by Angie and Patricia’s faith in Rahm. He’s borrowed too, Angie. It’s not all attributable to Daley.

    There was no good reason to plan open MORE charters when the pension goes unfunded. This true regardless of whether one thinks charters should be part of school choice or not. There are PLENTY of charters and there is no proof more seats are needed. Schools were closed due to supposed under utilization, remember? How is this fiscally responsible?

    “Mayor Emanuel has borrowed heavily to cover operating expenses. Much of this borrowing simply scooped expiring bonds and refinanced them, tossing payments into the future for higher long-term costs.

    And Mayor Emanuel has accelerated borrowing to cover expenses. Since 2011, the city has sold $1.9 billion in general obligations bonds, with payments now extending to 2044, based on a review of all bond issues reported to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The Daley administration sold slightly more than half that amount of bonds in the 10 years before Emanuel took office, according to Chicago budget documents and Civic Federation reports.

    Since 2011, the city’s bond payments have increased by $456 million, or 35 percent, while revenues for general city services in the corporate fund have increased by $220 million, or only 6.6 percent, based on a review of annual Chicago budget recommendations. Payments on bonds and loans eat up 24 percent of local funds, according to the city’s own numbers and the Civic Federation — that’s “dead money” that returns no value to the public.

    The Emanuel administration has used gimmicks to cover costs and shortchange frontline services. According to my budget analysts, the mayor cut $800,000 and 13 community policing positions in 2014, then restored 12 of those positions to the 2015 budget — the basis of his claim that he “expanded” CAPS in this election year. My budget analysts report that he has done the same for nearly everything — from rodent control and tree trimming to the number of officers in the Police Department. A WBEZ analysis of city payroll records documented that the number of police has gone down by almost 400 since Mayor Emanuel took office”
    Mayor Emanuel has borrowed heavily to cover operating expenses. Much of this borrowing simply scooped expiring bonds and refinanced them, tossing payments into the future for higher long-term costs.

    And Mayor Emanuel has accelerated borrowing to cover expenses. Since 2011, the city has sold $1.9 billion in general obligations bonds, with payments now extending to 2044, based on a review of all bond issues reported to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The Daley administration sold slightly more than half that amount of bonds in the 10 years before Emanuel took office, according to Chicago budget documents and Civic Federation reports.

    Since 2011, the city’s bond payments have increased by $456 million, or 35 percent, while revenues for general city services in the corporate fund have increased by $220 million, or only 6.6 percent, based on a review of annual Chicago budget recommendations. Payments on bonds and loans eat up 24 percent of local funds, according to the city’s own numbers and the Civic Federation — that’s “dead money” that returns no value to the public.

    Financial analysts such as the Civic Federation, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s consider a debt burden to be too high when it exceeds 15 to 20 percent of local fund appropriations. That puts Chicago’s debt burden well over the recommended maximum.

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/1826/article/p2p-83045531/

    Angie and Patricia seem blinded by their HATRED of CTU.

  • 434. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:30 am

    @430. No Rahm : The best parts of Crain’s article are the comments.

    “Ray Busch • 18 hours ago
    Mrs. Lewis we are glad that you are recovering from your recent health issues. As a former CPS Certified and Assigned HS teacher from a period when that meant something, and now a practicing CPA, (thank you Chicago Teachers College and the $20 per semester tuition). I must ask you where was your Union and more importantly where were the trustees of your pension plans when the politicians failed to make the required payments to the pension plans? Where were the lawsuits against the trustees and the elected officials? If you were to look at the daily court call for US District Court you would see many of the cases brought to court are unions suing contractors for their required benefit payments. Where was CTU when the payments were missed? In the private sector if my clients don’t make their required payments to Social Security or the company pension plan at least monthly we are penalized by IRS and the responsible people are held personally liable to either the pension plan or IRS. Why does any politician who voted to skip a payment continue to receive their pensions? Why hasn’t someone sued them? With the internet, it is no longer necessary for a business to remain in Chicago, so raising taxes on the so called rich will no long work since people can and will move to another location.”

    “disqus_tMQNoMcUFy • 17 hours ago
    Ms. Lewis lost all credibility when she led a strike of Chicago public school teachers demanding an exorbitant raise and less accountability. If the day of reckoning is coming Ms. Lewis, how does a 30% raise for teachers help the city’s finances? Ms. Lewis ironically wants to hold the Mayor accountable when the people she represents are nearly impossible to fire or discipline, despite their overall poor performance. Great teachers deserve good wages, but Lewis and her ilk would rather pull the dead weight along for the ride than distinguish between good and bad teachers, and thus create meaningful improvement to Chicago public school education.

    Chuy is a “clear alternative”? What are you smoking? He has provided no specifics as to what he is going to do. Clean up crime? He can’t even keep his own police-hating son out of trouble. His own neighborhood is infested with gangs and violence, how is he going to make the city safer? Rahm is not perfect, but I think he is a better ambassador for our City than Chuy would be. It’s all well and good to be concerned about the poor, but you need a Mayor that attracts businesses. Businesses mean jobs. Jobs mean new restaurants, retail and tourism. Giving teacher’s raises does nothing to benefit anyone who is a non-teacher.

    Ms. Lewis, you just don’t get it. Fixing the cities financial woes is going to take concessions on everyone’s part. All I’m hearing from you is tax other people. Not one mention of concessions by the CTU. Why don’t you look in the mirror? Instead of admitting under performing and under-enrolled schools are financial liabilities, you rail against the Mayor for taking action. Instead of holding poor performing teachers accountable, you rail against all testing. What action do you ever take, other than going on strike demanding higher wages for teachers? You don’t care about the City, all you care about is your teachers keeping their fat pensions, which they start taking before age 60. You point the finger at everyone but yourself. Every Chicagoan will need to sacrifice to get the City back in the black, but all I hear from you is everyone BUT me needs to pay.”

  • 435. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:37 am

    @433. IB Obsessed: What is your solution? Stop paying city debts and declare bankruptcy?

  • 436. No Rahm  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Rahm’s Accomplishments:

    Chicago likes a tough mayor that gets things done. Let’s take a look at what Mayor Rahm Emanuel has done in his short tenure. From finance and crime, to education and jobs, Rahm has touched every aspect of our city in less than four years.

    Finance & Ethics
    Of Emanuel’s top 106 contributors, 60 of them received favors from the city.

    Evaded his own, much-trumpeted executive order banning campaign contributions from city contractors by shoveling $38 million in city resources to his donors via “direct voucher payments,” a sketchy loophole that lets businesses get city money without bids or contracts — without, in fact, any way of documenting what the money is used for.

    Disregarded ethics and laws and accepted more than $600,000 worth of donations from executives at firms managing Chicago pension money.

    Doesn’t attempt to recoup more than $100 million from issuance of $1 billion in risky auction-rate debt paired with interest-rate swaps…despite a federal rule that requires banks to “deal fairly” with governments when they underwrite government bonds.

    Established regulations favorable to Uber, a company Rahm’s brother stands to make a billions dollars from.

    Pays for preschool using dubious scheme in which investors could double their money and cost the city dearly.

    Missed the only opportunity to fight the parking meter deal, and instead locked the contract in place for the next 75 years.

    Chicago’s bond rating dropped to near junk-bond levels.

    Appointed board member Deborah Quazzo, who invests in companies that privatize school functions tripled their business with the Chicago Public Schools while she was on the board.

    Cut pensions of middle-class workers and diverted funds to enrich some of his biggest campaign contributors.

    Fails to reform disability programs, costing taxpayers millions.
    Facing budget crisis, spends $2.7 million on armor for horses for a NATO summit.

    Outsourced CTA fare card, despite having one that worked fine, to a company for $454 million, which then added new fees that bilk the poor on a grand scale.

    Top donor bought stock in Marriott immediately before City awarded company huge contract.

    Accepts $50,000 donation from George Lucas and $138,000 from executives of Star Wars parent company Walt Disney, then demands Lucas Museum placed on public park land with little public debate.
    Chicago has slower population increase than other major cities, despite claims that families are returning.

    Gave $55 million in public tax dollars to DePaul, a private university.
    Gave $5.2 million in public tax dollars to a company owned by the Pritzkers, one of the wealthiest families in the world.

    Hikes property taxes $750 million dollars.

    Steals credit for closing coal plant.

    Steals credit for minimum wage hike.

    Education
    Closed 54 schools yet has $1.71 billion in special accounts often used to finance corporate subsidies.

    Fails to hold charter schools accountable in the same way neighborhood schools are held accountable.

    Significant decline in number of African-American teachers.

    CPS has lowest enrollment since 1970.

    CPS can’t find 434 students since closing 54 schools.

    Closed 54 schools for underutilization yet continues to open new charter schools.

    CPS altered charter school test data.

    CPS sued for discriminating against pregnant teachers.

    CPS was able to juke the statistics on high school graduation rates — which supposedly went from 70 to 85 percent over the last decade — by contracting with for-profit online education companies that demanded very little work from students, while still allowing them to receive diplomas from the last school they attended.

    Argues against elected school board to prevent politics in education; refuses to proctor high-stakes test to gain votes before election.

    Interrogated young children without parental consent.

    Outsourced custodian and food services to Aramark; principals, teachers, and parents complain about the increased filth in schools due to the poor services, in part because they laid off hundreds of janitors.

    First teacher strike in 25 years.

    Cuts $11 million from public libraries budget, 363 positions reduced.
    Demolished public school library, against the parents’ wishes, and arrested protesters.

    Promised libraries for schools that accepted students from 54 closed schools; a year later only 4 schools received new libraries and only 38% have librarians.

    Costs of school closings triple the amount estimated, millions more than promised, leads to vandalized and unsecure buildings.

    Crime & Safety
    Crime statistics altered to hide murder rate, including a woman who was bound and gagged declared dead not from murder but by “unspecified means”.

    Chicago Murder rates increase 50%.

    Number of shootings increases.

    Spends $95 million in police overtime.

    Arrest rate for marijuana hasn’t changed, despite decriminalization, costing City millions and disproportionally affect Hispanic and African-American youth.

    CPD Homan Square “black site” where arrestees are locked up for days at a time without access to lawyers, including a 15 year old, and a 44 year old that died in custody.

    The administration insisted the red-light cameras led to a 47 percent decline in “T-bone” crashes, when the true number was 15 percent — and they also caused a corresponding 22 percent increase in rear-end collisions.

    CPD eavesdrops on protesters’ cell phones.

    Yellow light times too short causing more rear-end collisions and more red-light tickets.

    Claims red light cameras are for safety; personal motorcade routinely runs red lights.

    Closes half the mental health clinics in the city.

    Employment & Poverty
    Chicago’s African-American unemployment rate higher than other large cities.

    As of 2013, black unemployment was hovering around 25 percent, not significantly different than it was when the mayor took office. Poverty, too, has barely budged.

    Youth unemployment, especially for African-American youth, higher than other cities.

    Job growth trails the suburbs by nearly half.

    Gave $7 million in tax dollars to Mariano’s, a private company, that drove Dominick’s out of Chicago. Mariano’s pays lower wages than Jewel.

    Increased regressive taxes, which disproportionately affects the poor; Chicago now has the 4th highest regressive taxes in the nation.

    Dismisses seriousness of racial segregation, as if it’s a good thing.

    CHA socks away $353 million, failing to issue 13,000 vouchers for families to receive housing.

    Does Rahm deserve another four years?

  • 437. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 9:49 am

    @436. No Rahm: Yawn. I smell desperation on CTU’s part because today’s Tribune poll has Rahm at 51%, and Chuy at 37%.

  • 438. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:04 am

    The City is doomed if it caves repeatedly to the outrageous demands of a few public employee unions.

    Middle class and upper middle class families will flee with the massive tax increases required to fund Chuy’s friends pockets.

  • 439. Angie is Rahm  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    @437 Yawn, and don’t confuse you with facts, you’re mind is made up? Ok.

  • 440. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:16 am

    @429 cpso
    Sure sue the banks. Actually, sue former Mayor Daley and Mike Madigan while you are at it. This is not a solution that will be able to monetarily impact anything in the near future and would be tied up in court for infinity. CTU can do this today if it wants. So it does not really have anything to do with who is mayor. This provides a lovely diversion from discussing pension concessions from the CTU.

    Continue the TIF reform that Rahm has started. Sure go after more, but it has to be balanced and still provide business development opportunities. It has already been stated that TIF is not enough to fix things or fulfill the pension hole. Again, this serves as a nice diversion from the discussions that Karen Lewis needs to have with her delegates about pension concession needed from the CTU.

    Tax the wealthy. As defined by who? Middle class gets the short end of the stick here.

    Bottom line, I do not trust Karen Lewis. At some point she needs to have a discussion about pension concessions. Is worries me that the only way to have a discussion with her is to declare bankruptcy.

  • 441. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:29 am

    IBO:

    “Chris, How’d you calculate that 100m in new spending you allege Chuy promises??”

    1,000 new cops. Everyone agrees that’s at least $100m. Current OT is basically paid for by traffic camera revenue, which Chuy is dumping.

    Chuy has offered 3 things:

    1. 1,000 more cops.
    2. No more traffic cameras.
    3. He’s “Not Rahm”.

    What else is there?

    Elected school board? He has no legislative strategy for putting an elected board on CPS (and he’d *never* get it anyway, while Rauner is guv), so he’d have to propose that he’d fund a ‘special’ election to choose the candidate who he would appoint. Hasn’t even hinted at that, so I don’t buy that he would give up that power.

  • 442. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:37 am

    “Daley may have loved the city but Rahm is in this for Rahm.”

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    You buy into the Daley mythos? You’re a sucker. How does a guy whose spent his entire life working in a public job get even half as rich as Rich Daley? Dude maintained 3 homes while mayor. His wife never worked. What’s that all about?

    Daley was the epicenter of a corrupt system in which he and his friends got rich off of contract that Daley controlled. He mortgaged the future of Chicago (in the form of an overgenerous 10 year labor contract, and the below-market sales of the parking meters, and maybe the skyway) in a failed attempt to cement his ‘legacy’ as the mayor who brought the Olympics to Chicago.

    Rich Daley only loved Chicago to the extent that it kept paying his bills.

  • 443. mom2  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I bet it would be very eye opening if everyone here gave their definition of “the wealthy” as in “tax the wealthy.” And “entitled” – what does that mean? I am neither (in my opinion) and I still think that for the long-term benefit of the city, Rahm is a better choice. Short term for me, most likely not. I like free stuff as much as the next person. But,we need the city to be here for a lot longer than my lifetime or even the lifetime of my kids.

  • 444. problem solving  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Rahm will put a bandaid on a hemorrhage. He will not fix the problem. It will look and sound fixed but it won’t be. The whole problem needs to be defined before it can be solved. If it is not addressed at the root it will grow back. Yes, it is a metaphor but true.

  • 445. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:47 am

    “@429 cpso
    Sure sue the banks. Actually, sue former Mayor Daley and Mike Madigan while you are at it. ”

    I love the “sue ’em” without a workable theory of the case.

    As you imply the BS with the banks is basically a rounding error compared to the failures of Daley (mostly) and Springfield to actually fund into the pensions.

  • 446. problem solving  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Chris – are you smoking crack? Rahm made millions of dollars giving private equity firms access to politicians such as himself! He is not in this to solve problems. He will run for governor next. Get real!

  • 447. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 10:58 am

    “Rahm will put a bandaid on a hemorrhage. He will not fix the problem.”

    … and Chuy will? Assume for a moment that I agree that that is what Rahm will do (I certainly don’t disagree, as I am not willfully blind). Why would I have faith in what Chuy proposes to do?

    I enjoy that one of Lewis’s reasons to support Chuy is that he supports a progressive income tax in Illinois–great, so he’s behind amending the IL constitution. And…? Dude has zero juice in Springfield, and that amendment is going nowhere fast in the Legis, anyway, while the $$ are needed yesterday. Sure, he could use the mayor’s office as a springboard to getting an initiative amendment on the 2016 (or 2018) ballot, but if it is, he’s awfully quiet about it.

  • 448. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 11:04 am

    “Rahm made millions of dollars giving private equity firms access to politicians such as himself! ”

    You have absolutely no idea what he did at Wasserstein, do you? You don’t know what investment bankers do, do you? (I can tell you one thing: it is only rarely AT ALL worth what their compensation–individually and as entities–is under the modern structure and role of I-Banks. they are the kings of rent seeking and out-sized ‘commissions’).

    Chuy supported Harold, and then Harold gave him a sweet city gig–in the Water Department–classic patronage recipient.

  • 449. problem solving  |  March 13, 2015 at 11:50 am

    From he NYT – 12/3/08 – Private Equity Firms are Rahm’s biggest backers

    In late 1998, while Washington was in the throes of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Rahm Emanuel, a departing senior political aide to President Bill Clinton, ventured out to an elegant restaurant in Dupont Circle for something of a job interview

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    John Simpson, who ran the Chicago office of the investment banking boutique Wasserstein Perella & Company, had flown to Washington to meet with Mr. Emanuel at the behest of Mr. Simpson’s boss, Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and renowned Wall Street dealmaker who had gotten to know Mr. Emanuel.

    “I had this idea that this could work and that it had upside,” said Mr. Wasserstein, now chairman and chief executive of Lazard, the investment bank. “It worked out better than I could have hoped.”

    And better than Mr. Emanuel could have imagined as well. Over the course of a three-hour-plus dinner, Mr. Simpson and Mr. Emanuel discussed how they might work together. Shortly afterward, Mr. Emanuel accepted an offer, nudging him down what has by now become a well-trodden gilded path out of politics and into the lucrative world of business.

    Mr. Emanuel, who was chosen last month to become President-elect Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, went on to make more than $18 million in just two-and-a-half years, turning many of his contacts in his substantial political Rolodex into paying clients and directing his negotiating prowess and trademark intensity to mergers and acquisitions. He also benefited from the opportune sale of Wasserstein Perella to a German bank, helping him to an unusually large payout.

    The period before he was elected to a House seat from Illinois is a little-known episode of Mr. Emanuel’s biography. Former colleagues said the insight it afforded him on the financial services sector is invaluable especially now. But Mr. Emanuel built up strong ties with an industry now at the heart of the economic crisis, one that will be girding for a pitched lobbying battle next year as the incoming Democratic administration considers a potentially sweeping regulatory overhaul.

    After Mr. Emanuel left banking to run for Congress, members of the securities and investment industry became his biggest backers, donating more than $1.5 million to his campaigns dating back to 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Mr. Emanuel also leaned heavily upon the industry while he was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 midterm elections. Financial industry donors contributed more than $5.8 million to the committee, behind only retirees.

    Friends of Mr. Emanuel’s from his private-sector days said he still checks in with them regularly to plumb their insights on economic issues.

    “He asks me what am I seeing, what business is like, what’s the climate, where are the weak spots,” said John A. Canning Jr., chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago private equity firm that is in the same building as Wasserstein’s offices.

    Mr. Canning was one of many financial executives Mr. Emanuel met with soon after he left the White House to discuss job prospects, with Mr. Emanuel’s political connections often opening doors. Mr. Canning agreed to sit down with Mr. Emanuel at the recommendation of several friends, including Stanley S. Shuman, an investment banker at Allen & Company and a major Democratic donor who once stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House as a guest of President Clinton’s.

    Mr. Canning could not offer him a job, but Mr. Emanuel came to pitch deals to him and they became friends. Employees of that particular firm became Mr. Emanuel’s biggest financial supporters in Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    When the House was weighing a measure last year to significantly increase the tax rate on profits earned by private equity firms, Mr. Canning said Mr. Emanuel attended a luncheon with Madison Dearborn executives, first reported by Bloomberg News, to listen to their arguments against the changes.

    Mr. Emanuel, however, wound up joining other Democrats in voting for the measure.

    In an interview, Mr. Emanuel, pointed to other actions he had taken over the objections of the financial industry, including sponsoring a bill last year to curb the ability of hedge fund managers to defer paying taxes on compensation they stashed in offshore tax havens and another measure that imposed new reporting requirements on financial firms for what investors pay on stocks and mutual funds.

    “I would say I’ve been as tough on my friends as others,” Mr. Emanuel said. “I call it like I see it.”

    Confidants of Mr. Emanuel’s said he decided to try his hand at business because he wanted financial security for his family, before eventually returning to public service.

    “He had a number in his head to make enough for the family,” said Ezekiel J. Emanuel, one of Rahm’s two brothers and a prominent bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health.

    It was Morton L. Janklow, the literary agent for several former presidents, who introduced Mr. Emanuel to Mr. Wasserstein. Erskine B. Bowles, the White House chief of staff and a former investment banker, also said he recommended Mr. Emanuel. Mr. Emanuel met in Mr. Wasserstein in his New York office, where they had a wide-ranging discussion about the future of financial regulation, as well as Mr. Emanuel’s plans.

    Jeffrey A. Rosen, now deputy chairman of Lazard and a former managing director of Wasserstein Perella’s international practice, said Mr. Emanuel was “both a developed and a raw talent.”

    “His years in the White House and what he’d done before that really honed what I’d call deal-making instincts, which could be easily translated into the business arena,” Mr. Rosen said. “Plus, he was someone who was well connected in Chicago and highly respected.”

    Mr. Emanuel turned out to be an effective banker, proving a quick study with financial concepts, even as he relied on others in his office for heavy number crunching, former colleagues said. He worked 12-hour days and was known among clients for his relentlessness, constantly on the phone or sending e-mail, and being unafraid to pitch deals. Revenue in Wasserstein’s Chicago office climbed significantly after his arrival.

    There is no evidence Mr. Emanuel used his political clout on behalf of his clients, but his connections certainly helped drum up business and contributed to his hiring, former colleagues said. Indeed, a partial list of clients from Mr. Emanuel’s Congressional financial disclosure in 2002 is easily linked up to the various strands of his political career, including his time as a fund-raiser for Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago and then for Mr. Clinton’s first presidential run.

    The clients included Loral Space & Communications, run by Bernard L. Schwartz, one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, who said he got to know Mr. Emanuel while he was in the White House; the Chicago Board Options Exchange, whose chairman and chief executive, William J. Brodsky, became friends with Mr. Emanuel while he was working for Mayor Daley; and Avolar, a business aviation company whose top executive, Stuart I. Oran, was formerly in charge of governmental affairs for United Airlines, a role in which he said he interacted with Mr. Emanuel at the White House.

    One of Mr. Emanuel’s major deals was the purchase in 2001 of a home alarm business, SecurityLink, from SBC Communications, the telecommunications company that was run by William M. Daley, the former secretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and the brother of Chicago’s mayor.

    Mr. Emanuel represented GTCR Golder Rauner, a Chicago private equity firm that was buying the business for an affiliate. Bruce Rauner, the firm’s chairman, had first met Mr. Emanuel when he was still exploring job prospects in Chicago after getting a call from Mr. Bowles, an old friend.

    Instead of private equity, Mr. Rauner advised Mr. Emanuel to pursue investment banking, where his political experience might be more valuable in landing deals in regulated industries.

    Mr. Emanuel called him back after starting at Wasserstein and asked if he could take over coverage of GTCR for his new employer. That eventually led to the nearly $500 million SecurityLink deal.

    Mr. Emanuel’s biggest transaction came in late 1999 when he landed an advisory role for Wasserstein in the $8.2 billion merger of two utility companies, Unicom, the parent company of Commonwealth Edison, and Peco Energy, to create Exelon, now one of the nation’s largest power companies.

    John W. Rowe, the former chief executive of Unicom who now holds the same position at Exelon, sought out Mr. Emanuel after he went to Wasserstein. Mr. Rowe said he believed Mr. Emanuel would offer a different dimension, providing wisdom on what might pass muster at the governmental level.

    “You can’t understand utility transactions without thinking about whether they’ll play or not play in legal and political circles,” said Mr. Rowe, who was first introduced to Mr. Emanuel by Lester Crown, the billionaire scion of Chicago’s influential Crown family.

    Tax returns Mr. Emanuel released while first running for office and reported in news articles, along with Congressional financial disclosures, reveal his steep financial ascent while working at Wasserstein. He earned more than $900,000 in 1999, his first year at the firm; nearly $1.4 million in 2000; and $6.5 million in 2001, when he left the firm in midyear to run for Congress. He collected $9.7 million more from the firm in deferred compensation in 2002.

    Mr. Emanuel’s annual salary was not especially large but his hefty paydays came from bonuses for the business he brought in, as is customary in investment banking, along with the company’s sale in 2001 to the German Dresdner Bank, which allowed him to benefit from an equity stake, as well a large retention bonus paid to him based on his prior performance.

    The bonanza Mr. Emanuel reaped would come in handy when he ran for the House seat vacated by Representative Rod R. Blagojevich, now governor.

    Mr. Emanuel contributed $450,000 out of his own pocket to his campaign in the primary, and his leading rival accused him of trying to buy a seat in Congress.

  • 450. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    @449. problem solving: Why are you so jealous of Rahm’s money? Is it because you can’t extort that kind of paycheck by going on strike?

  • 451. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    When you re-post an entire article (or even a large excerpt) without any actual commentary, you’re outside of Fair Use. When you don’t include a link to the source, you are *way* outside fair use.

    Plus, it makes the thread unreadable. Please stop.

    Also: you posted a story that just indicates that I was correct: You don’t understand.

  • 452. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    “Why are you so jealous of Rahm’s money? Is it because you can’t extort that kind of paycheck by going on strike?”

    Believing that someone rich should be elected simply because s/he is rich is not automatically about jealousy. Being a Socialist is not necessarily about jealousy. And when ‘jealousy’ gets hauled out in these sorts of discussions, things go off the rails quickly.

    That said, it doesn’t justify being wrong about facts, and harping on the evils of Hedge Funds and Private Equity (NB: there *are* ‘evils’ in both) and the unjustified rents going to I-Bankers (NB: which have origins in a time when the I-Bank took on meaningful risk of loss in connection with the transaction), when none of those details are actually relevant to the matter at hand.

  • 453. problem solving  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Chris & Angie – You don’t understand. Teachers extort? I hope you tell that to your children’s teachers! You have taken let’s blame the teachers to a whole new level. Fair use? You cannot handle the truth.

  • 454. Angie is Rahm  |  March 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Chris, please stop saying “You don’t understand” and “the story indicates I was correct, without explaining. If you have relevant knowledge about what investment bankers really do, and how it proves whatever unstated point you are trying to make about Rahm’s IB career then explain it to we dummies.

    Regarding fair use of NYTs articles, this is a noncommercial site and that article is available for free and the date newspaper were cited. A hyperlink is required? Sez who?

  • 455. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    “Fair use? You cannot handle the truth”

    No, I can’t handle people who rudely post entire articles in comment threads. It’s bad internet etiquette, and is a violation of the fair use of the author/publisher’s article, *especially* when there isn’t even a link to the article.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve made the same basic comment here on CPSO in the past. I know that I have in other fora.

  • 456. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    @453. problem solving: “Teachers extort?”

    Yes, kicking children out of schools and going on strike to get more money is pure extortion. Waving around a flier claiming that you’re fighting for better schools and more nurses and social workers is extortion under false pretenses.

  • 457. Chicagodad  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Speaking of articles, there’s an excellent article in yesterday’s Forbes about Chicago’s burgeoning tech sector, and the key role Rahm has played in making it happen. Over 12,000 high paying tech jobs during Rahm’s term, hundreds of new and existing companies, tech incubators, etc.

    Rahm has both the skills and the interest in making these kinds of things happen. And Chicago needs this to continue.

  • 458. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    “Angie is Rahm”–why don’t you explain why “Angie is Rahm”?

    I’ll bother to go into more detail once the full-article-reposters explain what they think is ‘proven’ by the article they are citing, but a couple of thoughts:

    My “unstated” (I don’t agree that it was unmade) point is that the accusations herein that Rahm was paid to essentially be a lobbyist are a misunderstanding of what Wasserstein (and Rahm in his role there) did.

    Yes, absolutely, the rolodex he built as a fundraiser for Daley and then for Clinton was *extremely* useful in developing his potential customers. So?? Does that mean that Rahm was hired to call Clinton to get him to do/not do XYZ? That’s conspiracy theory stuff, and misapprehends why companies hire a Wasserstein.

    And yes, investment banking is an overcompensated tax on corporate transactions–much like realtors, continuing to collect not-really-justified fee amount based on their historically privileged position in the marketplace.

    The ridiculous nonsense up-thread about Hedge Fund/PE fees being a primary problem with the CTPF have been thoroughly debunked–CB, who comes across as generally on the “not Rahm” side of the fence–says it clearly enough. It’s indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of ‘finance’, including large pension funds, investment banking and the like. There’s plenty to revile in the finance industry without relying on misleading ‘facts’.

    If whoever is posting full articles w/ minimal comment about the ‘evils’ of HF/PE is not the same person as whoever is posting full articles w/ minimal comment about why Rahm’s time at Wasserstein makes him a crook, it sure comes across that way.

  • 459. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    As suspected, Chuy has no plan.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150313/BLOGS02/150319891/garcias-financial-plan-lots-of-overview-no-detail

  • 460. HSObsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Re: @459 – What a stupid move by Garcia, when everyone’s pressing him for details on how he might possibly finance all the changes he’s advocating, and he basically says, “If I win the election, I’ll form a committee and look at the issue at that time.” Wow. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled he’s making these strategic missteps since I support Rahm, but I’m amazed he and his team didn’t even give it the old college try. He is so not ready for prime time.

  • 461. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Chris – teachers call that plagiarism and expel students for it.

  • 462. IB Obsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    @ 460, In contrast, Rahm’s transparently detailed , specific plan is…..????

    ‘Cut pensions’ is not specific.

  • 463. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    HSO, I love these “commissions”. How long will that take to even get the report? Meanwhile CPS is required to fund a $650Million pension payment with MONEY IT DOES NOT HAVE. Do we eliminate jobs or cut pensions? What does the CTU prefer, uh I mean Chuy?

  • 464. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Chuy supporters can keep putting their heads in their butts, however it doesn’t change the reality that the pensions promised will never be received. Come to the table and bargain or lose more.

  • 465. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I should add, the City is required to fund $550Million to pensions with money it does not have, as well.

  • 466. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Specific exert from the Crains article link in @459 very eloquently states Garcia’s position (or lack of it)

    “But Garcia offered no specific solutions, beyond saying he’d move to cut fraud and waste, work more cooperatively with other governments and shift money out of the city’s tax-increment financing program into the general treasury.

    He conceded such steps would not cover huge city needs, such as a looming $550 million boost in required funding for police and fire pensions in the year beginning Jan. 1. His solution: A promise to “immediately organize a working committee . . . to examine the full range of existing and potential revenue options that are available to the city.”

    Yes, you read that right. He promised to appoint a committee to review revenue options, including a possible hike in the city’s property tax. As a result, he left huge questions hanging about whether he has the background and the expertise to take on the challenges facing city government right now.”

  • 467. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Anyone who understands fiscal realities will vote for Rahm. There is no other option. There wasn’t in the first round of voting either though. I am very concerned for my beloved City’s future.

  • 468. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    “‘Cut pensions’ is not specific.”

    At least it’s an acknowledgement of the impossibility of the situation. Chuy couldn’t even do that in his announcement today.

  • 469. Patricia  |  March 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    @Peter
    People need to get out and vote! If you are going away spring break, Vote Early (not often 🙂

  • 470. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    @Patricia, we are leaving for spring break and will be early voting for Rahm, again.

  • 471. Angie  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-mayors-race-met-0314-20150313-story.html
    Emanuel warns of major property tax hike if lawmakers don’t provide pension fix

    Rahm:

    “The mayor wants three things from lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner: a Chicago casino, more money for Chicago Public Schools pensions and changes to the police and fire pension funding law to stretch out payment increases into future years.

    “Unless we are able to collaboratively pass legislation to modify our pension structure and put in place a smart funding formula, property tax bills will explode next year,” Emanuel’s plan states.”

    Chuy:

    “Mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia also would not rule out property tax increases, but declined to say how he’d cover the skyrocketing government worker retirement costs.

    On Friday, Garcia said he would not favor any pension reforms that cut benefits for current employees or retirees — only future workers. Garcia did not offer specific revenue sources for how he’d pay for increased pension payments without such changes.”

  • 472. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks Angie. Rahm is very specific.

    Chuy can’t be or his public employee union overlords would be mad.

  • 473. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Jesus, where will you find $1.2 Billion in new money next year for your public employee union buddies?

  • 474. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    @328 “An 18% increase in Chicago property taxes would still leave Chicago with one of the lowest effective tax rates in the metro. Oak Brook and Lake Forest are the only places *currently* lower.”
    @331 – “Everyone read @328 because Chris is right here.”

    Chris/Christopher

    Comparing Chicago taxes to the suburbs by the numbers suggesting that we have “such a deal” is misleading at best. How many suburbs have 100 year old buildings situated on 25 x 125 plots of land – in need of repair, with only 1 or 2 baths, a basement that floods etc. How many suburbs have at least acceptable neighborhood schools and a host of other community services available to all. And lastly, how many suburbs are really overpaying/overtaxed in that Chicago should consider moving toward.

    According to this, people are leaving Illinois in larger numbers than incoming.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/03/12/why-are-people-fleeing-illinois-three-personal-stories/

    One reason

    “The Illinois Policy Institute says another reason people are leaving Illinois: The property taxes are the second-highest in the nation.”

    People cannot afford higher real estate taxes in Chicago.

  • 475. Diane P  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Interesting documentary about the 2013 school closings on Youtube:

    There’s another video on a U of C study that looked at what happened to the displaced students and a panel discussion on the aftermath on the same Youtube channel.

  • 476. Peter  |  March 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    “People cannot afford higher real estate taxes in Chicago.”

    And who will the increase hurt the most? Lower and middle income people.

  • 477. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    HS Mom:

    “teachers call that plagiarism and expel students for it.”

    Well, I think of it as more a failure to use correct citation–which matters–but more importantly, in a business that relies in substantial part on clicks, it’s a (very minor) form of theft, and that’s why it’s such poor form on the intertubez to not only repost the whole bleedin article, but to fail to include the link.

    No need to exaggerate it, really.

  • 478. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I didn’t think I was exaggerating. It’s a very serious issue especially in this “clicky” world we live in.

  • 479. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    “how many suburbs are really overpaying/overtaxed in that Chicago should consider moving toward”

    But the point of the comparison is that *no one* outside the city limits has an iota of sympathy for Chicagoans w/r/t property taxes. Which matters in the political scheme of things, especially as it relates to anything coming from Springfield.

    If (as is rather likely, whoever is mayor in July) there is a substantial bump up in the City of Chicago property tax levy, then Chicago will still have *relatively* low (for Illinois) property taxes on residential real property compared to actual market values. And the already high effective rates on Commercial and Industrial will get worse.

    The only legit way for Illinois’s over-reliance on property tax is a grand bargain on the overall tax structure and who-funds-what. Which, hopefully, is the eventual result of the Springfield Showdown that is slowly developing, but that ain’t gonna happen in 2015.

  • 480. IB Obsessed  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Plagiarism and fair use are 2 different issues. Posting entire articles with the source cited is NOT plagiarism, HS Mom. No one has portrayed or implied the work is their own. Whether or not posting of entire FREE articles on a NONCOMMERCIAL blog site, with ATTRIBUTION directing a reader to the owner site, is ‘fair use’ is debate-able, so let’s refrain from finger wagging. It is not simple”theft”.

    I fail to see how Rahm’s “more money for Chicago Public Schools pensions and changes to the police and fire pension funding law ” is much more specific than Garcia’s plan. Guess Rahm will have to convene a commission to hammer out the details of the ‘changes’. Oh. Wait. That’s what Garcia’s going to do. Oh. wait again. Rahm’s not going to convene a committee, he’ll act unilaterally like he always does.

  • 481. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    “…..City of Chicago property tax levy, then Chicago will still have *relatively* low (for Illinois) property taxes on residential real property compared to actual market values”

    I’m wondering where the market values overall in Chicago compare to other pars of the state or the suburbs. I know there are areas, but I’m certainly not feeling it in the Northwest. Don’t the “lower taxes” play a factor in better values? We just get our noses above the water line only to get socked with taxes?

  • 482. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    480 – I thought the point was about posting without giving a source to which I replied that I AGREE with teachers that it is plagiarism. No finger wagging here. If all sources are sited (and quite honestly I only scan overly long reprints of article posts) then great!!! Everything’s good and I was exaggerating and overly concerned.

  • 483. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    “Rahm’s not going to convene a committee”

    What do you call a horse designed by committee? A camel.

    Of interest to me: Chuy’s plan says that he’s going to have “bond analysts” review the pension funds to ‘consolidate costs and reduce investment fees’. I don’t know why bond analysts would have any knowledge relevant to pension fund management.

  • 484. Chris  |  March 13, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    “I’m wondering where the market values overall in Chicago compare to other pars of the state or the suburbs”

    Cook County property assessment is pretty much a joke. Assessed value (and the ‘assessor’s market value’ it is based on) frequently bear only a passing resemblance to the real price obtainable for the property if placed on the open market.

    Of the properties I have the most familiarity with, the assessor’s value runs 10 to 30% (or more) below what the house/condo would sell for. This doesn’t *necessarily* mean that a given property owner is paying less than if everything were fairly valued, because Chicago property taxes don’t work as Value x Tax Rate = Tax, and if your value goes up or down, your taxes go up or down

    rather it is Total Tax Levy/Total (adjusted) Value = Tax Rate, then times Value–so your value can go up, and your taxes down (if everyone elses value went up more), or your value go down and your taxes go up (if everyone elses value went down more).

    My (non-Cook) suburban knowledge is far more limited, but they seem to assess closer to ‘true’ market values.

  • 485. HS Mom  |  March 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Chris – I do know that there is a sq ft element in computing taxes in the city. My suburban knowledge is now outdated over 10 years ago that my parents lived there. A 4,000 SF home on 2 acres of land had taxes less than 10% of it’s value – assessments not based upon SF of house…..maybe on the land??? Still not seeing where we have low RE taxes, particularly when you consider the number of apartments and condos that share the same tract of land.

    @480 – “Guess Rahm will have to convene a commission to hammer out the details of the ‘changes’. Oh. Wait. That’s what Garcia’s going to do.”

    Would that be an elected or appointed committee because he’s all about elections……right?

  • 486. Celia  |  March 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    A lot of rahm supporters on this site. I have a child in cps neighborhood school and I am also a teacher in a neighborhood cps school. Change in mayor and an electable school board would be good for our schools. We are the only district in the state with no voice in who runs our district. Mayors have had control long enough to have run cps into debt. Why try to scare the white folks into voting for the white guy over the latino? Reminds me of the times when Harold Washington ran.

  • 487. michele  |  March 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    What do you all make of this article?http://www.bondbuyer.com/news/regionalnews/chicago-report-city-almost-400-million-underwater-on-swaps-1071193-1.html

  • 488. Angie  |  March 14, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    @486. Celia: “A lot of rahm supporters on this site.”

    Yes. Welcome to the neighborhood.

    “Change in mayor and an electable school board would be good for our schools.”

    What is good for CTU is not necessarily good for the students attending our schools. Letting your union’s puppets run the school board will create a huge conflict of interest.

    “Mayors have had control long enough to have run cps into debt.”

    That’s what happens when mayors allergic to strikes and/or indebted to CTU are in charge of the city. Thankfully, Rahm is willing to stand up to your attempts to push us deeper into debt.

    ” Why try to scare the white folks into voting for the white guy over the latino? ”

    Why make this about race, when the problem is with Chuy’s lack of qualifications, empty promises and indebtedness to his sponsors from CTU and AFT? In this case, the white guy has been successfully running this city for 4 years, and Latino guy is way over his head.

  • 489. Chicagodad  |  March 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    It’s not about race, it’s about having the right set of skills to run a city and make it grow. Chicago needs more tax revenue and needs a mayor who knows how to make it happen.

    To cite a few examples—- Rahm recently negotiated with United, Motorola, and other companies to move downtown, bringing thousands of well paying jobs with them. He saw the importance of tech incubators, which have created hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs. All these jobs translate into more tax revenue. And now that there is a “critical mass” of these 21st century jobs, hopefully more will follow. Why would any intelligent voter ever want to stop this process in its tracks?

    Even the most fervent Chuy supporter must admit he just does not possess the smarts, the skills, or (most importantly) the interest to pull these kinds of deals off. But successfully making these kinds of deals happen is a necessary skill for a 21st century Chicago mayor to have.

  • 490. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    489. Chicagodad | March 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Totally disagree with you! Chuy does have the smarts to properly run the City. Rahm looks tired and worn out…not like a 21st century mayor. He’s running ragged bc he’s not getting the support he once had and everyone knows it. His momentum is gone, Chuy’s is just starting. Chicago papers backed Rahm and said he’d have no runoff…no one believes the papers and their editorial boards. Polls are not true…just look at what happened to Rahm in the first election in Feb. Chuy is not afraid to tell people the truth~not a lot of RAHMBO lies or try and make people fearful.

  • 491. Patricia  |  March 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    @Celia
    You may want to check the other thread on this blog about the elected school board. There is a rich discussion and even the author of the article listed chimes in.

    As others noted, it is not about race. I personally wouldn’t care if both candidates were purple. The issue is who will be able to successfully resolve the pension mess without bringing down Chicago. Rahm is the only qualified candidate who will do this in a balanced way. He is also the only candidate with any chance of getting something done in Springfield.

    Scared? If you do not understand the magnitude of the pension mess, that is even more scary to me. I truly am curious, as a teacher, you do not worry about the pension issue? If not, why not?

  • 492. Patricia  |  March 14, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    @ssi4
    I am sure both sides claim momentum. Personally, I was surprised at the discussions at my kids activities today. Usually, politics is not discussed, but people are certainly aware of the severity of the issues if Chewy is elected. I heard a lot of, “I will have to move.” People will need to make sure they get out and vote. Several said they meant to vote in the primary, but didn’t get to the polls, but they will make sure they get out April 7th.

  • 493. Patricia  |  March 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    @chicagodad
    You are absolutely right about the importance of business. Not only big business, but also small business. If Chewy is elected, small businesses will be crushed along with middle class families. It is a frightening prospect to have small businesses run out of Chicago with Chewey’s agenda.

    Also notable is when businesses relocate from the suburbs to Chicago, many workers move into the city to be closer to work. Rahm understands the big picture AND can motivate businesses to move to Chicago. There is no doubt that Chuey would make Chicago completely unattractive to businesses…………..and the dominos fall from there.

  • 494. Angie  |  March 14, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    @490. SouthSideIrish4: “Totally disagree with you! Chuy does have the smarts to properly run the City. ”

    Oh, please. You people would vote for Mickey Mouse if he was running against Rahm and promised to leave your precious pensions intact.

  • 495. Patricia  |  March 14, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    @Angie

    LOL!

  • 496. HS Mom  |  March 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I guess the NYT is singing a different tune

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/us/in-chicago-mayors-race-against-emanuel-garcia-is-upbeat.html?_r=0

    “When Mr. Garcia was recently asked what he would do about the red-light cameras that endlessly irk Chicagoans, he said that he would keep some of them. But almost two weeks ago, he had said he would get rid of them all.

    On the nearly 50 public schools that Mr. Emanuel closed during his first term, Mr. Garcia initially said that he would reopen some of them. Later, he said that he “couldn’t commit” to such a move.”

    Looks like he actually agrees with Rahm on something…..the fact that we can’t afford to keep underutilized schools open.

    Chris – not to dwell on this RE tax issue, it’s just that I’m one of those who can’t afford to talk about a 18% increase casually. Your answer still doesn’t support your original statement “An 18% increase in Chicago property taxes would still leave Chicago with one of the lowest effective tax rates in the metro”. The metro area does include several suburbs that are still in Cook County. Your redefining the area to be about Cook vs other counties still does not necessarily hold true. Within the county – doesn’t a homeowner in Lincoln Park pay higher taxes than one in Wicker Park for the same 100 year old building? Even then, taxes are all a case by case scenario. On the same block with a row of identical buildings you will find a range of tax values. I’m glad you feel like you have a tax deal but your deal is someones hardship. “Tax the rich” needs to look elsewhere – we’ve already been re-assessed and re-evaluated to the max.

  • 497. Peter  |  March 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

    The only issue that matters at this point is the pension issue facing the city. It is quite scary that anyone believes that the candidate whose main support is the public employee unions can solve the problem.

  • 498. Chris  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:15 am

    “Within the county – doesn’t a homeowner in Lincoln Park pay higher taxes than one in Wicker Park for the same 100 year old building?”

    Are the two properties assessed at the same value? If they are both assessed as having a market value of $750,000, then their tax bills will be identical (about $13k last year).

    If the Lincoln Park property is assessed at $1,000,000, and the Wicker Park property at $500,000, then the LP tax bill will be 2x the WP bill (about $16k and $8k, respectively, last year)–but they will both pay the same tax rate.

  • 499. Chris  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:31 am

    “Still not seeing where we have low RE taxes, particularly when you consider the number of apartments and condos that share the same tract of land.”

    Real Property Taxes are (everywhere in IL, and most other states) based on the Assessed Value of the Land AND the Improvements. The value of the land will be pretty consistent in a given neighborhood, but the value of the improvements can be all over the place–and vary on age, and size, and number of rooms, etc.

  • 500. Chris  |  March 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

    “Polls are not true…just look at what happened to Rahm in the first election in Feb.”

    The polls before the February election indicated that Rahm wouldn’t get to 50%. So….

  • 501. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    494. Angie | March 14, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    “Oh, please. You people…” What people. I don’t have a pension coming to me. I’ve stated that many times. I didn’t realize you were so juvenile.

    495. Patricia | March 14, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I don’t know what you found funny~I guess I gave you too much credit.

    500. Chris | March 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Rambo’s people told him he would not have a problem…it was a total shock to him to find out that evening he was in a runoff. I have that on good authority. Also, I believe, the papers said it would be close but he wouldn’t face a runoff earlier in the week of the election.

  • 502. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    And since Chicago is graded just above junk bonds ~it was Rahmbo who put us in that mess. He wants to take credit for everything else, let him take credit for ruining our credit rating and paying higher prices to borrow and for longer periods of time.

    As for those polls, ppl will say one thing, but vote another.

  • 503. Chris  |  March 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    “Rambo’s people told him he would not have a problem…it was a total shock to him to find out that evening he was in a runoff. I have that on good authority. Also, I believe, the papers said it would be close but he wouldn’t face a runoff earlier in the week of the election.”

    Neither of those are “the polls”. You said that “Polls are not true”–everything that was public showed it going to a runoff.

  • 504. Mom2Boys  |  March 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    @#494 Angie “Oh, please. You people would vote for Mickey Mouse if he was running against Rahm and promised to leave your precious pensions intact.”

    Way to have an intelligent conversation, Angie! The “you people” part is especially telling of the type of person that you are. You insult everyone who disagrees with your point of view, throughout this thread, hoping to silence them. It’s really tiresome. I have to wonder if you’re this obnoxious when you don’t have the cover of anonymity…

  • 505. Peter  |  March 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    “Neither of those are “the polls”. You said that “Polls are not true”–everything that was public showed it going to a runoff.”

    This is true. And I doubt, Rahm’s folks believed otherwise. I think southsidedads source is crap.

  • 506. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 16, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    505. Peter | March 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    It wasn’t Southsidedad’s source, It was mine. I have it on good authority. Just because I’m not voting for Rahmbo doesn’t mean I don’t know people voting and working for him.

  • 507. CLB  |  March 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    @479 is right. Chicago’s effective tax rate is 1.84% whereas all the surrounding municipalities are over 2% Evanston is 2.54% and Oak Park is 3.20%. See http://www.civicfed.org/sites/default/files/CivicFedReport_%20EffectiveTaxRates_2003-2012.pdf

    Neither Rahm nor Chuy has outlined anything close to a fiscal plan. Rahm’s plan is just as weak as Chuy’s. Both basically are premised on state action. I’ll give Chuy credit for proposing greater county-city service sharing. But both Rahm and Chuy look to gimmicks rather than tackling substantive revenue and expenditure issues. My beef with Rahm is that he has had four years to confront these issues and continually punted to Springfield, which is even more fiscally dysfunctional than Chicago.

    Rahm has said he is willing to make difficult choices, just so long as those choices don’t involve raising property taxes. I get it; he knows it’s political suicide, and so does Chuy, which is why he keeps pointing to his county record on cutting the sales tax and balancing the budget. But like Rahm, he did so by raising other taxes and fees. But red-light cameras aren’t going to generate the revenue to bolster pension funds because even with pension compromise, we are going to need more revenue.

  • 508. Newcomer  |  March 16, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Please read! Some great info here:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/16/rahm_emanuels_achilles_heel_6_reasons_he_may_lose_his_reelection/

  • 509. HS Mom  |  March 17, 2015 at 7:06 am

    @507 – What Chris is saying is that there are 2 components to RE tax. There’s a rate and there’s the assessed value. You can’t look at just part of the calculation and assert that property taxes between cities in the same or different counties are higher/lower and/or a better “value”. Real estate taxes are among the highest in the nation. Cook County still has one of the highest sales tax even after a cut. This state has a very high income tax that never went down. The taxes on gasoline make Chicago, again, one of the highest in the nation.

    You cannot keep squeezing the middle class. People want to save for things like college and retirement – and I’m not even talking about vacations. Companies are paying their people less in order to afford taxes. There are so many who are just getting by and they have “decent” salaries. People continually complain about not being able to support a family of 4 off of $100,000 salary. It’s almost inconceivable.

  • 510. Sandra K  |  March 17, 2015 at 8:15 am

    ” Chicago’s effective tax rate is 1.84% whereas all the surrounding municipalities are over 2% Evanston is 2.54% and Oak Park is 3.20%”

    Here we go again with people not understanding how the property tax system works or the impact of commercial property taxes. They also seem to think people aren’t taxed enough and there is no government waste. These high teachers salaries and pensions have really resulted in a world class education.

  • 511. IB Obsessed  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:10 am

    ” In 2012, even though the city owed $385 million to workers’ pension accounts, it diverted $457 million in property tax revenues to TIF accounts. In May of that same year, Emanuel earmarked $29 million in TIF funds for the River Point office high-rise in the West Loop. Some of Rahm’s more controversial TIF-funded pet projects include a $55 million deal for a Marriott Hotel in theSouth Loop and $75 million spent on a basketball stadium for Depaul University, a private college that charges $30,000 a year in tuition. ”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/16/rahm_emanuels_achilles_heel_6_reasons_he_may_lose_his_reelection/

    I am mystified why you people view this man as a financial savior. Look at the facts. He’s had 4 years to deal with pensions.
    And remaining TIF funds would not make up all of the pension deficit hole, but using some of them would make pension cuts less painful to teachers who did make their 9% contribution to the fund, but he’d rather keep his slush fund from your property taxes. That doesn’t tick you off?

    We have 800 million left in TIF funds, but we were so bad off we had to close mental health clinics without any study of the impact beyond financial? The mental health clinic in Rogers Park was closed. Anyone who lives nearby can testify to the uptick in violent crime in the area. There is trickle down to cuts. Expect more.

  • 512. Patricia  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:11 am

    @HS Mom
    “You cannot keep squeezing the middle class. People want to save for things like college and retirement – and I’m not even talking about vacations. Companies are paying their people less in order to afford taxes. There are so many who are just getting by and they have “decent” salaries. People continually complain about not being able to support a family of 4 off of $100,000 salary. It’s almost inconceivable.”

    Thank you for continuing to point out how the middle class is already squeezed and there is not room to raise real estate taxes to pay for pensions.

    In the debate, it was even more evident that Chewy has no clue about the fiscal dynamics that impact the way people live. Rahm clearly understands the need to create jobs by attracting businesses, improving education to grow an educated workforce and the need to reform pensions. It was clear before the debate that Chewey was not ready for prime-time, but holy cow, he is so over his head right now.

  • 513. Patricia  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Out of the mouth of babes……………..

    Had to watch the debate on recording because I was schlepping kids to activities—after they did the laundry of course—how do we find the time. LOL. 😉

    True story…..Kid at home was so cute and decided to “take notes” for me as my hubby watched the debate. Kid tells me, I couldn’t get all the Rahm things down because there were a lot and he was talking so fast. I couldn’t really understand what the Chuy guy was saying. He doesn’t like the mayor, but the lady (Carol Marin), kept asking him to be specific.

    After watching the debate myself, my kid got the notes right.

  • 514. Peter  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Chuy couldn’t even answer basic questions in the debate last night. This is going Rahm’s way now, thank goodness. The latest polling is indicating that too.

  • 515. Patricia  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

    @511 IB Obsessed
    I think the Salon source is sketchy and bias. Less bias and looking at TIF accusations, Greg Heinz from Crains did some digging.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150316/BLOGS02/150319849/tif-stacked-in-favor-of-downtown-the-facts-suggest-otherwise

  • 516. Patricia  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    @514 Peter
    Agree, HOWEVER, people have to make sure they get out and vote. Labor will certainly get the troops out. I think the run off has been a good thing because it clearly shows the difference between the two and Rahm needed some humbling. People need to vote!

  • 517. IB Obsessed  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:43 am

    @515 Either Rahm did, or he did not, divert 457 million in property tax revenue to TIFs while knowing full well the city owed 385 million to pensions. Reporting facts is not bias. Is there info in the chicagobusiness article that disproves that fact? I cant access the article.

  • 518. mom2  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Patricia, if you could post details from that article, I think it would be great. I’m so tired of people saying that taking all the TIF money is the solution to all our problems and that somehow Rahm only uses the money to help rich people. That article says something totally different and it has actual details. One sentence says, “My main conclusion was that, whatever TIF may have been under Mayor Richard M. Daley, it has morphed into what is largely a neighborhood infrastructure program under Emanuel.” NEIGHBORHOOD. Not rich people program.

  • 519. Patricia  |  March 17, 2015 at 9:55 am

    @517 “divert 457 million in property tax revenue to TIFs”

    This is how TIFs work, it is not Rahm intentionally “diverting” anything. It is not like a checking account that he can write a check for $385 million from TIF. There are obligations already in place for much of the money. Yes, there is some money and TIF reform needs to continue, but it is not a fact the way the Salon article states. Up thread others more knowledgeable about TIF gave details. The Heinz article busts the myth that is being trumpeted about “downtown is bad”. Unfortunately, I am now over my free 12 articles a month with Crains, otherwise I would pull some quotes I read yesterday.

  • 520. northsider  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Greg Hinz article in Crains”

    “Since he took office, Emanuel has approved $1.3 billion in TIF projects. The biggest discrete chunk, $303.8 million, went for local street resurfacing, reconstruction and streetscaping in every ward in the city. Just over $155 million went for new or rebuilt Chicago Transit Authority stations, $54 million for school projects, $39 million for bridge reconstruction and $76 million for residential projects, mostly low-income and senior housing that otherwise would not be built. . . . . Private development—those subsidies to “fat businesses”—got $234 million, about 20 percent of the total. But half of that went to projects in the neighborhoods. Such as the modernization of Mount Sinai Hospital, the key critical care institution for much of the South Side, which got $31 million in TIF grants. Or $22.5 million to keep the Finkl steel company and its hundreds of union jobs in Stony Island/Burnside. . . . . And downtown, defined as Ashland Avenue east to the lake, between North Avenue and Cermak Road? It got $110 million for private projects—half for a new hotel near McCormick Place that is right on the edge of “downtown” and will employ hundreds of high school graduates at good wages. Exclude that project and the downtown total amounts to less than 5 percent of the $1.3 billion.”

    Link to article: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150314/ISSUE05/150319867/the-demagogues-are-wrong-about-tifs

    Note: there is a link within the article that provides a Summary of Emanuel Administration Approved TIF Projects

  • 521. North Side Parent  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

    People got so upset about the hotel TIF and the DePaul arena, but they just don’t get it. This is an investment to encourage further development around McCormick. The point is to grow the tax base.

    Oh look it’s working:

    http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2014/09/02/another-new-mccormick-place-hotel-on-the-way.php

  • 522. Chris  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:22 am

    “Either Rahm did, or he did not, divert 457 million in property tax revenue to TIFs while knowing full well the city owed 385 million to pensions. ”

    Ok, and can you tell me, based on the facts reported in the Salon article, about what portion of that $457 (lower last year, lower still this year) would have been available for the City pension payment?

    The answer: About $80 million.

    And not separating the City’s pension obligations and the teacher pensions is an indication of not quite getting it. Separate obligations, separate taxing authorities. Daley played that game a number of times–“the city’s tax levy won’t go up”–but the CPS levy did.

  • 523. Chris  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Also from the Salon article:

    “A number of kids at my school have to travel up to 10 miles”

    said the teacher at a *Magnet School*.

    That would be “their parents choose to send them to a school 10 miles away”. And they would have chosen to send them to that school whether or not the closed schools had remained open neighborhood schools.

    Is it a bad thing that the magnets are seen as that much better than the neighborhood school in that big of an area? Yes, of course. But having 40 more bad neighborhood schools would do zero to improve that problem.

  • 524. Chris  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:32 am

    “the chicagobusiness article that disproves that fact? I cant access the article.”

    Google the title of the article, and you should be able to link in thru the back door.

  • 525. Chris  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:44 am

    @Sandra K: “Here we go again with people not understanding how the property tax system works or the impact of commercial property taxes.”

    Please explain what you think CB doesn’t understand about the property tax system. Seems to me he understands just fine.

    @Sandra K: “They also seem to think people aren’t taxed enough and there is no government waste.”

    Part one (not taxed enough) is not stated by anyone here talking about property tax. It is a fact that the effective rate (that is, the tax rate on the estimated real market value, rather than the assessor’s value) on single-family/small multi-unit residential in Chicago is lower than the effective rate in virtually every other part of the metro area (Oak Brook and Lake Forest are lower). That doesn’t mean that Chicagoans aren’t ‘taxed enough’ and the burbs aren’t ‘taxed too much’, but it does point out a relevant political issue in getting the State to do anything to help out Chicago on the education side–because they all see the *relatively* (for Illinois) low tax rates on homes in Chicago.

    Part two (no gov’t waste) is a total strawman, not worthy of discussion. NO ONE has said or implied that in this thread.

  • 526. North Side Parent  |  March 17, 2015 at 10:47 am

    The Washington DC govt releases an annual report on the total state and local tax burden for the largest city in each state. Chicago ranks 13th highest for a family earning 50k and 21st for a family earning 150k. So taxes are not that terrible here on a relative basis.

    Actually very affordable at the top end, due to low property taxes.

    Chicago’s strategy has always been “tax the tourist” and the suburbs. This has had the side effect of keeping taxes for the rich low.

    http://cfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ocfo/publication/attachments/2013%2051City%20Study%20FINAL.pdf

  • 527. Peter  |  March 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    @Patricia
    “Agree, HOWEVER, people have to make sure they get out and vote. Labor will certainly get the troops out. I think the run off has been a good thing because it clearly shows the difference between the two and Rahm needed some humbling. People need to vote!”

    You are right, no time to be complacent.

  • 528. Southside parent  |  March 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Chewy is just not capable of being the Chicago mayor. He doesn’t have the vision. I will vote for Rahm for sure!

  • 529. Peter  |  March 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Southside parent, Chuy has a “vision” it will just result in a bankrupt city, where middle and upper middle class residents flee as an ever increasing amount of taxes are needed to pay his public employee union overlords salaries, health benefits and outrageous pensions.

  • 530. maybe......  |  March 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    The debt debacle comes from “borrowing” money from the pension systems at ~8% compounded interest to pay for other budget items. Currently, over 80% of the State’s annual pension payment is interest on that borrowed money. Less than 20% is for the annual normal costs. Pensions are affordable—recklessly borrowing from them is not.

    BTW, the current “Pension Ramp” law that the state is currently following was passed in 1994 when Edgar (R) was Governor, “Pate” Phillips (R) was Senate President, and Madigan (D) was Speaker. It was essentially a balloon loan arrangement that kicked the can down the road. Unfortunately, the ramp got steep as the Great Recession hit, which is certainly not the fault of labor unions!

    Yes there are good options:
    • re-amortize (or re-finance) the existing debt at a fixed rate which the state can afford, even if it takes 40–50 years (currently, we are 20 years into the last 50-year-long poorly designed “balloon” refinancing ramp—design a more workable payment plan this time—see below);
    • guarantee normal pension payments by the state to avoid deficits that would increase the pension debt in the future;
    • take up the teachers on their 2 percentage point (21% real) increase proposal, as this should help offset some of the investment and actuarial losses (BTW, teachers offered a 3 point, ~31% real increase in Spring 2012 if the state would guarantee future payments—the state balked!);
    • have the local districts and state share their normal costs, with a gradual partial transition to the local district. Do it in a way to keep the different government entities from sloughing off their obligations onto each other (For example, have the state pay for the first 20 years of a teacher’s career, and then have the district pay the remaining years until retirement, including a penalty for any end-of-career salary bumps; and
    • Tax all pensions/retirement income at the state level over an amount determined, at the political level, to be “excessive”. Any other decisions should be based on actuarial calculations, not political ones. If pension benefits are so excessive for public workers, then only public workers would be affected by this tax—and it could not be challenged in court as unconstitutional since it is a tax on “everyone” making over a certain amount.

    The link below describes a re-amortization concept that will reduce the cost of the current “pension ramp” by 35 Billion dollars because it front-loads more principle payments than the current law does. It is a 44-year fixed payment schedule, which lets the debt payments become a smaller percentage of the budget as the years go on. For example, the current “pension ramp” law (Public Act 88-593) projects annual payments will grow to 17 billion dollars/year by 2045. The proposed fixed payment plan will cost a fixed 6.9 Billion dollars/year until 2057.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130116/OPINION/130119858?template=mobile

    The legislature must pass constitutional legislation. If they do not, then it will just be a stimulus package for litigators, and the can will be kicked down to an even more expensive part of the road.

  • 531. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    From the other CPS boards I follow, most thought it was a wash on the debate lastnight. Rahm is really out of touch with the middle class. He could only talk about all day grade K. Rahm had 4 years to get Chicago’s ‘ship righted’ and didn’t just put us closer to junk bond status. As for the press, even his own voters thought he should have stayed for after the debate with the media. Neither gave a clear plan and it was disappointing.

  • 532. Peter  |  March 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Lol, Chuy wants to be in touch with the middle class wallet to pay for his buddies pensions. Are people that stupid? Who will pay for these bloated out of market benefits?

    The middle class.

  • 533. Chris  |  March 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    ” over 80% of the State’s annual pension payment is interest on that borrowed money”

    That’s a misstatement.

    It’s the unmade ‘normal cost’ contributions, plus ‘interest’.

  • 534. karet  |  March 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    @531, I thought Rahm did a good job with the questions on education and schools. He didn’t just talk about full day K. He talked about the longer day — and even mentioned Chuy’s anti-longer day video! He said that 93% of the students whose schools closed are in better schools now, and talked about Safe Passage. He said there is a 5 yr moratorium on school closings. He also explained what is happening at City Colleges (each school has a different focus now) and mentioned more than once that City Colleges will be free for CPS students with a 3.0 starting next year.

    If anyone missed the debate, you can see it here:
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/

  • 535. otdad  |  March 17, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    @534 karet:
    Thanks for the link. Garcia is basically clueless about everything. Not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. I think Rahm outclassed Garcia.

  • 536. HS Mom  |  March 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    @525 “Please explain what you think CB doesn’t understand about the property tax system. Seems to me he understands just fine”

    That tax rates are not the sole determination of your tax and the rate alone does not necessarily reflect level (high/low) of taxes paid

    http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/tsd/DocumentLibrary/2012%20Tax%20Rate%20Report.pdf

    Here’s the explanation from the clerks office

    “Bill Vaselopulos, Director of Real Estate & Tax Services for the Clerk’s office, said tax rates are calculated by using the amount of dollars levied by the taxing agency and the value of all taxable property located within its boundaries.“If values drop and levies remain flat or increase slightly, the rates go up,” Vaselopulos said. “That does not mean your tax bill will go up because the higher rate will be multiplied against a lower taxable value. And identical properties on the same block can have vastly different tax bills depending on their exemptions.”

  • 537. HS Mom  |  March 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    @526 – scanning your document I see that the overall tax burden for a family of 3 in Chicago is 14.7% ranking the 4th highest out of 51 of the largest cities of each state. Am I missing something here? I didn’t see the various income levels as the study is several pages but….not seeing a rosy picture. With cherry picked numbers, 21 out of 51 isn’t what I call “not that terrible”. Everything’s relative.

    510 – Sandra – to your point – no analysis of rates and market values will account for the quality of schools, services etc that you get for your money.

  • 538. LUV2Europe  |  March 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

    “Rahm said more than once that City Colleges will be free for CPS students with a 3.0 starting next year.” Ok swell…who going to pay for that? What about city kids who did not go to CPS? Anybody have a problem with that? I do.

  • 539. North Side Parent  |  March 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    @HS Mom, you looked at Page 8, Table 1-a which is for a family earning only 25k / year. The following pages show higher income levels. It’s in the title.

    Chicago looks worst on the page you’re referencing because disproportionately more revenue is generated from Sales tax vs Property and Income Tax (and our State Income Tax is not graduated, it’s flat).

    One can argue that our tax system punishes the middle/lower class, but the counter is the claim that the sales tax drives more revenue from non-residents (tourists/commuters from the suburbs).

    Also I would not compare to all 51 of those cities, many are WAY smaller than Chicago.

    So for example, page 11, Table 1-d: State & Local Tax Rate for a family of 3 earning 100K:

    Chicago: 17th, 11.1%

    Worst Offenders: ~20%
    1. Bridgeport, CT
    2. Philadelphia, PA
    3. Newark, NJ

    Midwest Peers:
    4. Milwaukee, – 16.1%
    10. Columbus, OH – 12.7%
    19. Minneapolis – 11.0%
    20. Indianapolis – 10.8%

    Other Glamour Cities (Higher Tax Rate):

    9. Los Angeles – 13.4%
    11. NYC – 12.1%
    13. Portland, OR – 12.1%

    Other Glamour Cities (Lower Tax Rate):
    17. Boston – 11.1% (Tie w/ Chicago)
    26. Atlanta – 10.1%
    39. Washington DC – 8.6%
    40. Houston – 8.0% (Assume Dallas is similar?)
    42. Denver – 7.7%
    46. Seattle – 6.3%
    47. Jacksonville, FL – 6.3% (Assume Miami is similar?)

    So Washington DC is the ONLY city in the Northeast/Midwest US with lower taxes that is as old as Chicago, anywhere near as large/dense, and maintains a light rail public transit system.

    Obviously there are some states that are doing things more efficiently, but the East Coast is generally worse.

  • 540. North Side Parent  |  March 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    As a follow up, average household income in the US is ~72K (average, not median).

    http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Household-Income-Distribution.php

    There are ~1 million households in Chicago.

    If you increase Chicago’s overall tax burden by 1% of income (whether it’s property, sales, or income tax) and move the total % to ~12.1% from 11.1%, then you would raise $720M per year in incremental tax revenues. That solves the pension problem, and Chicago’s relative standing in terms of how high are tax rates barely changes at all.

    I don’t like raising taxes more than anyone else, but the idea that we “can’t” needs to be dispelled with this broader context.

  • 541. HS mom  |  March 18, 2015 at 10:09 am

    “I don’t like raising taxes more than anyone else, but the idea that we “can’t” needs to be dispelled with this broader context.”

    Your table tells me 2 things (a) that lower the income the higher the tax burden as a proportion to income (what a revelation!) (b) a $100,000/ year HH income is ranked 12th in the nation distinctly higher than most of the country and (c) we have to keep property taxes down in order to make up for the exorbitant state income taxes that we pay (d) lower property taxes are the only thing keeping Chicago from being at the top of the chart.

    Still not convinced that raising property tax is OK.

  • 542. karet  |  March 18, 2015 at 10:40 am

    @538, I don’t have a problem with it. The overwhelming majority of CPS kids with a 3.0 who apply to City Colleges already qualify for financial aid, grants and scholarships. I doubt it will cost very much. It’s more of an advertising / marketing strategy for low income students.

    Also, it’s an incentive for people to send their kids to CPS. Doesn’t everyone keep saying that public schools will only get better if we send our kids to them?

  • 543. LUV2Europe  |  March 18, 2015 at 10:51 am

    542. BUT many Chicago taxpayer’s kids don’t attend CPS

  • 544. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 10:55 am

    @543
    Do the majority go to City Colleges? Just curious to understand your point. Thanks.

  • 545. luveurope  |  March 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

    544. No, but they would take a class over the summer, especially a free one. My point is that this “service” should be “free” for all taxpayer’s kids in Chicago — not just CPS

  • 546. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 11:09 am

    OK, I see your point. Not sure I agree, but I get what you are saying. I guess in my mind, it is a good thing to help kids in CPS who maintain a B average and in many cases are “making it” against a lot a negative influences in their lives. The importance of valuing education and making it a priority in a kids life is in some ways more important than whether a kid lives in poverty.

  • 547. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

    ” the exorbitant state income taxes”

    Really? It’s only even high compared to the rates on the first about $10k of income, and the (nine) states that have no state income tax.

  • 548. Peter  |  March 18, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I’m fine with raising taxes a bit, IF the public employee benefits are reduced.

  • 549. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Anyone see the new Chewey TV ad? Who is advising him on education? (His campaign stuff says the wacky principal from Blaine with political aspirations of his own and of course CTU is advising him. They probably approved the laundry parody too. LOL!) He is calling Charter Schools, “private elite institutions”? What? He has obviously never been to a charter school.

    Really, can he be any more clueless?

    He also touts elected school board. Of course he wants that because he is incapable of leading Chicago and outsourcing CPS to the CTU via elected school board makes his job easier.

  • 550. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    @548 Peter

    Maybe “IFF” (if and only if) 😉

  • 551. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Correction, chewey calls Charter’s “elite private schools”, not “elite private institutions”.

  • 552. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    “He also touts elected school board.”

    May as well tout graduated income tax, or city income tax, or any other thing that requires State action that’s not on the Guv’s agenda–each has similar likelihood of making it thru Springfield while Rauner is Guv.

    He has to have a plan to *appoint* those who are chosen thru a privately-funded ‘election’, otherwise it is vaporware. It’s silly to not have that plan in place, as it’s entirely within his control, and something he could do. That he doesn’t have a plan says to me that he isn’t *actually* serious about surrendering that control.

  • 553. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    @552 Chris ” It’s silly to not have that plan in place, as it’s entirely within his control, and something he could do.”

    Yes, true but I doubt he can do anything. In reality, he is NOT the one IN CHARGE of his words, his campaign or any decisions. He is a talking muppet for the CTU.

  • 554. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    553. Patricia | March 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    And Rahm’s a talking muppet for his cronies who benefit from the charters and alternate schools. Rahm is stating his plan as if the Courts have already ruled and they haven’t. Mayor 1% is just that and just for the 1%. I never heard him say that all of chicago kids would go the City Colleges for free only that CPS kids would. Yes, I have a problem with that.

  • 555. Peter  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I am not the 1%, but Rahm definitely has my interests at heart. Chuy just wants my wallet.

  • 556. HSObsessed  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    @549 – That TV ad. Incredible that Garcia doesn’t understand that charter schools are not private schools, or maybe he’s hoping that voters don’t understand and don’t care about details? He’s so monotone and stiff that he makes Rahm look like a relaxed, happy-go-lucky nice guy. The way Garcia’s reading from the cue cards underneath the camera reminds me of hostages who are forced to read messages out loud for their captors. Seriously, who is advising him?

    http://www.chicagoforchuy.com/news/garcia-releases-first-commercial-of-the-runoff-election-elect

  • 557. HSObsessed  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Just re-read my comment @556. I don’t mean to be snarky: I’m sure that Garcia is a very likeable, intelligent, hard working man who has done good things in public office, it’s just that he doesn’t have enough of a plan for the city in general, and now on top of that, he could have used better coaching and staging for this ad. Style does not trump substance, but you have to pay attention to both.

  • 558. karet  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    @luveurope, it only applies to full time students. You can’t just take a free class.

  • 559. Tacocat  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    @556. Unfortunately, today’s political commercials are rarely about the truth. It is politics at it worst. Half-truth, lies, anything to prey on the ignorance of the voters and gain votes.

  • 560. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    557. HSObsessed | March 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I didn’t take your response as snarky…just your opinion. I get it…just like Rahmbo looks worn out, exhausted, restraining himself from being who he is..is my opinion. But I think Chuy came off as the everyday guy who voters like and trust and not as someone who it pretending to be an average guy.

    ‘Style does not trump substance, but you have to pay attention to both.’

    Rahm knows he’s in trouble with the last endorsement Chuy received…that was a blow to Rahm ~ may be awake up call…not everyone likes his style.

  • 561. IB Obsessed  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Patricia, Garcia referred to “private charter schools”. Charter schools can be privately owned, or run a by private company, or can receive private funding. All three apply to for example, the British School, a private school, In fact, the NRLB ruled that the local Chicago Math and Science Academy is a private entity and therefore covered under federal labor law that governs the private sector, In that sense, Garcia was correct and smart to highlight how the charters are a private/public hybrid. But you want to see him as a goof, so I’m sure you’ll find some other reason to.

  • 562. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    “pretending to be an average guy”

    Who actually wants an “average guy” running the city?

    Separate it from Chuy v Rahm–would you *really* choose “average Chicago guy” for mayor?

    Now, back to Chuy v Rahm–“average guy” is supposed to be a plus for Chuy? I seriously don’t get it.

  • 563. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    IBO:

    “All three apply to for example, the British School”

    Except for the “charter” part. British ain’t a ‘charter school’ under any normal usage of the phrase, and it gets $0.00 from CPS.

    So, poor example.

  • 564. IB Obsessed  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    The British School was cited as an example of a PRIVATE SCHOOL, Chris. The British School is privately owned, run by a private company, and is privately funded. All 3 apply to some charters, as well, was my point.

  • 565. IB Obsessed  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    @562 Some people prefer “average” in the sense of not the slick product of mulitple high end image and media consultants affordable only by those who receive $500 million contributions from Ken Griffith. Kinda says something about who you’re going to be beholden to. You know how many of you here are for Rahm because you see him as not beholden to the CTU? Well he’s beholden to others far more powerful that will long term impact your wallet and quality of life.

  • 566. Peter  |  March 18, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    You’ve lost me when you say that Ken Griffin wants my money more than the CTU.

  • 567. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    @561 “But you want to see him as a goof, so I’m sure you’ll find some other reason to.”

    Actually, I do not want to see him as a goof, CTUey is doing that all on his own. He excels at mediocrity.

  • 568. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    “All 3 apply to some charters”

    Which charter gets 100% of its funds from private sources??

    Honest question.

  • 569. Chris  |  March 18, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Also:

    Too bad you won’t get to vote for Chuy the average joe, IBO.

    “not the slick product of mulitple high end image and media consultants”

    … who are really bad at their jobs, apparently, since Rahm’s image is that of an overbearing a-hole. Even among people who will voe for him.

  • 570. Patricia  |  March 18, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    @IBO “Garcia referred to “private charter schools”. ”

    No, he called them “private elite schools.”

    Seems he has not been to a charter school or a private elite school. Or he is blatantly lying. To be fair, he may not know he is lying since he is just reading the script. Hmmm……..is that who we need as mayor of Chicago?

  • 571. HS Mom  |  March 18, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    @340 – “If you increase Chicago’s overall tax burden by 1% of income (whether it’s property, sales, or income tax)”

    What would you have to do to RE taxes or sales tax to equal a 1% income tax? You just can’t do that to people’s cost of living. And sales tax……big sore spot for businesses. I’ve already seen venders in the appliance and building materials move because people shop their products and get them cheaper in the burbs or on line.

    @547 – “Really? It’s only even high compared to the rates on the first about $10k of income, and the (nine) states that have no state income tax.”

    Dwelling on that study for a moment. At the 25K group Chgo rank #1, at 50 #5 and at 75 #10. Tax burden at between 11.1% and 14.7% for people who make lower than average salaries. Exorbitant is a matter of opinion. The state income tax is high, very high, especially when taken in context of average salaries and those who fall under $72,000.

    @550 thank you Patricia. Agreed. As I’ve mentioned before, there are many folks who have no reserves, no retirement and are living from paycheck to paycheck. Not because they’re living beyond their means but are trying to stay within their means. College costs are a joke. We obsess about high school and kids have to turn down these great opportunities because we can’t afford it. Don’t get me started on the City Colleges thing…..the program is a fantastic opportunity for kids who otherwise would not go to college at all. Thank God something is working for lower income families. And yes, for those of us who are trying to scooch around the expense of college……taking a summer class is extremely affordable even when you have to pay for it.

  • 572. Chris  |  March 19, 2015 at 9:39 am

    “The state income tax is high, very high”

    No, it just objectively is not. 3.75%. Certainly not “very high”. CA has a 9.3% rate starting at a little over $50k. That’s high. MN is 5.35, and then 7% starting at $25k (single) and $36k (married). That’s high. 3.75 is not a high state income tax rate.

    The overall tax burden is quite high, yes, especially at lower incomes. But that’s largely about sales and property taxes, which are much more regressive than even a flat income tax.

  • 573. Peter  |  March 19, 2015 at 10:31 am

    And it will take an amendment to the State Constitution to have a progressive income tax. If we open up the constitution to change that, we had better eliminate the pension clause as well.

  • 574. Patricia  |  March 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

    @Peter
    Regarding the constitution change to protect government worker benefits. I saw the article below. How insane!

    “SPRINGFIELD, Ill –There is now a follow up to a WGN and Chicago Tribune investigation from three years ago about an exposed a gaping pension loophole in Illinois.

    Union lobbyist David Piccioli was able to be a substitute teacher for a day and get a pension for life.

    Angry lawmakers took it away.

    Now Piccioli is suing to get it back, on the same grounds state workers are using to challenge the pension reform law in the Illinois Supreme Court – that it’s unconstitutional to diminish promised benefits.”

    http://cltv.com/2015/03/18/union-lobbyist-suing-get-back-pension-won-in-loophole/

  • 575. Peter  |  March 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Oh boy Patricia. These public employee unions really want to bankrupt the City.

  • 576. Angie  |  March 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Finally, a major victory for California public schools. Hopefully, one day Illinois will do the same.

    Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure for California

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/us/california-teacher-tenure-laws-ruled-unconstitutional.html

    “In his sharply worded 16-page ruling, Judge Treu compared the Vergara case to the historic desegregation battle of Brown v. Board of Education, saying that the earlier case addressed “a student’s fundamental right to equality of the educational experience,” and that this case involved applying that principle to the “quality of the educational experience.”

    He agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that California’s current laws make it impossible to remove the system’s numerous low-performing and incompetent teachers, because the tenure system assures them a job essentially for life; that seniority rules requiring the newest teachers to be laid off first were harmful; and that granting tenure to teachers after only two years on the job was farcical, offering far too little time for a fair assessment of the teacher’s skills.

    Further, Judge Treu said, the least effective teachers are disproportionately assigned to schools filled with low-income and minority students. The situation violates those students’ constitutional right to an equal education, he determined. It is believed to be the first legal opinion to assert that the quality of an education is as important as mere access to schools or sufficient funding.”

  • 577. Patricia  |  March 19, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    @576 Angie
    I hope this paves the way for excellent teachers to get paid more and allow for teachers to receive bonus pay for working in difficult school environments.

  • 578. michele  |  March 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    An article on the local Mayoral race with mentions about the outsourcing of cleaning services for our schools.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-mayors-race-met-0320-20150319-story.html

    I know this may not be new information to many but it’s worth revisiting what the effect of privatizing services can have and who profits and loses from that effort. This is just another topic to inform my voting,These are the types of long term decisions that will effect the quality of my child’s school experience for years to come.

  • 579. Angie  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Why do we need a citywide cleaning contract instead of principals hiring local companies for their schools? Is it cheaper this way?

  • 580. Angie  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    @577. Patricia: “I hope this paves the way for excellent teachers to get paid more and allow for teachers to receive bonus pay for working in difficult school environments.”

    Apparently, they don’t want to be paid more or receive bonuses, because that was one of the reasons they went on strike.

  • 581. HS Mom  |  March 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    @572 – Chris – I can appreciate your opinion and typically see eye to eye with you. On this, however, we feel differently. I’m not sure why my values are in question when they are unique to me.

    This particular study as a source is interesting in that they highlight several different economic outcomes that may be cause for concern or not – depending on which side of the 72K line you’re standing on.

    If you take a $50,000 income less 11% state tax burden ($45,000) less fed taxes, transportation, insurance, housing, food, clothing, utilities…..OK where are we at oops there’s college and retirement. It really doesn’t matter if Chicago has a 3.75% rate while CA has a 9% rate.

    Another thing interesting about that study is the $25K level that people don’t seem to think is a reality. The state income tax for most states is either 0 or some kind of negative credit. Makes sense to me.

    In my circle of friends/acquaintances income for college educated professionals has been hit hard – some knowing full well what $25K is all about. Back to work has still not happened for some and certainly those who have gotten jobs are not experiencing any salary rebound…..just saying. This is not a debate Chris, it’s just a statement that many people cannot afford higher taxes and consider the current tax burden coupled with the cost of living expensive. And while you can point to a list of cities that are higher, there are a number of thriving cities that are lower – but not going there.

  • 582. Peter  |  March 20, 2015 at 8:36 am

    “In my circle of friends/acquaintances income for college educated professionals has been hit hard”

    Really, I am genuinely surprised by that. I can’t think of a single friend or family member who is doing worse now. Most are doing the same or significantly better. My guess is it has to do with what industry/degree one has.

  • 583. Patricia  |  March 20, 2015 at 9:46 am

    A good reminder in the Tribune today about how important the gaping pension hole is and how in short order it can impact every CPS student. PENSIONS are the issue. Not janitorial contracts, not how many schools were under enrolled and closed, not who is opting in or out of parcc. The issue is PENSIONS!

    “Which gets us to the most critical questions about CPS:

    •Will the system collapse before the first day of school in the fall?

    •Will CPS be able to open its doors?

    •Will the Illinois legislature have to permit the school system to file for federal bankruptcy protection?”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-garcia-cps-edit-0320-bd-20150319-story.html

  • 584. Flora Q  |  March 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    RE 583 to 582 – Since you’re doing so great how about tuition on a sliding scale for selective enrollment schools and leave the rest of us tax payers alone.

  • 585. Drewski  |  March 23, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Disclaimer: I am a special education teacher at a K-8 elementary school on the northwest side of the city.

    A few points from my perspective based on reading comments on this thread:

    Please be weary of anti-Chuy/CTU posts and rhetoric. They are popping up a lot these days, not just on this site but also many other websites/blogs talking about CPS and the mayoral election. When anyone can post multiple times, create fake email addresses, not require a login etc, this leads to “trolling” by a select few who may have affiliations to city hall and Rahm Emanuel. So now that I’ve addressed that.

    PARCC testing: The number that PARCC takes 8-12 hours out of instructional time in the year is not as simple as it may seem (although that alone would make me not want my children/students to spend that much time on this specific assessment). Schedules in schools are turned upside down. Students are mentally exhausted after taking this test each day (avg. 2 hours per day/for 5 days straight in March). They have a more difficult time learning once classes resume the rest of the day. Try taking a GRE practice test, go to work and see how optimally you perform the rest of the day. Special education classes are cancelled so schools can have extra proctors in the classroom during testing. Oh yea, these special education students have to test separately and since their teachers are being used as proctors, where do these kids go. To the auditorium…for 2 hours a day….for 5 days. Questionably illegal under IDEA but CPS knows this and offers no logistical plan on how to address this issue, instead leaving individual schools to come up with their own, last minute solution. Next week, these students will take the PARCC and loose out on yet, even more instructional time.

    Now PARCC is twice a year (75% of school year and 90% of school year). May is considered 90% of the school year. Guess what else comes in May…NWEA. This will be a planning nightmare since these are computer based assessments (Grades 3-5 take paper-based tests). We are loosing valuable instruction time. The hours spent on assessments throughout the year are enough to side with the anti-PARCC opposition that has grown, let alone the loss of continuity that comes with consistent and consecutive instruction over long periods of time.

    No one seems to address the fact that the Emanuel administration has not released how much money they are “saving” after the largest school closings in US history. Many studies show that the saving are minimal (remember, there is overhead to maintain a level of functionality in closed schools) and are hardly worth the disruption caused to the families of 30,000 students. How does a mayor justify closing schools that are failing, which for CPS’s convenience, are considered schools that were on probation AND/OR under enrollment. Yay, because of Rahm, students in those schools that closed are now at non-failing schools, ie. these receiving schools do not have low enrollment because of the influx of new kids. It’s easy to twist the numbers and make him look like a hero “who makes the tough decisions that no one likes.” In the same year he closes schools, he opens new charter schools that are connected to his friends/campaign donators. A slap in the face considering schools were closed because of under-utilization.

    Teacher tenure: I do not know how this myth has been perpetuated. If a principal wants to get rid of you, they will find a way. Tenure does not protect us. Do some research on the REACH evaluation system. And this idea that no teacher looses their job? Plenty do, either because of performance or nepotism/favoritism. So how should teachers be fairly evaluated? On student test scores you say. I have students who miss 80 days of school a year for health related issues. Another student who misses around 40 days because he has to take the bus with his mom to court hearings because no one will be home after school to watch him. And these students’ test scores should somehow be reflective of the time and energy I exude every day? Would you fire a lawyer for not procuring an innocent verdict for a suspect that clearly committed a crime, without a reasonable doubt? A doctor whose patient died because of heart disease, even after numerous recommendations and treatments to improve said patients health were given? So why would you fire teachers for factors outside their control like poverty, undernourishment, homelessness, drug use, gang violence, lack of role models, etc. And many people LOVE to say, “Oh there go teachers making excuses instead of getting results.” I am not making excuses, nor do I think my colleagues are. We are simply saying there are many complex reasons that contribute to a child’s social and academic development. Hollywood and education-reformists have fooled us into thinking these are not valid reasons. They make movies that romanticize the few kids who came out of the ghetto, despite all the adversity against them. These students are the exception, not the norm. The “pull yourself up by the bootstrap” mentality has been promoted for far too long. I’d love to see some of these big talkers on TV (even some of the commenters I read on this site) put yourself in these conditions these students go through and “easily” acquire the same level of success you have now.

    And Rahm promoting a higher graduation rate since he took office. He is truthful. But please take a look at how these kid’s are graduating.

    http://www.wbez.org/news/same-diploma-different-school-111581

    Shame on Rahm for distorting the truth. There is so much more to say but for now, I will take a break.

  • 586. Patricia  |  March 23, 2015 at 10:16 am

    @flora q #584
    Huhhhhh????? My post has nothing to do with “doing so great” as you say. It is about pensions. I have never said anything about taxes or income except to agree with HS Mom that there is not room to raise taxes on the middle class. Maybe you posted a link that went into moderation and your numbering is off?

  • 587. Patricia  |  March 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

    @Drewski #585. Always good to hear from teachers.
    “Please be weary of anti-Chuy/CTU posts and rhetoric. They are popping up a lot these days, not just on this site but also many other websites/blogs talking about CPS and the mayoral election. When anyone can post multiple times, create fake email addresses, not require a login etc, this leads to “trolling” by a select few who may have affiliations to city hall and Rahm Emanuel.”

    Many posters on this thread have posted on cpso for years and years and years and if not posting on an issue one is passionate about, still check in to see what is of interest to others in the cpso world. IB Obsessed, Angie, HS Mom, SSI4, Chris, CarolA, klm, HS Obsessed, karet, and many others. The genuine diverse opinions on this site and the wealth of information and perspectives is what is of interest to me personally.

    Interestingly, there are some very pro chewey posters that seem suspect of trolling.

  • 588. Chris  |  March 23, 2015 at 11:11 am

    HS Mom: “I’m not sure why my values are in question when they are unique to me.”

    I’m not questioning your values, and I don’t disagree that the tax structure in Illinois is (a) out of whack, (b) too regressive, and (c) too high, in general, as an aggregate burden for what we (individually and as a society) get from the government.

    But I stick with my position that the state income tax at 3.75% is objectively not “very high”, and that “very high” was also the wrong description when it was 5% (ie, for 2014, that we’re all presently filing for). Would I prefer that the state income tax were 5%, with a more generous exemption amount (say $20k/individual, so a couple would be state-income-tax free up to $40k in AGI), or if there were some sort of property tax credit/refund (like Minnesota has)? Yeah, I would, for all sorts of reasons.

  • 589. Chris  |  March 23, 2015 at 11:29 am

    “Please be weary of anti-Chuy/CTU posts and rhetoric.”

    OK, I can’t help myself but to comment on that typo/word choice: the use of ‘weary’ rather than the presumed ‘wary’ ( I don’t expect that we are being asked to be tired of the posts, tho that is a non-absurd word choice in this particular context) is practically pervasive on the intertubez.

    As to: “Now PARCC is twice a year”:

    Are all of the anti-PARCC people suggesting that the test-requirements are something that CPS brought to us? What difference will who the mayor is make to this? Unless the Legislature acts and pulls Illinois out of Common Core (or the Standards are re-done in a significant fashion), or the next POTUS adopts a neutral or anti CC policy (so that whatever Fed funding there is isn’t tied to CC compliance), CPS doesn’t actually have a choice.

    What do you folks expect Chuy to actually do about that?

    I do find it interesting that opposition to CC is one of those things that seems to unite the (not all the way to kookoo) activist ends of the political spectrum. Strange bedfellows and all that. Frankly, that Bobby Jindal flip-flopped on CC, and is suing the Feds to opt Louisiana out, is enough reason for me to *not* actively oppose CC, even tho I think that the pedagogy that appears to be emphasized in the CC materials is of rather dubious quality, especially in mid-elementary math–I am distinctly tired of working thru explaining *why* 8×8=64–it just *does*–and that emphasis distracts from computational proficiency, IMO & (obviously limited) experience (hooray for anecdata!).

  • 590. Mom2Boys  |  March 23, 2015 at 11:54 am

    @585 Drewski- Thanks for posting the link to the wbez piece. So in addition to the CPS school maintenance contract with Magic Johnson’s company, Sodexho Magic, our mayor has additional business arrangements with Magic in the form of diploma mills –oops, I mean “alternative schools.”

  • 591. HS Mom  |  March 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    @587 Patricia and 588 Chris – Thanks, good posts.

    @585 – “Shame on Rahm for distorting the truth.”

    Shaming is passing judgment on a person essentially saying that they are “bad”. Yes, I’m a Rahm supporter but would never shame either candidate when it comes to their pursuits and vision for the people of Chicago. The words “shame on you” really detracts from your position.

    @590 – ” in the form of diploma mills –oops, I mean “alternative schools.””

    Yes, interesting article. Despite the obvious negative spin, I think the alternative diploma can be a real option for some kids. Anything that will keep kids on track to graduate is positive, IMO. If this helps kids stay off the street and fires up hope it’s a step toward positive outcomes. I’ll say this too, for a kid to stay focused and productive in online learning or enrichment is an accomplishment in itself. Kids can even take it to the next level – online college.

  • 592. Chuy and finances  |  March 24, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    David Orr does a nice job summarizing Chuy’s approach to city finances here. It’s not glamorous but I think it is realistic, not pie-in-the-sky: http://chicagoreporter.com/chicagos-veteran-reformers-praise-chuy-garcia-on-finances/

    Key points–get all the taxing bodies–the city, CPS, Chicago Park District, City Colleges–using the same procurement, utilities, etc. Not flashy but fiscally responsible. Go deep on the city budget and find out what is working, what isn’t. And finally, stop abuse of TIFs.

    I’ll take that over a casino. Have you seen the casinos in Detroit? I have.

  • 593. Angie  |  March 24, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Speaking of distorting the truth…

    Garcia’s neighborhood legacy not as big as bio boasts

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/467681/garcias-neighborhood-legacy-big-bio-boasts

    “Before Tuesday afternoon, mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s campaign biography said he rapidly transformed a nonprofit community group in his working-class, Southwest Side neighborhood into a $5 million-a-year organization.

    That exaggerated the impact of Garcia’s leadership of the Little Village Community Development Corp., the group now known as Enlace Chicago.

    At no point in Garcia’s 11 years as executive director did the group raise or spend anywhere near $5 million in a year, according to publicly available audits and federal tax returns filed by Enlace.

    A few hours after I pointed out the discrepancy to Garcia’s campaign manager, Andrew Sharp, he readily acknowledged the error.”

    Oops.

  • 594. Patricia  |  March 25, 2015 at 11:28 am

    What delusional bubble does the CTU live in? CTU is calling for all cps employees minimum wage be raised to $15. What? I am all for raising the minimum wage—which Rahm used his political skills to actually get movement on in Springfield. With the huge pension crisis and fiscal disaster of CPS, the CTU is calling for more spending? Or is this just another distraction from the real issue of pensions? Crazy!

    This move today by the CTU just solidifies in my mind that the only way to have a conversation with them about solving the pension crisis is for CPS to file for bankruptcy. It is a shame, but it is evident that the CTU will not negotiate anything. Article below from Tribune about bankruptcy.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-cps-bankruptcy-detroit-stockton-edit-0325-jm-20150324-story.html

  • 595. Chris  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    “CTU is calling for all cps employees minimum wage be raised to $15.”

    Well, (1) that’s going to be the City minimum fairly soon, anyway; and (2) what do you expect from an employee union?–that’s what they’re supposed to do!! Advocate for their employees.

    The killer is that someone CTU-related is apparently asserting that the raises will pay for themselves–which is an … interesting contention.

  • 596. Patricia  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    @ Chris
    True, the union does have its “job”, but that doesn’t make it any less crazy given the fiscal mess of CPS and pensions. I do think it is just a political distraction from the financial problems that Chewey can’t handle. Also to get Chewey press and try to drum up support.

    What it really does illustrate to me is that CPS needs to declare bankruptcy. Karen Lewis and her CTU team have dug themselves in so deep that the only way they will have a conversation is if they are forced via bankruptcy. At this point, if they had a discussion, they would not “save face” and that is important to the union leadership for their own internal elections.

    Looking at how the domino’s will fall…………

  • 597. Jay  |  March 25, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    One issue that is never discussed is the fidelity of contract law. What would happen if a person ran out of money and couldn’t pay their mortgage? They would lose their home. Their car? It would be repossessed. Why do those contracts matter more than the contract that teachers signed when they agreed to become teachers. Why does the bank’s contract matter more than teacher’s contract? It doesn’t. Teachers took less pay than their counterparts in the private sector 30 years ago when they signed those contracts. I don’t remember any private sector worker stepping up and paying more in taxes in the late 90’s when their performance bonuses were more than a teacher’s salary. Now that times aren’t as good, they are boo-hoo ing, “I can’t afford any more taxes.” Well, your kids are going to get what they pay for.” The 5-year attrition rate at Charter Schools among teachers is 90%. This leads to a revolving door of young, inexperienced teachers who leave. Experience matters in all professions. SEE LOUISIANA and MISSISSIPPI. Teaching is becoming a bridge job, NOT a profession, The race to the bottom has already begun; the # of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs has already declined by 8% in 2014. If you want the educational achievement of Louisiana and Mississippi, you are well on your way. If you don’t prioritize education for your children, that is EXACTLY what you are going to get. It is your money and your children, good luck!

  • 598. Jay  |  March 25, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Keep right on bashing unions: Just click on the link and comment on the chart …

  • 599. Jay  |  March 25, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    In today’s news, “Because American salaries for people with a bachelor’s degree are unusually high, that gap is wider in the US than anywhere else. In other words, teachers are well-paid by international standards for teachers. But they’re underpaid by the standards of what college graduates in the US generally make”

  • 600. Jay  |  March 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    And this from today’s news, “States are providing more support to public schools than they used to, in part to try to break the vicious cycle where high-poverty areas had fewer resources to educate their needier students. Sometimes, though, state formulas don’t alleviate inequality. In Illinois, for example, Chicago public schools have more poverty than average but get less money per pupil.”

    The rich keep getting richer; the poor, poorer. Race to the bottom…. Again, your children…. Time to prioritize what is important to you.

  • 601. Jay  |  March 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    How about this from today’s news: But recent research argues that focusing solely on test scores misses other positive effects of school spending. A working paper published in early 2015 by the National Bureau of Economic Research looks at the long-term effect of court decisions that forced states to spend more on low-income districts.

    For low-income children, more money made a big difference. A 10 percent spending increase each year in kindergarten through 12th grade, researchers found, led students to complete a few more months of school, to earn 7.25 percent more, and to be less likely to be poor. Those aren’t improvements that show up in test scores, but they suggest that spending more on education made a long-term difference in students’ lives.

    “Money does matter and … better school resources can meaningfully improve the long-run outcomes of recently educated children,” the authors, C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker Johnson, and Claudia Persico, wrote.

    Not exactly a liberal organization’s analysis…. Of course, you can always incarcerate them in one of our fine prisons for $88,000 a year. After all, it is your money..

  • 602. HS Mom  |  March 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Patricia/Chris – speaking off the top of my head without researching, so please feel free to correct me. I don’t think that there are teachers making less than $15 per hour so that actual number is just a straw-man. The underlying reason for such a raise is that city union contracts call for wages to be a certain percentage over minimum wage. A move like this could have major budget implications.

    Jay – I don’t think a single parent here would argue against more money spent on student resources. We’d all love that. How do you propose to do that given the financial shortfall? How do we pay the pension deficit? Or are you saying that the kids should come first?

  • 603. Chris  |  March 26, 2015 at 9:58 am

    HS Mom: “I don’t think that there are teachers making less than $15 per hour so that actual number is just a straw-man.”

    It’s not a straw man, bc there are are bunch of non-teachers who work for CPS and CPS contractors (almost certainly including those stupid janitorial contracts) who make less than $15/hr. Basically, I see it as principally a jab at the janitorial contracts.

    [borrowing from Jay]: And this from today’s news:

    Chuy pledged to not take any campaign money from *individuals* doing business with the city.

    Nice weasel there, since basically all of his campaign $$ comes from *unions* doing business with the city, directly or indirectly.

    If he were being truly honest about the corrupting influence of campaign donations, then he’d *have to* give back all of that union money.

  • 604. Angie  |  March 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    597. Jay : “One issue that is never discussed is the fidelity of contract law. What would happen if a person ran out of money and couldn’t pay their mortgage? They would lose their home. Their car? It would be repossessed. Why do those contracts matter more than the contract that teachers signed when they agreed to become teachers. ”

    False logic, Jay. In your example, a person signed the contract agreeing to pay his own money to the bank. Conversely, CTU and the lawmakers signed their contract to use other people’s money without the people’s consent. And now, they expect people to pay for their backroom deals and exchanging union campaign contributions for inflated pensions .

    “For low-income children, more money made a big difference. A 10 percent spending increase each year in kindergarten through 12th grade, researchers found, led students to complete a few more months of school, to earn 7.25 percent more, and to be less likely to be poor. Those aren’t improvements that show up in test scores, but they suggest that spending more on education made a long-term difference in students’ lives.”

    Here’s a better idea that does not require increased spending.

    http://educationnext.org/valuing-teachers/

    “What would happen if the very lowest performing teachers could be replaced by just average teachers? Based on the estimates of variation in teacher quality identified above, Figure 2 shows the overall achievement impact through a cycle of K–12 instruction. Assuming the upper-bound estimate of teachers’ impact, U.S achievement could reach that in Canada and Finland if we replaced with average teachers the least effective 5 to 7 percent of teachers, respectively. Assuming the lower-bound estimate of teachers’ impact, U.S achievement could reach that in Canada and Finland if we replaced with average teachers the least effective 8 to 12 percent of teachers, respectively.

    Collective bargaining mechanisms do not provide incentives for the best people to enter or remain in the profession and likely hold the average pay down: given the uniform salary structure, increases in salary are bound to be unrelated to increases in effectiveness, making large pay raises raises politically problematic. This is likely one of the main reasons that teacher salaries now lag those in other professions.”

  • 605. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Good points. I can only tell you that this will be an austerity contract. Teachers were polled and a salary increase was near the bottom of the survey results. Many teachers would accept a freeze in pay IF the charterization scheme stops. In all fields, 80% of the people are adequate to great, 20% are check collectors. When the mayor closed 50 schools, he fired ALL the teachers in a given school. The veteran teachers, overwhelmingly AA and Latino, were sent to “drown” in the teachers’ pool, which lasts for a year. It is a roundabout scheme to get rid of veteran teachers and cut the budget. CPS is NOT hiring back veteran teachers. IMO, this is an immoral way to treat long-term employees in any profession.

  • 606. Angie  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

    @605. Jay: ” Teachers were polled and a salary increase was near the bottom of the survey results. Many teachers would accept a freeze in pay IF the charterization scheme stops.”

    Sorry, but that sounds like CTU scam to me. Giving up the raise in exchange for stopping charters does not benefit the individual teachers, but it does preserve the CTU membership numbers and steady flow of dues. Good schools have nothing to be afraid from charters, and failing schools should not be allowed to force the children to attend them.

    “When the mayor closed 50 schools, he fired ALL the teachers in a given school.”

    That’s another CTU lie. Many teachers were eligible to follow their students to receiving schools, and did just that.

    “The veteran teachers, overwhelmingly AA and Latino, were sent to “drown” in the teachers’ pool, which lasts for a year. It is a roundabout scheme to get rid of veteran teachers and cut the budget.”

    Low rated teachers have no place in the classroom, especially if they are veterans and had plenty of time to improve their performance. Lifetime tenure does nothing to encourage that. As for their race, sorry, but being a minority is not an excuse to do a poor job. Please read the article about teacher tenure I posted in #576. One quote:

    “Further, Judge Treu said, the least effective teachers are disproportionately assigned to schools filled with low-income and minority students. The situation violates those students’ constitutional right to an equal education, he determined. It is believed to be the first legal opinion to assert that the quality of an education is as important as mere access to schools or sufficient funding.””

  • 607. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Nope, I NEVER lie. It is called integrity. You haven’t seen the data, I have. 40% of the most veteran teachers in those closed schools were displaced. It is a money game. But don’t believe me. I don’t know how old your children are, but I will bet you, if this continues, you will have young bridge job teachers in every classroom. I taught in Louisiana my first year, and 90% of the teachers had less than 5 years experience. I stayed for one year and left for $$$$ greener pastures. Like I said, it is your money and your children….

  • 608. Angie  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:21 am

    @607. Jay:

    “When the mayor closed 50 schools, he fired ALL the teachers in a given school.”

    “40% of the most veteran teachers in those closed schools were displaced.”

    So which is it – ALL or just 40%? And what does your data say about their performance ratings?

    ” I taught in Louisiana my first year, and 90% of the teachers had less than 5 years experience.”

    When was that? Before or after hurricane Katrina, when their school system was devastated?

  • 609. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

    90% of CPS is filled with low income and minority students. So, based on your logic, 90% of CPS teachers are “least effective.”? By all means, send your child to a charter school. Your child and your money…

  • 610. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

    1988. Ratings weren’t the metric used to rehire. You are focusing on the wrong metric. The highest paid teachers were displaced. It is a money game. Not to brag, but I have a 3.95/4.00 rating, which puts me in the top 1/10th of 1% of ALL CPS teachers based on the Danielson REACH evaluation system. I also have 25 years experience.

  • 611. Angie  |  March 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    @609. Jay : “90% of CPS is filled with low income and minority students. So, based on your logic, 90% of CPS teachers are “least effective.”?”

    Nope. Only those who are unable or unwilling to do their jobs, and keep coming up with the excuses why the poor minority kids cannot be taught. Teacher evaluations based on value-added scores will be able to single them out. But what are the chances that CTU will agree to replace 5-7% of these bottom feeders?

    ” Ratings weren’t the metric used to rehire. You are focusing on the wrong metric. ” Since this is a direct violation of the terms of school closing, can we assume that each of these wrongly displaced teachers filed union grievance? What were the results?

  • 612. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Care to comment on this: in FORBES today.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2015/03/25/moral-bankruptcy-of-chicagos-elites/

    Forbes, one of the most conservative news organizations in the country.

  • 613. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Angie,

    1. I believe, but have not verified, that a class-action grievance has been filed, but this will take approximately 2 years to come resolution (based on past experience).

    2. Have heard rumors about age discrimination lawsuits. Based on past experience, 6-7 years for resolution.

    How long does unemployment last?

  • 614. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Here’s my favorite paragraph from the article:

    Here’s what we found: 600 city vendors gave Emanuel $7 million in campaign cash during the past four years and received $2 billion in city payments since 2002. And here’s how we found that data: We looked at a universe of 1,500 companies or their affiliated employees funding Rahm Emmanuel’s campaign since 2010. We then matched those company names with payments from the City of Chicago vendor checkbook. It’s a confluence of campaign cash and contractor payments or benefits.

    LOL. Yep, it is the teachers’ fault for sure.

  • 615. Chris  |  March 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    “Here’s my favorite paragraph from the article:”

    I enjoy:

    “IL Governor Pat Quinn announced a $3.5 million package of job growth incentives. Two days later, Blue Media LLC gave a $100,000 campaign donation to Rahm Emanuel.”

    Rahm never had a good relationship with Quinn. How is Quinn’s stupid petty corruption Rahm’s problem?? Or is the implication that Lefkofsky is too stupid to realize the difference?

    Anyway, hasn’t virtually all of Chuy’s cash come from Unions that will be negotiating contracts with our next mayor?? So, if political contributions from parties contracting with the city are a critical problem, then we’re all just screwed, right? cuz they’re both waist deep in the manure.

  • 616. No choice is good  |  March 26, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    How about:
    -Restructure pensions/benefits for new teachers (eventually all of the older/expensive ones will go away)
    -Eliminate free busing for all but students with special needs. If you select to go to a different school you should pay for transportation (this is what goes on in suburbs)
    – Equalize everything- either foreign languages at all schools or none, sports everywhere or nowhere…equal opportunities for all
    – Put the brand new teachers in all of the SE, Gifted and Magnet schools. After they serve 2 years, send them to the south side where the neediest of students are. This way, those students who aren’t as needy can get a rotating crop of new teachers on a regular basis. They will be new and invigorated and ready to teach!
    -Tax certain service. I paid tax on a milkshake I bought, but not a dime for the shares of Apple I purchased….hmmmm….

  • 617. michele  |  March 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks, Jay and Chris. I would like to share another observation – we who post here are such a small non-representative microcosm of CPS Parents that we often lose sight that there are so many more CPS parents who are not on this blog.

    These are Parents who are not waiting for news of their selective enrollment options. Parents whom for many reasons are location bound into their local neighborhood schools. These are the families in the neighborhoods of the city that are not benefiting from the cash redistribution within top economic tiers that the article references.

    Please remember the vast majority of CPS families are not expecting that they’ll get a close by opportunity for a better school for their child– Parents are just hoping their kid won’t get bullied at school, their child will get to and from school without getting shot, their child will have a warm place to be, and in the meantime Parents want to have a teacher that their child can count on – not only to learn their lesson but to help the children have more hope and joy in their lives. The hope and joy that is built by belonging. When you remove belonging you remove part of the most crucial role schools in many parts of the city serve. If nothing else I hope all of us will take a minute to imagine what CPS is like in the neighborhoods they are choosing not to live in and understand why the data in this article should be considered.

    I have lived here a long time and the tension and segregation of resources through out the city would rival that of the 1970’s. History often repeats itself – stay tuned.

  • 618. liza  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    @606 The judge is more than likely correct that the the least effective teachers are prevalent in low income/minority schools. There is a reason that you fail to take into account. These jobs are extremely challenging because of the issues that many of these students bring to the classroom. Many new teachers will take a job at one of these schools and leave as soon as they can to take jobs in better schools. Ask the teachers at your child’s school if they want to trade places with teachers at a low performing west or south side school. Chances are they don’t and wouldn’t even if they were given a raise in pay.

    Take a look at the CPS job page for vacant positions. The last time I looked there were over 1200 openings. The majority of them are at low performing schools and many are for SPED positions. Add in the fact that schools are now paying for their positions out of their budget and you can bet they are looking for the cheapest option.

    I’m curious where you think all these outstanding teachers are going to come from to fill the positions of all these “least effective” teachers that are causing the failure of so many schools. If CPS can’t fill positions at these schools when there seems to be a glut of teachers currently looking for employment, you need to ask yourself if there is more to “failing” schools than simply less than stellar teachers.

    Failing schools are the result of not enough resources, a lack of parental support and investment necessary for student success, along with possible poor administration, and sometimes, poor teaching.

  • 619. Jay  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    If I remember correctly, in the CTU survey only 12% of teachers deemed a raise important. It is tragic that the taxpayers and teachers are being pitted against each other, when it is the politicians who put us in this mess. I’ve enjoyed the conversation on this thread and I will stop after this post because I know it is tough on the taxpayer out there, and I DO appreciate the taxpayers’ sacrifice in providing me a comfortable living (by no means wealthy). I know I’ve worked very hard to earn it. I think 80% of my colleagues have also. As a good teacher, I will reiterate my main points and let the public have the last say:

    1. Enrollment in teacher preparation programs at Universities declined 8% last year. (Teaching will soon become a bridge job, and will cease to be a profession. I taught in Louisiana. That is where the country is headed. That state just beat us there by 50 years.

    2. For all the corruption assigned to them, unions set the prevailing wage in many industries (see the chart above). Look at income levels in right-to-work states (See Texas)

    3. I signed a contract with CPS in 1992; it should be upheld. After all, the bank can take my house if I don’t pay my mortgage and my car will be repossessed if I don’t make timely payments. Are the bankers more important than me? I will let the public decide. I will tell you this: I will put my life’s work against ANY banker on Judgement Day!

    4. Teachers are not greedy. They are in the 35th percentile among all college graduates with similar education levels (Angie’s article). This is an apples to apples comparison.

    5. I believe in public education because we take all students. Charterization leads to the following:

    a. Greater segregation because the most aggressive parents get the best slots in the best charters, transportation to schools a distance a way is big issue for poor parents.

    b. It drains the limited resources from the neighborhood schools. BTW, how much is the city getting for those 50 abandoned buildings?

    c. There is a 90% 5-year attrition rate among charter school teachers (bridge job, see LA). In 20 years, I will bet you that 90% of the teachers have less than 5 years experience in your children’s/grandchildren’s classes. The public will either pay for experience or they won’t.

    d. There is no longitudinal study that cites the superiority of charters in an apples-to- apples comparison with their public school counterparts. There was one done by Stanford University that says the opposite. I only know this: I am an exponentially better in my 25th year than I was in my 5th. Experience matters in all professions.

    e. Juan Rangel of UNO, a charter operator with 17 schools, was making $30,000 more than Barbara Byrd Bennett, who oversees 600.

    f. Charters have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders (check into your unelected school board members’ finances and see which one’s hold stock , directly or indirectly, in charter operators).

    The public pays my salary; the public will have the final say. The public’s children are my clients. I care deeply for the well-being and future success of my clients. With limited resources, the public will prioritize and I will live with the consequences.

    I can assure you; teachers are way down on the list of your enemies. Please don’t vilify us.

    Thank you for your time and conversation.

    Taxpayers, the floor is yours.

  • 620. HS Mom  |  March 27, 2015 at 7:45 am

    @617 – I have lived here a long time and the tension and segregation of resources through out the city would rival that of the 1970’s. History often repeats itself – stay tuned

    This I will agree with, having lived in both the south and NS of Chicago practically all my life. One thing that has changed, however, is that people do not stay “bound” to their local schools and neighborhoods anymore, even at low income levels.

    Without the infrastructure – jobs and prosperity of the city and state as a whole and a strong “top economic tier” for support – then Chicago stops being the vibrant city that it is and yes, people will leave and are leaving.

    RE Jay’s humble synopsis – Are teachers being accused of being greedy here or anywhere? Does your 35% include the abundance of kids who cannot find employment in their major. You’ve still left open the door on how we are to pay for pensions but I never really expected an answer on this when the fact remains that even if we put all our resources into pensions (ignoring the funding that needs to go to students and business development for jobs) there still isn’t enough to cover.

  • 621. HSObsessed  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:11 am

    For those of you who didn’t see yesterday’s mayoral debate, the Chuy anti-longer-school-day video with the CPS mom wondering when her kids will have time to do laundry made a brief appearance. Chuy said during the debate that he does NOT oppose the longer school day. However, during the fact-checking part of the show after the debate, the producers played part of the video to prove that in fact, he does oppose it. Unfortunately, the clip didn’t have the part about the laundry, which would have been funnier.

  • 622. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:45 am

    @HS Mom. You are spot on regarding the mobility of people, old, middle aged (or aging gracefully as I like to believe lol) and young. A good friend of mine is going to move to a location in the city that is more accessible to the route for her commute to the burbs for work and is currently looking for homes in the neighborhood her husband grew up in. Now, she is saying if chewey wins, they will just move to the burbs even closer to work because he has no clue about business and how to grow jobs in the city and the taxes will make it so unappealing to stay in the city.

    In the debate last night it was actually scary how little chwey understands the importance of business and how all the pieces tie together to make a working city. He kept saying “I want,,,,,, I want……”. He never said “he will” or how “he will make it happen”, or how “he has a plan to do X”.

    I certainly want a money tree in my back yard, but it aint gonna happen just because I “want” it.

  • 623. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:50 am

    @HSObsessed. I got a kick out of the laundry fact check too!

    My guess on what the ctu will demand in the next contract is to shorten the day because they can’t get a raise. Yep, history repeating itself and ignoring what is best for the students. This is the slippery slope that led to no recess for 30 years. Also as posted above, “no raise if no charters” and look for a whole host of other demands.

    The ctu just keeps digging in its heels deeper and deeper to the point of no return. They are pushing such a political social agenda that they are losing sight of their membership. Bankruptcy is the only way to have a productive conversation.

  • 624. mom2  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I watched the debate, too. I kept waiting for Chewy to explain his plan (I also want everyone to get everything) and all I heard was that he will talk to people and meet with communities and ask them. When they tried to ask him what he will do after he listens to people, he never said anything. That really concerned me.

  • 625. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I saw some coverage of chewey and Karen Lewis having coffee. When asked, how will you be able to objectively negotiate with the ctu if the ties are so close. Karen Lewis answered the question! Case-in-point, Karen Lewis responded and chewey was sitting right there. If that doesn’t tell voters who will be in charge, I don’t know what will. (of course in true Karen fashion on a question she is avoiding, she did not answer and instead went on a rant about rauner.)

  • 626. michele  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:58 am

    @617 It’s nice to hear from some one who is still in the city – Thank You and your family for staying, the city I am sure is a better place for your involvement!

    Like you I have been on both sides of the city. I watched the 1968 riots and school yard fights at 47th and Knox as a child and now I live on the NS. What I don’t believe many on the board see is the illusion of school choice for families in poverty on the West and South side of the city. The CPS transportation policy by design limits access beyond 6 miles so if you live in an area where there are only poorly performing neighborhood schools and only Charters that are not performing much better and your parents can’t drive you – or your Parents can’t transport you because they work or have multiple kids – you are bound into your neighborhood. This is where the cycle of poverty begins and ends within the 1.5 to 6 miles of their home.

    I too believe economic development is key for Chicago’s future, but please don’t forget the process that set up many of the economic developments we see in the city today were set up through the process of Transformation that was put into place by the previous Mayor. Yes you can argue that Mayor Daley put into place other policies you can debate but the central city development you are seeing on the Near North and Near West side and Near South sides came from Transformative thinking and Policies that were put in place more than a decade ago by the former administration.

  • 627. michele  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:07 am

    @620 my previous post – thanks again

  • 628. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

    @ mom2

    All his talk of “listening” is concerning to me as well especially, as you pointed out, he has not plan on what to do with the input. This tells me either (1) he will listen and just do what the unions want anyway, but he can say he had a conversation, or (2) the people who yell the loudest will get their way.

    I also heard a lot of talk about audits and opening the books too and chewy had no response when the moderator said, you are not going to uncover 1 billion dollars. But we taxpayers will need to “wait” for his audit, which is really just a delay tactic to take time and put taxpayer backs against the wall so he can say, “golly gee, the only way to stay solvent is to raise property taxes.” There is a lot of data out there already, it is insulting that he has no plan.

  • 629. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:24 am

    @626 Michelle
    My kids schools have kids bused more than 6 miles. I think classical has the mileage limit, but not rgc’s. Maybe that has changed recently? I felt for the kid traveling so far.

    My kids best buddies come from some pretty rough parts of the city. One came from a charter, the other neighborhood school. It worked out for both because their Mom’s kept them on track and got them in situations where they can succeed. I am in awe of these mothers, who have guided their son’s despite individual circumstances. These are great kids who are not only smart, but solid in character and so street smart too! Given this, I can’t slam charter schools because they are cps kids and it does help many get out of the poverty cycle via education. Both my son’s friends deserve to succeed and if a charter helps, then I am all for it.

  • 630. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Here’s the article about new CTU demands.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/news-chicago/7/71/472878/new-ctu-contract-asks-smaller-classes-fewer-tests-new-charters

    “Smaller class sizes. Fewer standardized tests. And a freeze on charter schools, school closings and school turnarounds.

    The CTU also wants every school to have a school counselor and sufficient clinicians, a nurse, a truant officer, a restorative justice coordinator, a librarian, playground instructors and dedicated teachers for art, music and gym. And it wants CPS to redirect money spent on Teach for America placements ­—college graduates trained for five weeks to teach for two-year terms — to the traditional, in-depth Grow Your Own teacher program.”

    They really don’t have the slightest idea that the district is broke, do they?

  • 631. mom2  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I actually like most of what CTU wants based on the list you provided above (smaller class sizes, fewer standardized tests, art, music and gym teachers – that sounds great. Add in more special ed teachers, internet/technology improvements at every school and upgraded bathrooms and air conditioning) but find it crazy that they think they can get this right now – especially when they also want their current pay and pensions, etc. It just can’t happen.

  • 632. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    @Angie
    Where is the proposal on pension reform from CTU? Pensions are the biggest number in the budget hole.

    Or is the CTU proposing to use the pension payment to pay for the laundry (he he) list of things instead of the pensions? That would be something to consider.

    Or it may just be another diversion to keep the discussion away from the biggest reason for the mess, PENSIONS.

  • 633. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    631. mom2 | March 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I want my smaller class sizes for my kids with fewer standardized tests, etc. I don’t know how all the demands can be met but I truly believe just the two I mentioned could. But that doesn’t seem to be important to Rahmbo. Probably because his kids don’t use CPS.

    I watched the debate last night and I agree with Suntimes that Chuy stayed toe to toe with Rahmbo~he isn’t the King of Chicago http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/472663/garcia-puts-emanuel-on-heels-second-mayoral-debate

    I liked that Chuy wants stakeholders to have a voice and be inclusive. Allowing many people at the table and then making a decision. Instead of just Rahming down our throat what Rahmbo wanted. Rahmbo never wanted to meet with anyone only put out PR stunts. Funny, now he’s all over my area trying to meet with us.

  • 634. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    @631. mom2: “I actually like most of what CTU wants based on the list you provided above (smaller class sizes, fewer standardized tests, art, music and gym teachers – that sounds great.”

    Exactly, it sounds great, and it also implies that Chuy can deliver all that, which will drive the ignorant people to vote for him.

    Also, I don’t think that the teachers are satisfied with their current pay, or the raise they negotiated for the optional fourth year of the contract. I think they will demand a lot more, but will not say it out loud just yet, so they won’t spook the undecided voters.

    Then, depending on who wins the election, they will either get it outright from Chuy, or will be forced to be more reasonable by Rahm. I don’t for a minute believe that they will give up their raise in exchange for charter moratorium, or anything else on that list.

  • 635. Test Scores  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Anthony Cappetta, a teacher at the elite Lindblom Math and Science Academy High School in Englewood, hopes to achieve smaller class sizes.“It’s interesting that Emanuel sends his kids to the Lab school where the class sizes are 14 to 16 kids,” he said. “If it’s good for his children, if that type of school is good enough, it’s good enough for every person in the city of Chicago.”

    Dear Mr. Cappetta,

    According to the State Board of Education, per pupil operational spending in CPS is $13,433. Lab School Tuition is ~$30K. If you’re proposing we double CPS’s budget, then 1. I suggest you propose how to pay for it, 2. I think you’re crazy.

    Sometimes rich people like to spend their money on things the rest of us can not afford. This can be houses, cars, vacations, clothes… or it can also be things like private school.

    These are the kind of teachers we have at SEES????

  • 636. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    634. Angie | March 27, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I heard negotiations are going on right now~I wouldn’t trust Rahmbo without getting everything in writing. Rahmbo wanted the LONGEST day but wouldn’t fund it. Many kids are in study halls, don’t have ancillary subjects bc Rahmbo won’t fund the day he promised. I doubt voters are ignorant. CPS parents know EXACTLY how their child’s day at CPS has lack of things promised. They voted loud and clean on in Feb. More are now on board. CPS parents/voters aren’t ignorant Angie…they just want was promised and to have their child’s day be the best it can be.

  • 637. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    “Where is the proposal on pension reform from CTU?”

    C’mon; that’s not the Unions job–they’d be negotiating against themselves. The state constitution protects their pension, that’s their position–“you’re in charge, you figure it out”. I don’t think that’s a reasonable ask.

    Now, saying “great ideas, where’s the money coming from?” *is* completely fair.

    And when the response is “TIFs, charters, janitor contract, raise taxes” the ask becomes: “here you go, CTU–here’s the levy + the statutory max and 100% of the CPS share of the TIF money, which equals $XX Billion you tell *me* where to spend it, and we’ll just cut everything that comes after the last dollar is spent”, that seems pretty darn fair.

  • 638. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    “I heard negotiations are going on right now~I wouldn’t trust Rahmbo without getting everything in writing.”

    But you trust Chuy? WTF?? You trust *any* politician w/o getting it in writing? And even then, it’s just “circumstances changed… it was worse than I thought”.

    Chuy’s promising a laundry list of things that require substantial funding, and his funding proposal includes two things (and only two things) that are (a) completely outside his control, and (b) have a ZERO chance of happening within the next mayoral term.

    Why not ask Chuy to put it in writing?

  • 639. Jay  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Notice salary was not part of any demands. All those things will help your children. Just two questions: If low enrollment was the reason for shuttering neighborhood schools, why not just consolidate them and NOT build any charters? How much has the city gotten for those shuttered buildings?

    If I was bankrupt, I certainly wouldn’t be building a new house, would you?

  • 640. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Oh, and speaking about the debate, and the S-T report of it:

    Did Chuy actually say “Mr. Rahm”???

  • 641. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    @636. SouthSideIrish4: “Rahmbo wanted the LONGEST day but wouldn’t fund it. Many kids are in study halls, don’t have ancillary subjects bc Rahmbo won’t fund the day he promised.”

    CTU teachers had the highest pay for the shortest day and school year among the big cities. Rahm, like many others, did not consider it unreasonable to ask them to work longer. Study halls and /or hiring additional teachers to provide unneeded specials are the result of teachers’ refusal to do so.

    “I heard negotiations are going on right now”

    Yes, the negotiations are already on.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/chi-chicago-mayoral-race-garcia-ad-20150327-story.html

    “CTU has not yet submitted its expectations for future wages and benefits. Negotiations still have a considerable amount of ground to cover before a new contract is completed, a fact complicated by the timing of the city election. The union must decide next month whether to extend the current labor agreement by an additional year, which would still guarantee teachers a pay raise, or to renegotiate, said union vice president Jesse Sharkey.”

    Anyone who believes that CPS has the money to fulfill CTU demands is ignorant. Even Chuy understands that.

    From the same article:

    “As he stood at the front entrance of the John Hay Community Academy in Austin, Garcia repeated his call to expand academic and social services available to Chicago Public Schools students, but conceded his broad plans also have to balance with the reality that the district is facing a $1.1 billion budget deficit.

    “It probably won’t happen under one single budget, one Chicago Public Schools budget,” Garcia said of an education platform that includes a call to boost school nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists.”

  • 642. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    638. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Chuy isn’t negotiating with CTU~Rahmbo IS. There’s no reason for CTU to get anything in writing from Chuy ~he’s not the mayor, YET!

    Yes, he did say, “Mr. Rahm”. So what~who wouldn’t make a mistake with all the lies Rahmbo was telling and trying to make the ‘ignorant’ voters that Angie referenced believe. Rahm had 4 years, and you many people are ready for a change. He’s been in my area so often wanting to meet with people. He should have met with them 4 years ago. Rahm’s record is that he can’t be trusted and just Rahmbo’s his way through.

  • 643. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    641. Angie | March 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm
    ‘CTU teachers had the highest pay for the shortest day and school year among the big cities. Rahm, like many others, did not consider it unreasonable to ask them to work longer. Study halls and /or hiring additional teachers to provide unneeded specials are the result of teachers’ refusal to do so.’

    Angie, that’s false. When Rambo went per pupil funding on CPS~many principals didn’t have the money to provide specials that would have made a better day. Some schools did it with fundraising~but many couldn’t and Rahmbo didn’t care as long as his kids got them at his school. Yes, I know he pays for Lab, but CPS had specials taken away that they have previously had bc of Rahm. CPS parents won’t 4get that on April 7th. CPS parents know their kids day and lack of ancillaries they once had~and now the dirty, filthy schools with Rahm’s privatizing the janitors at schools. Now, CPS parents will vote on that!

  • 644. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    And just to be clear Angie~they aren’t ‘unneeded specials’. May be you don’t care if you kids have art, library, music, etc. But many CPS parent do. They also know what was cut in the last 4 years thanks to Rahmbo.

  • 645. mom2  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    “…they just want was promised and to have their child’s day be the best it can be.” Of course. Everyone wants what was promised and wants their kids day to be the best it can be. Everyone. Even people that understand finances and realize that in order to get an even better day for our kids, some sacrifices have to be made somewhere.
    People that keep saying that “Rahmbo” didn’t do this, and “Rahmbo” didn’t do that aren’t thinking clearly. Rahm did something that no one else was able to do. My kids went from a 10 minute lunch which was impossible to do when kids are young and can’t even open their juice or milk and getting out at 1:30 to having a typical school day like we had growing up with a chance to eat and a chance to take a break from studies and play a bit. No one else had the guts to stand up to the CTU. Maybe the day isn’t perfect and has issues in some places, but it is the right direction and I don’t want to go back to shoving food down and rushing through lessons.

  • 646. mom2  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Didn’t the requirement to have gym every day play some sort of roll in having to change what is offered this year? Was that a city required change or a state requirement?

  • 647. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    @639. Jay: “Notice salary was not part of any demands. ”

    Notice that Sharkey did not say that they are giving up the raise. He just wouldn’t specify how much they want.

    “Just two questions: If low enrollment was the reason for shuttering neighborhood schools, why not just consolidate them and NOT build any charters?”

    Because the main reason both shuttered and receiving schools had low enrollment was that people did not want their children to attend them. However, if people do want to attend charters, it makes sense to build more of them, just like it makes sense to build additions to overcrowded schools.

    “How much has the city gotten for those shuttered buildings?”

    They are still trying to unload them to the highest bidder, while the local NIMBYs dictate what should or should not be allowed to go there. That’s not an easy task.

  • 648. Jay  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Good for you Mom,

    Now if Rahm had just consolidated the schools and NOT spent the money on building new schools, there may have been money for that.

    I am going to research the cost of those charters and get back to you. Each charter has all those things.

  • 649. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    “why not just consolidate them and NOT build any charters?”

    Honest question (I could probably find the answer, but didn’t quickly, so….):

    Of any new charters built or being built since the closing of the 50, have any of them received *construction* money (as opposed to operations money) from *CPS*?

  • 650. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    @Chris “C’mon; that’s not the Unions job–they’d be negotiating against themselves. ”

    I was being more sarcastic than realistic on my comments 😉

    However, the union will in fact be negotiating with themselves if chewey is elected. Karen Lewis “passed the batton”, is running his campaign, giving him talking points, and answering his questions. Maybe that is why SSI4 doesn’t need anything in writing from chewey? (jk-ssi4).

    I do think bankruptcy is the only answer to resolve pension issues. I hope I am wrong, but I am sure the ctu will intentionally or inadvertently ensure bankruptcy happens.

  • 651. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    645. mom2 | March 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Our schools had 20 minutes for lunch and they did get a recess before the LONGEST day. Rahmbo did create the first CPS teacher’s strike in 25 years. That’s what many parents are thinking about. Many CPS parents who thought the longer day would be beneficial thought their kids were getting a better day, not just recess. I’ve met parents in other communities who work and it would have been easier for them to agree with a longer day, but they didn’t bc is was unfunded. Also, there are many kids that need recess, but their schools are still not going out bc of the violence. I think those kids could have benefited from some other type of class to relieve them of stress. I would have hoped Rahmbo would have seen that CPS is too large with many faceted communities to say it’s all one way. Letting schools have autonomy would have helped tremendously for some schools to utilize what was in their communities’ best interest.

    As for gym-that’s a joke~there’s waivers…some say just walking between classes can count. It’s totally made up. I know at our neighborhood school~it’s going well, but it’s just 2x a week. But some schools ~it’s just embarrassing.

  • 652. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    “Chuy isn’t negotiating with CTU~Rahmbo IS. There’s no reason for CTU to get anything in writing from Chuy ~he’s not the mayor, YET!”

    Oh, okay. That makes *perfect* sense.

    So, Chuy is to be trusted in all of his promises, because his promises don’t mean anything yet. But as soon as he’s elected (and t’s too late), then his promises *will* matter, and …what? Just trust him…why??

  • 653. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    650. Patricia | March 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    ‘I do think bankruptcy is the only answer to resolve pension issues. I hope I am wrong’

    Why do you believe that? I don’t see how that could be good for our city.

  • 654. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    “Our schools had 20 minutes for lunch and they did get a recess before the LONGEST day. ”

    Lucky you. Nice to live in the privileged 10% of Chicago, isn’t it? Most of the City would call you “rich”.

  • 655. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    652. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve seen what Rahmbo had done as has other CPS parents. He failed. I’ll give someone else who is inclusive at the table a chance. Rahmbo had his (in my opinion) and FAILED. Now he’s coming into our community trying to meet. PLEASE. I truly believed he could have been good for the city at one time. I was wrong…I won’t make that mistake again.

  • 656. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    @ssi4 “Letting schools have autonomy would have helped tremendously for some schools to utilize what was in their communities’ best interest.”

    This is EXACTLY how Chicago got the pathetic 5h45min day with no recess THAT LASTED FOR 30 YEARS. The adults had the choice and the kids got screwed.

    Rahm is a leader and got the longer day and recess back for the students of CPS. No one else had the guts or ability to do it. The fact that ctu is still whining about the longer day shows how hard this was to accomplish. Next ask from CTU will be “hire laundry folders” to give our kids a full day. LOL!

  • 657. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    654. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Before Rahmbo started all this longer day, I didn’t know what other schools had or didn’t have. I didn’t know that other schools weren’t getting lunch and a recess. I didn’t know that my school wasn’t getting somethings that northside schools were getting. I doubt anyone would call me ‘rich’.

    Rahmbo did one thing for me and that was make me aware of the other communities in Chicago. Not just my area, downtown, and the parts my friends live in~but Chicago as a whole. I’ve met people from across the City that I never would have met because of Rahmbo’s unfunded longest day. Those people will be voting on April 7th.

  • 658. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    @51. SouthSideIrish4 :” Rahmbo did create the first CPS teacher’s strike in 25 years. That’s what many parents are thinking about. ”

    Rahm forced the poor innocent teachers to go on strike? Was it at gunpoint? Did he also force them to lie about the reasons for the strike, and then to accept raises and pension pickup instead of the nurses and social workers they promised to parents in their strike flyer?

    It was a strike of choice, a strike for more money, and it’s about time CTU stopped lying about their reasons for doing it.

  • 659. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    @SSI4 “Our schools had 20 minutes for lunch and they did get a recess before the LONGEST day. ”

    If your kids also got recess in the pathetic short 5h45min day, then the school was cutting into instructional time. There were simply not enough minutes in the day to fit recess into the schedule.

  • 660. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    656. Patricia | March 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I only know what happened at my kids schools and how well autonomy worked for them. I liked my kids coming home and having time to hw, sports, art classes, not being dark. I liked they werent rushed at the end of the day.

  • 661. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    659. Patricia | March 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I can only attest to my kids school with lunch and recess. Also, now there’s so much instructional time they can test the day/weeks away. They have instructional time, but it’s just wasted. Some schools were already going 6hrs. 6.5 would have been ideal, but Rahm wanted babysitters and kids off the street. Not the best day for some kids…it worked out ok for my kids…but from parents I’ve come to know~it hasn’t and they’ll be voting on that.

  • 662. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    “I don’t see how [CPS Bankruptcy] could be good for our city.”

    Patricia isn’t saying it would be good, just that she thinks it will be necessary. I’m not sure I agree with her, and I certainly don’t disagree with you that it would likely be, on balance, a bad thing.

    But there’s the problem of 15 years of Richie Daley allowing Springfield to avoid the ‘deal’ on pension funding for CPS, and the ~$8 Billion needed to make up for that failure to force the issue. And that money ain’t appearing out of nowhere, and ain’t coming from a city income tax, or a progressive state income tax (see above, where the State isn’t giving any of the income tax to CPS pensions *already*; that’s not going to change even if there is more income tax $$–what’s much more likely to happen is TRS will get *less* from the State), soooooo, bankruptcy is potentially on the table.

  • 663. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    @ssi4 ” I liked they werent rushed at the end of the day.”

    Really? In the pathetically short 5h45min day, students were rushed all day long because there was not time to transition. Kids were rushed out the door because they didn’t have time to put their boots on, because there was simply not enough instructional time or transition time during the day. The history of the minutes being whittled away by CTU and CPS negotiations was a complete injustice to the students. I am thankful Rahm is strong enough to make good change.

    I am sure your kids can do laundry very well even with the longer day. LOL! I truly say this kidding you, not in a mean way 🙂

  • 664. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    @643. SouthSideIrish4: “Angie, that’s false. When Rambo went per pupil funding on CPS~many principals didn’t have the money to provide specials that would have made a better day.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-25/news/chi-ctu-longer-school-day-being-scaled-backat-least-for-teachers-20120724_1_school-day-president-david-vitale-teachers-union

    “Removing a major hurdle in the contentious contract talks with the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools agreed Tuesday to hire nearly 500 teachers so students can put in a longer schoolday without extending the workday for most teachers.”

    CPS did what they promised, and then had to go to per-pupil funding because the teachers priced themselves out of the jobs. This way, money follows the students, and the schools have the incentive to spent it wisely.

    “And just to be clear Angie~they aren’t ‘unneeded specials’. May be you don’t care if you kids have art, library, music, etc. But many CPS parent do. ”

    I would prefer more math and science instruction instead of the daily specials. Once or twice a week is enough.

  • 665. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    @Chris—Yes to what you say about bankruptcy 🙂

    I do think we will be at a stalemate with no money, which we already know, and the CTU will continue to push their social agenda and will be unable to unravel it to “save face.” IMO, these dynamics spell bankruptcy is the only way to get movement.

    Interestingly, it has nothing to do with Rahm being strong or tough or Rhambo. He is willing to talk pension reform and already has with other unions. It has everything to do with CTU having a political social agenda that looses sight of their membership.

    From the Trib article way above thread about bankruptcy, it allows CPS to open and keep operations going while the muck is figured out by the legal process. It takes out the students from being pawns in a strike.

  • 666. Jay  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    One of the reasons I became a teacher was retirement security. I sacrificed salary for this in 1988. I had options. I could have done something else. I made a great decision; I love my students and am very good at it. I signed a CONTRACT for my services.

    Unions did offer to cave:

    1. They backed the Cullerton plan (which would have been a sacrifice), but only made a dent in the pension crisis. (SHARED SACRIFICE)

    2. They agreed to a Two-tier system (I wouldn’t be entering teaching if I were 18 today) with a crappy pension. I wouldn’t encourage ANY of my high school students to enter the teaching profession. It will cease to be a profession, but a bridge job. 10 years ago, I told my students it was the most rewarding job in the world.

    How would you like it if after making all your house payments, the bank said, “we are taking your house.”?

    I have contributed EXPONENTIALLY more to society than any banker. Why can they take your house if you don’t pay your mortgage? Is the banker’s contract more important than mine?

    The politicians are to blame. Let’s be clear. They took pension holidays. You can vilify the teachers all you want; we aren’t the problem. We paid into the system EVERY paycheck. 9 1/4%, among the highest contribution rates in the nation. You were getting double-taxed to pay for the suburban teachers’ pensions. Rahm was right about that! Many of the suburban teachers were given the incentive to teach by not contributing at all! After all, the school districts didn’t have to contribute to pension fund; they were double-taxing CHICAGO taxpayers to do it. 75% of them. Where was your outrage then? This has been going on for decades!

    The public has to prioritize what is important. If you value the bankers more than your teachers, by all means, take away my house!

  • 667. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    “Some schools were already going 6hrs. 6.5 would have been ideal”

    Some schools were already going *6.5* hours. But it required the teachers to decide to do that, and a principal who would avoid any new teachers who weren’t with the program. That basically made it the province of the ‘rich’ schools–and Chuy would have never forced the issue to give the rest of the city the 6.5 hours, bc he’s promised that he’s not going to challenge the CTU on anything of substance.

    Oh, btw, how, exactly, is Chuy going to get CPS out of PARCC without jeopardizing federal $$? Don’t say “Obama won’t let that happen”–unless you believe that Obama will just let Common Core die–bc if he lets CPS and Illinois off the hook for a total opt-out, then Common Core is dead as anything other than an option (which makes it not very ‘common’).

  • 668. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    663. Patricia | March 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    You didn’t answer my question about pensions and bankruptcy. Are you saying that would be Rahmbo’s answer to solving pensions? This makes me now more than every want Chuy in office. Rahmbo has always said not to let a crisis go to waste…Thank you for bringing this to my attention. May be this is what Rahmbo wanted all along…the city bankrupt?

  • 669. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    @668 ssi4……..see my post @665

    We must have been furiously typing at the same time 😉

  • 670. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Also, it is not city bankrupt, just CPS.

  • 671. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    “the city bankrupt?”

    NO ONE in this thread is discussing the City filing BK except you. Everyone else discussing it is discussing just CPS–which is a separate ‘government’ with separate taxing authority, and separate debt from the City.

    Under the Bankruptcy Code, CPS absolutely could file under chapter 9 without the City filing, too.

    And even at that, I see no suggestion that it is anyone’s plan, just a suggestion that there isn’t another perceived way forward that doesn’t involve *massive* cuts to operational spending. Which mostly means “teachers being fired”, “schools being closed” and “bigger class sizes”.

    I don’t necessarily see that as the only way out, but it is an understandable view.

  • 672. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    @ssi4 “Some schools were already going 6hrs. 6.5 would have been ideal”

    NO that was NOT happening. It was STUCK IN THE MUD and going nowhere fast until Rahm got it changed. Only 13 schools had a day longer than 5h45min for 30 years. 13 out of 666. Pathetic. Then when there was an incentive, only 13 more schools did it. AND IT WAS PAINFUL to try and get it changed at any individual school. The ONLY way was to mandate a system wide change.

  • 673. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    “Only 13 schools had a day longer than 5h45min for 30 years. 13 out of 666. Pathetic.”

    But bc 5:45 was ok at the one school that SSI had experience with, it should have been good enough for everyone else…

    That the *union* (not even the teachers) controlled the school day like that was a farce.

  • 674. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    671. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks…I’m aware of that. But it makes one wonder what Rahmbo’s true plans are.

    673. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    No, I think schools should have autonomy. 5.75 hrs was ok for my school and the schools around here…it wasn’t only the teachers who wanted it but PARENTS as well. It worked well for our community. That’s where autonomy comes in. Rahmbo’s kids don’t go 7.5 or 7 hours but it’s ok for CPS kids.

    As for mandating the system wide change~Rahmbo got that through but at what cost~an UNFUNDED LONGEST day. Working out for some school kids but very hard on others. The school day is longer not better for many kids and the schools are filthy. Thanks Rahmbo. That’s what happens when you have a mayor who thinks he’s above everyone else. Not only believes it but acts on it…and thus creates a greater divide.

  • 675. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    @666. Jay: “How would you like it if after making all your house payments, the bank said, “we are taking your house.”?”

    How would you like if I promised a portion of your money to someone else without your consent, just because they bribed me with campaign contributions in exchange for that promise? And if it happened that what you pay is not enough to cover their ever-increasing demands, how would you like if I asked you to pay more, instead of negotiating a reasonable compromise with them?

  • 676. Mom2Boys  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Good article in Salon:
    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/16/rahm_emanuels_achilles_heel_6_reasons_he_may_lose_his_reelection/

  • 677. xCPS9  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    674 why are you pulling rahm’s kids into this? He pays tuition for them. If you want to pay tuition, you can probably find a school with shorter hours.

  • 678. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    “Rahmbo’s kids don’t go 7.5 or 7 hours”

    Um, *wrong*. At Lab, Middle School is 7:25 3 days a week, and 6:35 2 days, and the High School is 7:05 or longer all 5 days.

    ” LONGEST day”

    What’s longer than longest? You harp all the time on Rahm wanting 7:30, and we have 7:00.

    “schools should have autonomy”

    Ok, but only if it’s the *parents* who get to decide, not the CTU directly or indirectly.

  • 679. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    677. xCPS9 | March 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    He wants to be mayor for all the people~he should want for everyone what he wants for his kids. That’s fair. I’m not saying CPS could afford everything..but there are things Rahm could have done differently and decided against CPS kids.

    Gotta go~it’s Lent and Friday. So that means fish fry.

  • 680. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    “If you want to pay tuition, you can probably find a school with shorter hours.”

    But not at the school Rahm’s kids attend…

  • 681. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    “he should want for everyone what he wants for his kids.”

    Which is a 7 hour school day!!!

  • 682. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    678. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    ‘Ok, but only if it’s the *parents* who get to decide, not the CTU directly or indirectly.’

    AGREED!!!!!

  • 683. chicagodad  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    @675. Angie, you are exactly right. This is a subject the teachers somehow never bring up but everybody, including the teachers themselves, knows it’s true.
    Imagine there was an objective body that set wage and pension levels, and this body took into account ALL affected parties—the teachers, the current and future taxpayers, etc. This objective body would have set wage and pension levels less than what they currently are. Actual wages and pensions are higher than they should be because politicians are NOT objective, but want to be re-elected.
    This obvious conflict of interest, by the way, is why FDR, liberal in so many other ways, was against public sector unions. Not all unions, just public sector unions.
    You will never hear a teacher, or any other public sector employee, admit to this.

  • 684. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    “You will never hear a teacher, or any other public sector employee, admit to this.”

    Well, not in the current political environment, no. We have a Guv who is “out to get” unions, so one would have to have a well-enlightened absence of self-preservation to so state.

    The issue is that the contract negotiations are a form of regulatory capture–the ‘regulator’ is the school board, and the ‘regulated’ is the union (and its members), and when the Union has enough sway to affect the election of the Board (or the Board’s boss), then the ‘regulator’ is not going to properly enforce the ‘regulations’ to limit their electoral patron, the Union. And since the Union (obviously) wants to maximize its members income, and improve their working conditions as much as possible, the Board is in a ‘captured’ position.

    And that is the only part of Chuy’s promises that I don’t need to see in writing–that he’s ok with the CPS board being captured by the CTU.

  • 685. Chris  |  March 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    @682 SSI: “AGREED!!!!!”

    But that could never happen without pushing the CTU off of the 5.75, across the board, day. There are many, many stories (from the time of the longer day ‘bribes’) of some teachers who wanted the status quo leaning hard on any teachers who were even considering supporting the longer day.

    So, basically, you agree that a change had to be made–something the CTU was not publicly amenable to–but you disagree with the type/extent of change Rahm made.

    btw, I agree that 7.5 hours was *always* a bad idea, at least for primary grades. But if my only two options for everyone are 7.5 or 5.75, I lean to the longer.

  • 686. Test Scores  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Honestly if you want REAL autonomy at the community level, then move to the burbs. Because your alderman doesn’t have autonomy to change your property taxes, level of policing, or level of pay for teachers. There’s a lot of go along to get along in this city, because the different enclaves are DRAMATICALLY different from each other. Otherwise stay and accept the fact that we’re going for the greater good here.

  • 687. Jay  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    An absolute pathetic argument. Rahm’s coffers are OVERFLOWING with corporate interests’ money.

    Laughable.

    Rahm lied yesterday; I guarantee if he’s re-elected, the CTU will strike. If you have kids and have something planned in September, I’d cancel it. Prediction: Longest strike in CPS history.

    Did you negotiate when you bought your house? Well, obviously I was worth it or CPS wouldn’t have hired or kept me. You should have become a CPS teacher if it is such a great gig.

    Would have, could have, sounds like sour grapes to me.

    Bet you LOVE Rauner too. Give him a call; maybe he could de-certify the CTU for you.

    Good luck. Sounds like you are whining about the politicians you elected to me?

    You were silent for 2 decades when you were getting double-taxed and supporting the suburban teachers’ pension.

    Go Rahm! LOL

    Go Bruce!

  • 688. Jay  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Call Rahm and tell him NOT to cave to those filthy greedy teachers? If the schools are in such bad shape, why did he give us raises? It was fiscally-irresponsible. He should have been looking out for your tax dollars!

  • 689. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    @687. Jay: ” I guarantee if he’s re-elected, the CTU will strike. If you have kids and have something planned in September, I’d cancel it. Prediction: Longest strike in CPS history.”

    I have no doubt that CTU will strike. Have they already decided what lies to feed teachers to get their strike authorization? I don’t think that “Rahm is going reduce your salary to the beginner’s level!!!” is going to fool them twice. But we’ll see. The public, however, will probably buy the “strike for better schools” nonsense again. They never learn.

    “Bet you LOVE Rauner too. Give him a call; maybe he could de-certify the CTU for you.”

    I do, actually, and I hope he will. It’s not enough for CTU to be bankrupting the city, but now they want to run it, too. Somebody’s getting too big for their britches.

    ” If the schools are in such bad shape, why did he give us raises?”

    Because you extorted these raises by walking out of your jobs and holding the children hostage in your negotiations. Many states prohibit teachers from striking. Hopefully, one day Illinois will join that list.

  • 690. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    @ Jay

    I think you need a Snickers……………..

  • 691. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    @Jay—after you eat your Snickers I have an honest question……

    ” I guarantee if he’s re-elected, the CTU will strike. If you have kids and have something planned in September, I’d cancel it. Prediction: Longest strike in CPS history.”

    So much for your earlier statement to let the taxpayers decide.

    Exactly WHAT will you be striking about? Are you striking because Rahm was re-elected by a Democratic process? Are you striking because you want to raise my property taxes? Are you striking because CPS has no money? Are you striking just because you can?

  • 692. Anna  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    What am I missing here? CTU wants the following
    1. Establish lower and compulsory class size limits in all schools.

    2. Ensure that every school has: the necessary clinicians and a school counselor and nurse; a truant officer, restorative justice coordinator, librarian and playground instructors; and art, music, physical education and other teachers to create robust and effective educational programs.

    3. Restore adequate preparation time and enforce paperwork limits for teachers.

    4. Dedicate resources previously committed to Teach for America to the Grow Your Own Program instead to develop a more diverse and local teaching force directly from CPS student graduates.

    5. Engage in legal action against big banks to retrieve upwards of $1 billion for our classrooms; end contracts with these same financial institutions that refuse to renegotiate excessive fees and penalties.

    6. Return diverted revenues from the tax increment financing (TIF) program to the schools.

    7. Place a freeze on charter school expansion, school closings and turnarounds; allow for union rights for teachers at charter schools and legislative advocacy for an elected school board.

    8. Expanded pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) for parents at 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.

    9. Reduce significantly the number and duration of standardized tests; prohibit tests entirely for students in Pre-K through 2nd grade.

    10. Establish 50 sustainable community schools and strive for policies to achieve increasing integration of students and increased access to curriculum which reflects the experiences and identities of our students

    What here is unacceptable to parents?? Your arguments to me are wasted knowing you ACCEPT class sizes the way they are in CPS. Thirty five in an algebra class? 29 in a kindergarten class with no funding for music, art or language? How can you possibly blame this on the teachers? My son is in a blue ribbon suburban school. Nineteen students plus an aid in his 3rd grade class. Recess and gym every day. Music and language once a week. And guess what? The teachers also get pensions and are some of the best paid teachers in the state. My tax rate is LOWER than that of Chicago. We have not TFA, no Charters nor TIFs pulling from school finances. Our biggest problems this year was PARCC, and our principal supported all who opted out. She actually thanked us.

    There are CPS teachers who work incredible hours to make sure your children are well educated, regardless of the obstacles placed before us.

  • 693. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    @692 Anna

    Can you please outline how to pay for these 10 things? How will the pension hole be addressed? Until pensions are figured out, it really is just a wish list and distraction from talking about pension reform. Absolutely bring this list back after pensions are resolved. Not sure I agree with all, but it would certainly be worth discussing further.

  • 694. Anna  |  March 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    @693 Patricia…honestly, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but audit the system. There are countless bodies in CPS who have no business floating around. There are MILLIONS being spent on curricula to friends of network chiefs that can be spent on classrooms. I am NOT exaggerating. I came from private industry back into CPS about 10 years ago. The discrepancies between what is going on in suburbia compared to CPS is laughable. CPS kids are being cheated. NOT by teachers.

    Your children need better classrooms: smaller class sizes, experienced teachers, supplies and the arts. Example: Our school, as others in the district, was mandated to participate in an online math program this year. After finding out the info, I investigated and found this program was no better than any free program out there. Guess what, this turned out to be a program invested in by one of the Board members. Our department protested and said that this program did not support the overall goals for our students. As a matter of fact, we felt it dumbed down content and did a good “teaching to the test”. I was challenged by a CPS official, who stated I needed to follow mandates. My Masters of science degree in my specific field, as we.l as 10+ years teaching, was not enough to convince a new CPS employee, with NO teaching experience, this was not best for my kids. Patricia, as a teacher, I know what is best for my students. I have students who have attended Yale, Princeton and Brown. I have students at U of I, Boston College and one at Stanford. I have a bunch at ISU and various schools here in Illinois. Each one has been a blessing to me. I have written countless letters of recommendation. I have worked tirelessly to create lessons to challenge their young minds.

    My pension is not huge, I have less than 10 years in and don’t see making a fortune. But it is an agreement that was made by government and myself. I held up my part of the bargain. I worked hard to educate my students and paid into my plan. Why is it not expected that Chicago do the same?

  • 695. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    @694. Anna: “Example: Our school, as others in the district, was mandated to participate in an online math program this year.”

    Which program is that? And what is wrong with it?

    Just curious if it’s the same one my kids use.

  • 696. Patricia  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    @ Anna
    Just curious, are you the one who gave chewey the platform to “audit” everything before he can have a plan for anything?

    Will you uncover 1.1 billion dollars?

    You sound like an incredible teacher. Your students are lucky. My children have been lucky to have many amazing and some life changing teachers. I truly do appreciate and value the good teachers.

    There certainly is waste, not 1.1 billion worth, but certainly audit to get millions. You will have as many opinions about what is “good” and “bad” spending as you have line items in the budget. I do not doubt that you know what is best for your students, but is it best for every single student in CPS in every single school and neighborhood? That is the trade-off with system wide and individual decision making. If all teachers were as good as you sound, and there was a way to measure this (that everyone agreed with), then we would be able to do much more for students. Your union does not allow differentiation between teachers, so how can we guarantee that every student has a good teacher? There is arguably a lot of waste with teachers that can’t be fired since salaries are the largest line item it the budget. In many ways, your frustration with not being able to “make the call” is a result of the bottom performers dragging you down and forcing the system to manage to the lowest common denominator because your union protects the lowest common denominator.

    Pensions are a mess and will bring down the entire state. What is the solution? I would like for everyone to get what they were promised, but there is no money. Where does the money come from to fix the pension mess? Until pensions are fixed, every other discussion or idea is not actionable. No matter how good it may sound, until 1.1 billion is found, it is just a distraction from pension reform.

  • 697. liza  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Angie at any number: Where is my answer. I specifically asked you before and again for many years (post 618, currently), but have yet to get at answer from you. Where are these teachers that you seem to think that are waiting in the wings to take over and reform the failing schools?? You can go on to other issues, but you lose any credibility if you can’t answer the basic question, if the schools are “failing” because of poor teachers, where are all the better teachers? It’s like when one of the many principals I worked for told us to quit our whining. He asked us if we thought parents were keeping the “good” kids home. I guess I’m asking the same thing, are all the great teachers staying home or what? Things are what they are, good schools get good or the best teachers, crappy schools get what they can get. The great and good teachers at the “failing” schools get very discouraged when they are continually told that their best efforts are not enough. What happens? They get out and move to a better school. How do I know this? I worked at a bottom school for over 15 years, and then eventually just gave up because of the pressure and moved to a school which is considered very desirable. Personally, I still feel guilty about leaving my former school, but it is people like you who believe that the blame for poor school performance lies solely on the teacher, rather than looking at the larger picture that make working in a school that has students who bring a multitude of issues with them less appealing. I’m dying to know, and I’m sure CPS or any other major school district is breathlessly waiting for your response as to where are all these awesome teachers are going to come from?

  • 698. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    @697. liza: “Where are these teachers that you seem to think that are waiting in the wings to take over and reform the failing schools?? You can go on to other issues, but you lose any credibility if you can’t answer the basic question, if the schools are “failing” because of poor teachers, where are all the better teachers?”

    Liza, we will never have better teachers if we keep allowing this:

    http://catalyst-chicago.org/2014/03/boost-teacher-diversity-state-scraps-limits-basic-skills-test-taking/

    “In January 2010, the state set a five-attempt limit on the number of times teacher candidates could take each of the four portions of the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). But many candidates– especially black and Latino students – found it challenging to pass all of the exam’s components in five tries or less, especially after the state adopted higher cut-off scores in September 2010.

    Overall, less than a third of all test-takers – and less than 18 percent of black and Latinos — passed all four sections of the test last year, according to state records.

    The decision to do away with the cap on test-taking attempts stemmed out of an ISBE meeting last fall on diversifying the state’s teaching workforce, says Jason Helfer, the state’s assistant superintendent on teacher and leader effectiveness.”

    IMO, deliberately sacrificing teacher quality in order to boost diversity is criminal, especially because these “teachers” will likely end up teaching disadvantaged minority kids, and continue the cycle of failure.

    That said, let’s talk about the teachers displaced by the school closing and layoffs that Jay mentioned earlier. Were some of them rated mediocre or better? Of course. Were they used to replace the worst teachers in other schools? Of course not, because the union rules would not allow that. Are some of the new, non-tenured teachers better than those worst ones? Of course, but they cannot be used to replace them, either.

    Change the rules protecting the lowest common denominator, and the teacher quality will improve.

  • 699. Angie  |  March 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    @697. liza: “The great and good teachers at the “failing” schools get very discouraged when they are continually told that their best efforts are not enough. What happens? They get out and move to a better school.”

    Paying them better may help with that, but guess what? The union rules will not allow it, either.

    What Happens When Great Teachers Get $20,000 to Work in Low-Income Schools? Results.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/11/talent_transfer_initiative_a_new_education_experiment_finds_that_merit_pay.html

    In 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston, researchers at Mathematica identified open positions in high-poverty schools with low test scores, where kids performed at just around the 30th percentile in both reading and math. To fill some of those positions, they selected from a special group of transfer teachers, all of whom had top 20 percent track records of improving student achievement at lower poverty schools within the districts, and had applied to earn $20,000 to switch jobs. The rest of the open positions were filled through the usual processes, in which principals select candidates from a regular applicant pool.

    If a transfer teacher stayed in her new, tougher placement for two years, she’d earn the $20,000 in five installments, regardless of how well her new students performed. In public education, $20,000 is a whopping sum, far more generous than the typical merit pay bonus of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.

    In the process, a remarkable thing happened. The transfer teachers significantly outperformed control-group teachers in the elementary grades, raising student achievement by 4 to 10 percentile points—a big improvement in the world of education policy, where infinitesimal increases are often celebrated.”

  • 700. HS Mom  |  March 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    @692 – This list looks familiar except you forgot the air conditioning. Oh that’s right, Rahm did get that done so we can check that off. Same unending demands, same things we couldn’t afford. Legal action against banks is one of my favorites – that’s new.

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21647319-rahm-emanuels-challenger-promises-miracles-can-jes-s-save-chicago

    couldn’t put it better -” “SUCH a nice man,” says Lerry Knox, the boss of Unplugged Capital, a private-equity fund. He sits on the board of a charity alongside Jesús (Chuy) García, Rahm Emanuel’s challenger in the run-off for Chicago’s mayor. “He is so likeable, but he has no idea how to pay for everything,” sighs an Emanuel ally. “Sometimes I just want to shake him and say, ‘Sweetie, there is no money.’””

    “At the García campaign headquarters—a converted restaurant with a giant doormat in the shape of his moustache—stacks of flyers in English and Spanish proclaim that Mr García will hire 1,000 new police officers, abolish red-light and speed cameras, protect pension and health-care benefits, make members of the public-school board stand for election and fight for a $15 hourly wage for workers. His first three promises would cost the city several hundred million dollars. Electing the school board would make any further closures of half-empty or underperforming schools impossible. And a $15 minimum wage could put small firms out of business.”

  • 701. liza  |  March 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    @698 – 699 Those are interesting articles. I am in total agreement with you on the first one about changing the requirements for teacher certification tests. i have no problem with giving a second chance to pass, but it gets a little ridiculous to talk about fifth attempts. That’s not the caliber of teacher I want for my children. However, that is an issue that needs to be addressed by the state rather than CPS.

    The second article about the talent transfer with the $20K incentive is somewhat troubling. The first issue is where is the money coming from to give teachers that kind of bonus pay? As everyone agrees, CPS and the State are broke so it’s kind of a moot point at this time. Also, even with the incentive, there were still positions that were still vacant. Sort of like the over 1000 vacancies in CPS which are predominantly on the far South and West sides of Chicago. Again, I challenge you to ask the teachers you feel are among the top tier at your child’s school if they would be willing to switch places with teachers or apply for one of those positions with the bonus. There might be a few who would go for it, and more power to them. The reality is that these students require a much larger commitment in time and effort to bring about the kind of changes talked about in the article. It also pointed out that another necessary factor for success were the presence of a good administration team, which is very often lacking in many of these schools.
    I understand that not all teachers can be “super- teachers” and are able to put our careers before anything else, but from my own experience most of us go above and beyond for our students. Most of us have families and children of our own with all the responsibilities and commitments that go along with that. As I stated before, I taught in a “failing” school for quite a few years. With the constant threat of being closed or turned around if we did not improve our scores, the oftentimes ridiculous mandates from the Area and/or CPS, and trying to meet the needs of my students, I realized that I was shortchanging my own children and moved to a “better” school. We have resources available to us that my colleagues at my former school only dream about. If you offered me $50K I wouldn’t go back. Yes, there are some small scale successes in large urban school districts, but until all the contributing factors for a school’s poor performance are factored in and addressed, I stand by what I stated, most good teachers will move on from schools that are failing because of a wide variety of problems they face. It’s not always about money.

  • 702. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    678. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Our friends’ sons attend Lab, I know the hours~younger grades are NOT 7 hours.

    685. Chris | March 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    WRONG~CTU would have agreed with 6.5 hours. Rahmbo RAHMED 7hr UNFUNDED LONGEST day~ creating a worse day for most CPS kids and then closing 50 schools and making kids walk away from the neighborhood…CPS parents will vote on that.

    And regarding PARCC ~ The U.S. Senate passed an amendment Thursday barring the federal government from “mandating, incentivizing, or coercing states to adopt specific academic standards, including the Common Core standards.” ~Would love that to get signed into law!

  • 703. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Mom,

    50 schools were shuttered for “low enrollment,” Correct?

    http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/building_types_study/k-12/2015/1501-intrinsic-charter-school-wheeler-kearns-architects.asp

    Looks good. Note at the bottom of the site: Project Cost Withheld. Chicago has 47 of these.

    Where is the money coming from? I mean, we are in a fiscal crisis.

    If you were in a fiscal crisis, would you buy a new house?

    Why didn’t they just consolidate and renovate the receiving schools. It would have been infinitely cheaper? Maybe they could have put some of the money into educational programs.

  • 704. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Patricia,

    After the Snickers…..

    http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/building_types_study/k-12/2015/1501-intrinsic-charter-school-wheeler-kearns-architects.asp

    47 of these… How much did they cost? Surprise, surprise: Project Cost Withheld

    The reasons the CTU hates Rahm:

    1. He said, “that 25% of CPS students are throwaways.”
    2. He is trying to break our Union
    3. He is diverting TIF funds from the schools for his own projects.
    4. He is starving neighborhood schools, then magically finding money to BUILD new charters.
    5. NO transparency: “Freedom of Information” lawsuits have to be filed over and over again to try to get any financial info. Last time I looked, this was the Chicago PUBLIC schools. At my school, we couldn’t even get the school budget.
    6. Unelected school board of 1% ers who don’t listen to parents, have NO skin in the game (other than their direct and indirect investments in charter school operators) and rubber stamp ALL initiatives by King Rahm with unanimous votes.
    7. Anna is correct: MILLIONS are being wasted on useless tests: Why aren’t the PEARSON, IB, and the dozen other testing contracts publicly being disclosed?

    Prediction: If Chuy wins, the CTU will work out an AUSTERITY contract and there will not be a strike. if you don’t believe that, vote for Rahm.

    Rahm is correct about one thing: Chicagoans have been double-taxed for downstate teachers’ pensions for 30 years.

    To the public: Why are you asking a teacher from where the money will come? Ask your politicians, who took pension holidays for the last two decades. I held up my end of the contract I signed. They didn’t. Tax the wealthy; seems to be working just fine in Minnesota.

    Scott Walker’s policies in Wisconsin; not so much.

  • 705. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Angie,

    ” I do support Rauner, actually, and I hope he will decertify the union.”

    Good luck with that. I just want you to know that for the next 25 years, I’m getting paid…. No matter what Rauner does. I hope YOUR taxes skyrocket (not the rest of the public’s however). When they go up, I want you to think about me, Angie.

  • 706. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Chicagodad,

    I’ve earned every penny of my pension; I deserve it. I signed a contract for my services; I looked at the terms of the CONTRACT, decided it was acceptable and held up my end of the contract. Last time I looked, the US is a country of laws, correct? If you don’t want to pay more taxes to fulfill my contract, move out of Chicago. You have the option. Chicago is not a prison.

  • 707. Angie  |  March 28, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    @702. SouthSideIrish4 : “WRONG~CTU would have agreed with 6.5 hours. Rahmbo RAHMED 7hr UNFUNDED LONGEST day~ creating a worse day for most CPS kids and then closing 50 schools and making kids walk away from the neighborhood…CPS parents will vote on that.”

    6.5 hours day wouldn’t have added any instruction time, because the increase would have been used up by recess. That’s not good enough. Also, whoever made you the spokesperson for all CPS parents, including those who are happy with the longer school day? That’s way too presumptuous, don’t you think?

    @701. liza : “The first issue is where is the money coming from to give teachers that kind of bonus pay? As everyone agrees, CPS and the State are broke so it’s kind of a moot point at this time.”

    The money within the system can be rearranged without incurring the additional expense. Getting rid of steps and lanes and automatic yearly raises just for showing up would free up some resources for rewarding the best teachers. Union practice of universal pay scales and rewarding longevity over performance does nothing to improve education. So why not try differentiated pay and rewarding the better performers with raises and bonuses?

    “It also pointed out that another necessary factor for success were the presence of a good administration team, which is very often lacking in many of these schools.”

    Yes, the district needs to be more proactive in removing the failed administration, even if they incite protests from parents and assorted other agitators to save their jobs. We have examples of schools such as Senn and Hamilton that improved dramatically when the new principals came in, so it can be done.

  • 708. Angie  |  March 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    @704. Jay: “Prediction: If Chuy wins, the CTU will work out an AUSTERITY contract and there will not be a strike. if you don’t believe that, vote for Rahm.”

    Tell us something we don’t know. Of course Chuy will not shortchange his employers, and give you anything you ask. This petty blackmail attempt is precisely while we must vote for Rahm.

    “I’ve earned every penny of my pension; I deserve it. I signed a contract for my services; I looked at the terms of the CONTRACT, decided it was acceptable and held up my end of the contract.”

    So take it up with the politicians you bribed to get that contract, just like you’re bribing Chuy now. You deserve the money you paid into the system, plus interest, and not a penny more. Everything else is given to you courtesy of the taxpayers who work just as hard, and for much longer than union retirees. And that well is running dry.

    “If you don’t want to pay more taxes to fulfill my contract, move out of Chicago.”

    Because driving the taxpayers out worked so well for public unions of Detroit. I wonder if they regret not negotiating smaller cuts before it was too late?

    “When they go up, I want you to think about me, Angie.”

    I’ll tell the voodoo doll you said hi.

  • 709. Patricia  |  March 28, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    @jay

    You still have not answered my question. I did not ask why ctu hates rahm.

    Exactly WHAT is the ctu going to strike about? What justifies displacing 400,000 children?

  • 710. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Teachers aren’t greedy; they understand the situation. I would be fine with a frozen salary to do my part if Chuy gets elected. At least I could see how much money is really on the books, have an elected school board, stop expensive Charter proliferation and put the money back where it belongs, in the neighborhood schools which Rahmbo has been diverting to his charter operator buddies.

    However, the CTU is going to stick it to Rahm if we go on strike. Bet we can “extort” some more. He is an enemy, just like you. We may not even open up the contract until next year if Rahm gets elected. Your tax dollars are going to give me a NICE 3% raise this year. Thanks in advance. My pension is going up!!!

    Oh yeah, Detroit pensioners REALLY got screwed; what did they get.. a 4.5% cut. And Chicago AIN’T Detroit. I grew up in suburban Detroit. Night and Day difference. Oooooh I’m scared.

    So, who is going to have to take it up with the politicians? I can assure you, not me.

    No Angie, I deserve the contract I signed, with a defined contribution benefit for the rest of my life. Your opinion means nothing. You can whine and complain on this thread the rest of your life and I will be collecting your tax dollars. BTW, I am a Chicago taxpayer also.

    If it is such a good deal, why didn’t you have the foresight to become a CPS teacher? You could have reaped ALL the riches I have. LOL

  • 711. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Patricia,

    No displacement; when the strike is over, your son/daughter will get his/her 180 days of education. Oh, the parents will be inconvenienced, but the kids won’t suffer one iota.

    I can assure you; I care INFINITELY more about the students than Rahm Emanuel ever will. I am in the trenches. Four years ago, he said, “25% of CPS students are throwaways anyway.”

    He tries to hammer policies down our throats without our input. He sets up sham public hearings and just goes ahead and does what he was going to do in the first place. Then his hand-picked unelected school board rubber stamps it.

    When you go to your doctor, do you argue with her diagnosis? Well, apply that to teachers. Who knows more about what children need: a career politician, or a group of teachers?

    The public has been fed the line of crap that teachers are greedy, blood-sucking pigs; that is so far from the truth. Teachers spend extra time and money on our students. Last year, I gave a student $1500 over the course of the year because her family became homeless. This is not an anomaly; I’ve seen extraordinary acts of kindness from teachers throughout my career.

    However, blame Rahm for inconveniencing parents (childcare, etc.). If he didn’t treat teachers like Angie, maybe he could sit down at the table and hammer out a reasonable contract. Instead, he tries to bully us; like he does everybody else he deals with. I am very reasonable with people like you; however, I have NO tolerance for the Angie-types.

    Let me ask you this: After reading this thread, who do you think would have a better chance of negotiating with me: you or Angie?

    Chuy or Rahm? Chuy is not going to give away the house; no way.

    He will work WITH the teachers to best allocate the resources. Don’t you think the teachers should have a say?

  • 712. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Hey Angie,

    Detroit:

    Under the city’s plan, the pensions of police and firefighters are not being cut, but their annual 2.25 percent cost-of-living adjustment is reduced to about 1 percent.

    General workers will endure a 4.5 percent base cut in pensions and the elimination of an annual cost-of-living increase.

    ROFLMAO

    I am willing to take the risk… SSSSS

  • 713. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Angie,

    Top ten per-pupil expenditures in the 100 largest school districts:

    $19,184 NYC
    $ 15,582 DC
    $14,711 Baltimore
    $14,038 Milwaukee
    $14,020 Prince Georges, MD
    $12,801 Detroit
    $12,554 Fairfax County, VA
    $11,714 Hawaii Public Schools
    $11,596 CPS

    You are not paying enough; Detroit kids get more money and they’re bankrupt! LOL

  • 714. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Milwaukee is a big charter operator; how can they be paying more?

  • 715. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Angie stated:

    “Because the main reason both shuttered and receiving schools had low enrollment was that people did not want their children to attend them. However, if people do want to attend charters, it makes sense to build more of them, just like it makes sense to build additions to overcrowded schools.”

    Oh I see, people live in a neighborhood that they don’t want their kids to attend. So it’s OK to build Charters? So, I should sacrifice my pension because people don’t want to move into a new neighborhood. There is NO money, but “it makes sense to build Charter schools.” ROFLMAO… Blank You! Now pay my pension!

  • 716. HS Mom  |  March 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Jay – “Teachers aren’t greedy”. That’s the 3rd time you have gone on a “greedy teacher” binge. Seems like the first tactic of JC supporters is to pull the guilt trip any time someone favors Rahm….”What you hate teachers..Why are you calling teachers greedy….Why do you bash teachers?”. I guess that’s one tactic but it makes you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. Believe it or not, even though JC represents the teachers union, a large part of this city does not view CPS as the driving factor in this race. Lots of people favor Rahm for other reasons in addition to his having to make the hard choices for CPS kids.

    From the link

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21647319-rahm-emanuels-challenger-promises-miracles-can-jes-s-save-chicago?zid=309&ah=80dcf288b8561b012f603b9fd9577f0e

    “Mr Emanuel is a pragmatic centrist, closer to Bill Clinton (for whom he also worked) than to Mr Obama. He understands business, excels at attracting investors to Chicago and is so popular with plutocrats, including Republican ones, that he managed to raise $21m for his campaign in record time.”

  • 717. Angie  |  March 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    @710. Jay: So you admit that the list posted by Anna in #692 is a bunch of BS, and CTU will strike just out of spite? Thanks for clarification.

    And speaking of Detroit, how soon people forget.

    Detroit’s Emergency Manager Cuts Teacher Pay By 10 Percent, Ignoring Union Contract

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/02/285513/detroits-emergency-manager-cuts-teacher-pay-by-10-percent-ignoring-union-contract/

    “Just a year and a half ago, Detroit Public School employees accepted a $93 million wage concession. But that isn’t enough for the undemocratically appointed Emergency Manager of Detroit, Roy Roberts, who last Friday ignored teachers’ union contracts and cut wages by 10 percent across the board.
    The 10 percent reduction will translate to a wage cut of $7,300 for every teacher. The cuts will also be devastating for other DPS employees like food service workers and bus attendants, some of whom make less than $24,000 a year and will now be forced to go on public assistance to get by:
    Wielding power under a new state law to modify union contracts, Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Roy Roberts this morning imposed a 10 percent wage cut on all employees and moved the district to a less costly benefits plan.
    The move, announced by Roberts this morning at a meeting with leaders of eight unions representing nearly 10,000 employees, will save DPS $81.8 million dollars this year alone at a time when the district is struggling with a $327 million budget deficit.
    Roberts became the first emergency manager of a Michigan school district to use the power of the state’s Emergency Manager Law to modify existing collective bargaining agreements.
    All 10,000 workers in the district – union and nonunion – will see the 10 percent cut in their paychecks starting on August 23, and will begin to pay 20 percent of health care benefits costs starting September 1. Other cuts include ending payments for unused sick days and for teaching in oversized classrooms. The budget also closes 11 schools and calls for nearly 800 layoffs.”

    But that was not the end of it, and layoffs continued.

    http:// www .michigancapitolconfidential.com/20741 (remove spaces)

    “In 2014-15, Detroit Public Schools has 2,836 classroom teachers and 47,238 students, or one teacher for every 16.65 students, according to documents received in a Freedom of Information Act request that were also verified by DPS spokesman Steven Wasko.

    In 2013-14, DPS had 3,088 teachers and 49,870 students. Although the district shed 255 teachers since last school year, it also lost 2,632 students. The state average is one teacher for every 15.57 students.”

    Still think the bankruptcy will be good for the teachers?

  • 718. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Angie,

    Rahm said today, “The crisis will finally help him “get certain things” done with the schools. “Never waste a good crisis.” – Rahm

    Yes, it is out of spite. It has NOTHING to do with knowing more than Rahm what’s best for our students. Rahm is clueless. Test after test, sucking valuable class time from real learning. Falsifying data and operating with NO transparency. Destroy the public schools and charterize the entire system. Race to the bottom: See Louisiana.

    Just keep your eye on enrollment levels in educational programs at universities. Down 8% in 2014. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Commoditize teachers: Teaching will be a bridge job. A revolving door of inexperienced teachers getting out as soon as they can. Mark my words.

    Rich people PAY for private schooling right now. Charterize the system and you can add their kids to the pie. The pie for the rest of the children will shrink.

    Private charter operators have shareholders; CEO’s have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders. Public tax money will be transferred to those shareholders. See Milwaukee’s per-pupil expenditures?

    Your children… Good luck!

    No comments on all the cogent posts I posted? Of course not!

    Oooooh, I’m really worried about BK. LOL.

    Rahm said BK is off the table in the same interview today. King Rahm knows all!

    I can just see the headline: The third largest city in the US goes bankrupt. LOL. The feds will print money to avoid that. But, IF it does happen, so be it. Rahm’s crisis doesn’t worry me in the least.

    If he can build a new stadium for De Paul, he can afford the schools.

    HS Mom: Yeah, I’m trying to guilt you. Just stating facts and giving examples. Why do I need to guilt you? If you think they are, so be it.

    Vote for Rahm… I couldn’t care less.

    Charterize the entire CPS system; they won’t outperform. Experience matters in ALL professions.

    About Charter construction (I found this):

    Corporations are licking their chops to get a slice of the 3/4 trillion education pie. Public dollars going to private interests.

    The new school would be built with funds from a $98 million construction grant that state officials approved for UNO in 2009. But the union has sought to stop the proliferation of charter schools, arguing that scarce education dollars should not be diverted from existing city schools. 98 million would go a long way to shore up CPS’s educational program eh, HS MOM.

  • 719. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I am glad I’ve had the conversation with the both of you. The more you talk; the less sympathy I have for the taxpayer. See you on the picket line. When you drive by, don’t honk your horn; simply give teachers the finger. I will respond in kind.

  • 720. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Angie said:

    Still think the bankruptcy will be good for the teachers?

    When did I say bankruptcy would be good for teachers? Cut and paste please, with the post #.

    LOL

  • 721. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Poor Detroit teachers. I’m getting a 3% raise this year. You both are paying for it.

  • 722. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    He understands business, excels at attracting investors to Chicago and is so popular with plutocrats, including Republican ones, that he managed to raise $21m for his campaign in record time.”

    Yep, Mayor 1%. Bought and paid for by corporate interests.

  • 723. Jay  |  March 28, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    HS Mom wrote to Anna:

    You sound like an incredible teacher. Your students are lucky. My children have been lucky to have many amazing and some life changing teachers. I truly do appreciate and value the good teachers.

    Yeah, you value us…. as long as we don’t have any input as to the ways the schools are run. Mayor 1% knows best. Ask Anna how much input the stakeholders have had since he’s been in office.

  • 724. HS Mom  |  March 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

    @723 – You are misquoting me – please reference your quotes.

    @722 “Yep, Mayor 1%. Bought and paid for by corporate interests”

    Last I heard Rahm was mayor to the 51%. Not a bad deal when corporate interests are our same interests. Those “corporate interests” have footed the bill, provided meaningful employment and provide a whole class of excellent clients and customers for retail businesses, financial and professional services and real estate and construction. Yes, I feel that working together with large corporate employers is a much better deal than taking them to court in hopes of some sort of default judgement or settlement that in no way will cure the financial issues at stake – in fact, it could potentially exasperate them.

    But thank you Jay for your fine demonstration in this mayoral debate that it’s all about me me me. I wonder if Chuy would regard your comments as something he would want supporting his campaign.

    And – as far at the pain that you are going to inflict upon my child……not to worry, he’s out of CPS, and so will many others who can afford it if things do go down your way. So you are really only empowered to hurt those lower income families who may (or may not) be stuck in the system. Those who Chuy purports to represent. But thanks for demonstrating this dark side of the Chuy campaign prior to voting day…….I would have figured that this was going to come out after elections.

    This is going to take more than a snickers break.

  • 725. Jay  |  March 29, 2015 at 8:35 am

    “But thank you Jay for your fine demonstration in this mayoral debate that it’s all about me me me.”

    No, thank you for representing the dark side of the taxpayer!

    And – as far at the pain that you are going to inflict upon my child……not to worry, he’s out of CPS, and so will many others who can afford it if things do go down your way. So you are really only empowered to hurt those lower income families who may (or may not) be stuck in the system

    Now, we get to the crux of who you really are:

    An empty-nester who doesn’t want to pay taxes now that her children are out of school.

    To anybody reading this blog: What does it say to you about a person who DOESN”T EVEN have a kid in school who spends ALL day long posting on a CPSObsessed blog.

    Your name is even a lie: HS MOM.

    Bet you thought you’d get more responses with your fraud name.

    This video is YOU!

  • 726. Patricia  |  March 29, 2015 at 9:26 am

    @ jay
    Wow, it is sad that you are so bitter.

    You keep saying teaching will become a bridge job. That is the way almost every entry level job is these days. Kids now will shift careers and employers multiple times throughout their lifetime. Teaching experience is like camel humps….a lot with much experience and a lot with little. Not much between. Both have different wants and motivations. Your union forcing everyone into the same mold is as harmful to the teaching profession as anything else. Times have changed and teaching needs to manage the change, not try to stop it.

    Lastly, striking out of spite is so destructive to the teaching profession. Making it all about emotions and avoiding facts makes teachers appear unprofessional and even immature. Tho, that does reflect your leader.

  • 727. HS Mom  |  March 29, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Hey Jay – you got me. Just an empty-nester with nothing better to do than join a discussion on a site that I happen to enjoy about a topic that affects the whole city. I thought this was about you and your pension and how the taxpayers are going to fund it.

    @725 – “Your name is even a lie: HS MOM.”

    No, not really, just an identifier using the same name I’ve used for years here. I really don’t like to judge or call people “liars” but if there was ever a statement here that is not holding up, it’s your post #619 – “I’ve enjoyed the conversation on this thread and I will stop after this post because I know it is tough on the taxpayer out there, and I DO appreciate the taxpayers’ sacrifice in providing me a comfortable living (by no means wealthy)”

    Don’t pretend like you know me or that I represent taxpayers. I certainly don’t think that you represent all teachers.

  • 728. Jay  |  March 29, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Your kids/grandkids are going to get the education they deserve.

    Better watch it. Karma may get you. For example, your child/grandchild could get a bridge-job teacher in K-4 that has one foot in the classroom and one foot out the door. Then your child receives poor literacy instruction and gets behind. Then the Matthew Effect begins. (Look it up)

    Now it has become crystal clear: Patricia, Angie, HS Mom DO NOT have one iota of respect for teachers. All they care about is their pocketbooks. Of course, they don’t have any children actually in the schools. We all know, “You ain’t fundin’ that sh*t.”

    And yes, for 15 years I HAVE represented teachers SO I do represent teachers. They voted for me to represent them. Over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    Have any of your taxpayers voted for you? You should run for office.

    Like I said, Your children/your money. Oh that’s right, NOT your children (you don’t have any in the schools).

    You should ask Rahm to put you on his unelected school board; you’ll fit right in! LOL

  • 729. Angie  |  March 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    @728. Jay: “Of course, they don’t have any children actually in the schools. ”

    Wrong. I have two children in CPS. Most of their teachers deserve respect, some don’t. CTU, however, deserves nothing but contempt.

    “And yes, for 15 years I HAVE represented teachers SO I do represent teachers. They voted for me to represent them. Over and over and over and over and over and over again.”

    Wait, are you a union rep? That explains it.

    “Rahm said BK is off the table in the same interview today. King Rahm knows all!”

    What interview was that? Do you have a link?

  • 730. Patricia  |  March 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    @jay
    I do have kids in the system, but if it easier for you to pretend otherwise, go ahead.

    Sine u are union leadership, I think you have perfectly illisteated my point that the only way to have a productive conversation with ctu is to declare CPS bankruptcy. Sad but true.

  • 731. Concerned parent  |  March 29, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    @728 Your reputation among students and parents made me hope my child would have you at our high school. I was with your earlier posts way up-thread, although as a CPS parent and taxpayer I do share the monetary concerns. The vitriol in your recent posts is causing me to rethink that hope, because I can’t imagine how it doesn’t filter into the classroom. Saying you will fly the bird at parents from the strike line and “your kids/grandkids are going to get the education they deserve” really is beneath you as a professional educator. If your moniker and post are not accurate, you have harmed a fine teacher.

  • 732. Angie  |  March 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    The leader of a new political action committee supporting mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia was convicted in Wisconsin eight years ago for filing a false campaign finance report.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/479119/kristen-crowell-united-working-families-campaign

    “Garcia attended a rally Thursday night organized by the United Working Families Political Action Committee, whose leader is former Wisconsin political operative Kristen Crowell.

    Illinois records show Crowell formed the group’s PAC on Jan. 16 and it since has been funded entirely by Garcia’s two biggest supporters, the Service Employees International Union Healthcare local and the Chicago Teachers Union.

    According to a news release from United Working Families last week, Garcia “was present when UWF was formed over the summer, and UWF was instrumental in his run for mayor — and his victory in forcing multiple runoffs on Feb. 24.”

    United Working Families took credit for “providing resources and organization at all levels” for Garcia and 17 progressive City Council candidates in the February primary.”

  • 733. Northlander  |  March 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Ad Argumentum Cutanpastum

    1) Firing veteran employees and/or replacing them with TFA recruits helps the corporate reform agenda because it replaces the staff with more ignorant, malleable employees that can be more easily persuaded to accept changes in the status quo.

    2) School funding shortfalls are excellent opportunities to enact changes that would not be considered when things are going smoothly.

    3) There’s nothing wrong with creating a funding crisis if you can get away with it.

    4) New employees don’t expect to be treated as well as veteran employees and thus can be more easily manipulated.

    5) At the end of the day, this is all cover for pushing through the corporate education reform agenda.

    https://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/raiders-of-your-lost-pension/

    You go Jay!

  • 734. Patricia  |  March 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Re: Longer day
    So much misinformation and chewey has no clue about the longer day and just spews what Karen Lewis feeds him. He will blindly shorten the day like the union muppet he has become.

    First, it really is NOT a longer day, it is a NORMAL day. The 5h45min is beyond pathetically short and NO ONE was able to get it extended except Rahm. Thank you Rahm!

    Second, 45 minutes of the new normal day is SIMPLY MOVING THE TEACHER LUNCH BACK TO THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY INSTEAD OF THE END OF THE DAY. So that brings it to 6h30min. Yes, it is a scheduling issue, but the good principals can AND HAVE figured it out.

    Third, the additional 30 minutes. Some integrate intervention to focus on where students need help or focus on acceleration. Or some have added specials and redesigned their day. Others (one of my kids schools) uses it as a Montessori type study time where students actively take part in directing their interests—which is pretty cool. Some probably do use just a study hall, which can be argued good or bad. Heck maybe the parents (who probably don’t vaccinate their children either) can push for laundry classes at their local school lol!

    So SSI4, you are clear in your position on what you call the longest day, but when you break it down, it is not the end-of-the-world scenario you portray. In fact, in most CPS schools it is working just fine.

    I have absolutely NO RESPECT for chewey in his quest to shorten the school day. That alone is a deal killer for me as a voter AND as a parent in CPS.

  • 735. Patricia  |  March 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    @711 Jay “When you go to your doctor, do you argue with her diagnosis? ”

    Hell yes I ask questions, make sure I understand the facts, alternatives and exactly what is being proposed as a treatment. I also make sure the doctors my family goes to are highly qualified and I will get a second opinion if it seems necessary. I do not argue, but I am an engaged participant in my family’s health.

    One thing you have made clear in your posts is that you expect everyone else to fix the pension problem and will strike for however long you want to avoid being part of the solution—–which really translates to you are part of the problem. Which ultimately means CPS bankruptcy is necessary.

    Why would anyone vote for chewy and give the fate of taxpayers, chicago and illinois to the ctu?

  • 736. Patricia  |  March 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    @731 concerned parent. What HS?

  • 737. Another parent  |  March 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Whitney Young

    http://www.coreteachers.org/jay-rehak-ctpf-teacher-trustee-candidate/

    As one of the six Teacher Trustees of the twelve person Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF), I will work to ensure that the security and sanctity of the assets of the fund (currently approximately 8 Billion dollars) is carefully safeguarded. I recognize that as a Teacher Trustee, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my fellow teachers, to protect their pension money not only for them, but also for their families. This is especially important in these uncertain economic times.

    Specifically, my role as Teacher Trustee is as an independent and unbiased monitor of the (approximate) 70 professional fund managers who currently invest our collective assets. Through honest review of the financial performance of these professional money people, I will endeavor to ensure that the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund maximizes returns on its investments. With the other Trustees, I will work to ensure our professional fund managers are diverse not only in the investment strategies they employ, but also within their own composition.

  • 738. Northlander  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Due diligence is key…and Jay knows the numbers. As a CPS teacher;father of a Jones Freshmen, husband, Chicago taxpayer and resident…I voted for Jay and will continue to do so because he has by families best interests at heart. I’ve been teaching for 18 years after 11 years as an investment banker and I’m more expensive than most with two masters a principals endorsement and a Series 7. I never had a 17 million dollar payday spoon fed to me as an investment consultant though. A golden Rolodex is key as Rahm will attest as he’s still brokering backroom deals.

    Some peoples intrinsic motivations change over time and altruism becomes more important than chasing huge bonuses. Nevertheless, Rahm’s footprints as a power broker are all over my chosen career and affecting my livelihood as a classroom teacher.

    I just want what was promised to me when I agreed to become a teacher at a Title 1 school in 1997.

    Cheers Jay!

  • 739. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    707. Angie | March 28, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    The LONGEST day still didn’t add instruction time, just study hall.

    734. Patricia | March 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    It’s NOT the normal day, when most schools are going 6.5 hrs. 7 hrs is waaaaay too long for little ones. It’s not working out for A LOT of CPS schools. It may be working out for yours, but maybe bc we have a divided City where not everything is equal. And PLEASE don’t put this on the principal, he’s doing everything he can.

    While it might not be the end of the world, but it’s not the school world I want my kids in or that they needed to be in if we went with a 6.5 day. But when you don’t have stakeholders at the table, no one cares when their kids aren’t attending.

    Rahm said yesterday in an interview that bankruptcy for CPS is off the table. But how can I believe him? I think you know he wants to file it or you wouldn’t be agreeing with it. So that’s a deal breaker for me and MANY of the CPS parents I know across the city.

  • 740. HS Mom  |  March 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Northlander – Interesting testimonial. If you think calling a strike right now is fine politically then by all means point the finger but let’s not work out a resolution.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/richard-ravitch-new-york-lessons-for-chicagos-fiscal-blues-1427663096

    “As a result, the shortsighted strategy of using borrowed money or the proceeds from the sale of public assets to balance operating budgets has grown at a rapid rate. But such unwise and unsustainable practices are insufficient to avoid bankruptcy in some cases, and cuts to education and infrastructure in others. Above all, they jeopardize the sanctity of public commitments.”

    “Mr. Emanuel faces an April 7 runoff election against Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. The mayor has laid out a clear program for restoring the city’s fiscal health, while his opponent so far has not. Chicago voters would do well to demand answers from Mr. Garcia, who hasn’t said how he intends to turn cloth into gold. Otherwise the choice appears to be a simple one, between a responsible future or one when even bigger, more ruinous bills finally come due”

  • 741. Northlander  |  March 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Chuy’s plan:

    1.) Dip into the massive police overtime costs to fund the new cops he wants to hire, piecemeal.
    2.) Push for a federal financial transaction tax, so that money can help pay the pension costs.
    3.) Push Springfield for a progressive income tax. .
    4.) Stop expanding charter schools, especially since it creates additional expenditures the city cannot afford.
    5.) Appoint a position specifically to bring manufacturing jobs back into the city, which includes a $100 million dollar investment in tech development.
    6.) Move the Lucas Museum to the South or West side, to economically boost the surrounding area.
    7.) Do both financial AND performance audits to see where the city’s money is going, and where it’s being wasted.
    8.) Make sure all the TIF money being sent to TIF districts falls within guidelines. Last year alone, $400 million was diverted to TIF districts.
    9.) Analyze which sister agencies are capable of taking care of services to save the city government money. The CHA alone is sitting on $300 million in reserve funds.

  • 742. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Thanks for that list

    Without a discussion of whether people agree or not…..one of the points made earlier here and within this and other articles is that I count 6 items of 9 that require analysis, going before Springfield, committees and now talk of federal law changes – all with questionable or unknown results. As Jay suggests, he’s going to get his either way so whats the immediate solution?

    From the article again

    “But since Rahm Emanuel’s election as mayor in 2011, the city’s seemingly insoluble and growing structural deficit has finally been taken on directly. He sought legislation that slows the growth of pension obligations and has pursued employee contributions as well.”

    “In New York City in 1975, banks, unions and politicians came together to make extraordinary concessions that would avoid just such a lamentable outcome. Mayor Emanuel is trying to adjust obligations through the same process that we used 40 years ago in New York: Negotiations as a result of which politicians raised taxes, union leaders agreed to wage freezes and layoffs, and bankers agreed to defer interest payments and modify debt obligations.”

    With the union delegates calling for strikes up front, what hope do we have and why should we trust Chuy to protect the citizens interest. And we should take him at face value when he says that he’s going to bring manufacturing jobs to Chicago? Where, pray tell, are these factories going?

  • 743. Patricia  |  March 30, 2015 at 7:35 am

    @ssi4

    “…..when most schools are going 6.5 hrs.”

    This is just flat out not true.

    “But when you don’t have stakeholders at the table, no one cares when their kids aren’t attending.”

    Again, this is simply not true. Karen Lewis refused to participate. There were stakeholders from across the city and the kids were at the top of everyone’s mind. Teachers were also engaged.

    “I think you know he wants to file it or you wouldn’t be agreeing with it.”

    LMAO! What?!?!?!?! How on earth would I know what Rahm wants? Maybe he reads CPSO blog? LOL! I PERSONALLY still believe the only way CTU will have a conversation is via bankruptcy. Jay, who is part of union leadership, proved my point in his rants. I assess human dynamics as part of my profession and it is just how I PERSONALLY see it. Plus, I like the fact that in the Tribune article, it removes the kids from being pawns of the ctu.

  • 744. Test Scores  |  March 30, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Taking these in order: Chuy’s plan:
    1.) Dip into the massive police overtime costs to fund the new cops he wants to hire, piecemeal.
    – Good idea, but we are waiting for pension resolution before increasing the numbers on the rolls.

    2.) Push for a federal financial transaction tax, so that money can help pay the pension costs.
    – Push for a new Federal tax that pays for state and municipal liabilities… Good luck in Washington. Might as well tell me “we’re going to hope and pray”.

    3.) Push Springfield for a progressive income tax.
    – This contradicts my self interest, but based on the data I’ve seen is defensibly sound public policy relative to our current tax rate (in moderation). Still relies on Springfield.

    4.) Stop expanding charter schools, especially since it creates additional expenditures the city cannot afford.
    – #1 contentious issue of the whole election, are charters good or bad… arguments on both sides, bias on both sides too.

    5.) Appoint a position specifically to bring manufacturing jobs back into the city, which includes a $100 million dollar investment in tech development.
    – Skeptic. We already have the PMDs (planned manufacturing districts). Say what you want about Rahm, but you can’t touch his record on corporations moving downtown.

    6.) Move the Lucas Museum to the South or West side, to economically boost the surrounding area.
    – I’m sure Mr. Lucas will love that idea!

    7.) Do both financial AND performance audits to see where the city’s money is going, and where it’s being wasted.
    – Political boilerplate. FINALLY someone who will get the “waste” out of government!

    8.) Make sure all the TIF money being sent to TIF districts falls within guidelines. Last year alone, $400 million was diverted to TIF districts.
    – You’re basically accusing Rahm of violating the law here. I’ll save you the time, you might not like what it’s spent on but it’s within “guidelines” whatever those are.

    9.) Analyze which sister agencies are capable of taking care of services to save the city government money. The CHA alone is sitting on $300 million in reserve funds.
    – CHA has been under the radar for years, but this is a sleeping giant of a contentious issue also.

  • 745. Patricia  |  March 30, 2015 at 9:04 am

    @HS Mom “With the union delegates calling for strikes up front, …..”

    Exactly. This is why I keep saying bankruptcy is the only way CTU will have a conversation. I has nothing to do with Rahm and everything to do with how the CTU is posturing itself. CTU is pushing a political social agenda and is going to do whatever they need to protect their pensions without any concessions—-even trying to take over city hall via chewey proxy. They are digging themselves in so deep that the leadership will not be able to “save face” which is important to them because they need to be re-elected.

    Rahm has already proven he can and will effectively talk with unions to reach a fair compromise. In all honesty, if CTU was willing to have a conversation and willing to talk reform, Rahm is the guy they should want since Rahm can actually get things done in Springfield. Chewy has zero pull in springfield and even less of an ability to make a tough decision, but he will be the muppet for the ctu to get whatever they want to protect their pensions in full, even though it will take down the whole city.

    I wonder if Jay will be on chewies day after the election contemplation committee?

  • 746. Patricia  |  March 30, 2015 at 9:09 am

    @ssi4
    I just don’t get your passionate pleas against an additional 30 minutes for younger kids. Really? That is bringing down the school system? 6.5 vs. 7 hours? Is is torture for kids to stack blocks or color in the lines or sing the ABCs for 30 more minutes each day?

  • 747. mom2  |  March 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Just wanted to mention that I am a CPS parent and have been for many years. I’m for Rahm and I still love most teachers. You really can have both opinions at the same time.

    My opportunity for a pension was changed to a 401K after I started at my company. My health care benefits were reduced and I have to pay more into the system now. I don’t get pay raises when my company isn’t doing well (and even sometimes when it is). It’s life. Our city is broke and we need everyone to give a little so we don’t end up like Detroit. I don’t want to move and I don’t want to see rich people move out either. We need them.

    I I don’t care one way or the other about this extra 30 minutes that seem to make some people crazy. It’s 30 minutes. I did care a great deal about the shortest day and the shortest lunch and the shortest recess and I’m glad that has changed at my kid’s school.

    I assume if Rahm wins there will be a CPS strike but I wouldn’t risk Chicago’s future just to avoid a strike. That’s crazy.

  • 748. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:28 am

    746. Patricia | March 30, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Well then why not have 7.5 or 8 if you don’t care about the extra 30minutes? IL average is 6.5hr day..that could have easily happened in CPS. It could have been a funded day/better day. Instead where your school was given more, others weren’t. And yes, that 30minutes makes a huge difference to me.

  • 749. Patricia  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:54 am

    @ssi4
    No way 6.5 was “easy”. It took Rahm to do anything with the longer day, just ask Daley who tried to add just 15 minutes and was shut down. Or ask parents who tried for years to get recess and were shut down. Or ask the many community organizations who have pushed for recess for decades and were shut down. My kids schools were not given any more than others. CPS hired 500 more teachers as noted up thread. Most cps schools have figured it out and it is going just fine.

    I think we just need to agree to disagree on the normal school day.

  • 750. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 30, 2015 at 11:48 am

    749. Patricia | March 30, 2015 at 10:54 am

    That’s simply not true. If Rahmbo got the 7hr day, he could have easily had the IL average of 6.5hr. Many CPS schools are not doing ‘just fine’. May be bc we have a divided City~ your schools are doing ‘just fine.’ I don’t know.

    I do know that since the longer day/year~there have been more absences across the city in CPS. Parents allow for mental health day, long weekends, more vaca time during the year, kids will leave for camps before the school year ends.

    But I will agree to disagree on the UNFUNDED LONGEST day.

  • 751. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Is Jay trying to hurt Chuy with his posts?

  • 752. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    SSI: “Our friends’ sons attend Lab, I know the hours~younger grades are NOT 7 hours”

    You said, in the context of the length of the school day that Rahm should give CPS what his kids get. At least one of his kids is in HS, and the other is at least in Middle School, both of which have *longer* than 7 hour days.

    Why not just own the (fairly minor) error?

  • 753. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    “6.5hr day..[] could have been a funded day”

    No, it wouldn’t have been a “funded” day, as CTU was asking for a %age raise based on the “increase” in the %age of time the teachers at the 5.75 schools needed to be at the building.

    It may have been “funded” in your squishy undefined meaning of ‘funded’, but not in what the CTU asked for as “funded”–the Union leadership would have still been screaming about the ‘unfunded day’.

  • 754. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    “6.) Move the Lucas Museum to the South or West side, to economically boost the surrounding area.
    – I’m sure Mr. Lucas will love that idea!”

    South or West side of Oakland, maybe.

    I don’t have much concern one way or the other about the Lucas Museum, but it has zero chance of staying in Chicago if the site is moved west of the Ryan/Kennedy. *MAYBE* the Michael Reese site, but that’s about as far from the lakefront/loop as would keep it here.

    I think that the South Works site would be great, but notsosure that George and Mellody would agree, and pretty sure that the City would like to keep it completely open (for better or worse) until there’s a complete plan.

  • 755. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    “Jay “When you go to your doctor, do you argue with her diagnosis? ”
    Hell yes I ask questions, make sure I understand the facts, alternatives and exactly what is being proposed as a treatment.”

    Heh. Recently heard about a former colleague who *only* got a proper set of tests after arguing with several doctors, who were barking up the wrong tree, and pretty darn sure they were right.

    Do most teachers know better than most parents what most kids need, educationally speaking? Sure, but that still ain’t anything close to *all* teachers, *all* kids and *all* parents. And as gets mentioned often around here, most parents aren’t CPSO readers, much less commenters, so a “trust us, we know better than *you*” posted here is going to justifiably get a darn strong reaction.

  • 756. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    694. Anna, it’s things like that allow lying panderers like Chuy to get lemmings to support him.

  • 757. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    What is this silly talk about CHA and its $300Million? Now the CTU wants to raid CHA to pay for its pensions?

  • 758. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Anna: “My tax rate is LOWER than that of Chicago”

    Oak Brook, or Lake Forest? Or are you over in Indiana?

    Chicago’s effective property tax rate on residential is about 1.7%. Some people pay a higher rate, some people (even ignoring senior freeze) pay lower rate.

    Note also that the for commercial and industrial properties, the effective rate is basically twice that–about 3.5%.

    If in 2014 you paid much more than 1.7% of what you think your house would sell for today, then you *really* should appeal your assessment this year on the reassessment (even if it means getting one of the tax appeal firms to do it), unless the proposed new assessment is much, much less than your old assessment.

  • 759. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    753. Chris | March 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    You may want to look at Lab’s schedule http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/data/files/gallery/ContentGallery/AllSchoolsDailyScheduleFinal11.pdf The younger grades have a shorter day…the way it should be.

    The day could have been funded but RAHMBO pushed for 7 hrs. Rahm was against the 6.5hrs. I won’t argue that bc I know it’s true.

  • 760. SouthSideIrish4  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    And I’m sure Rahm’s kids aren’t stuck in study hall like CPS kids…just to get the 7 hr day. They have enriched ancillary classes.

  • 761. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    “What is this silly talk about CHA and its $300Million?”

    The idea is to take CHA’s surplus and use it to pay for [something] that frees up cash to spend on CPS.

    Not that the intergovernmental accounts work that way, but … why not? It’s *more* practical/workable/likely than suggestions of a graduated/progressive income tax, or a city income tax at any point in the next 4 years.

    Another one that tickles me:

    Chuy now says that the 1,000 new cops will be hired over the next 4 years. And the way he keep phrases his statements (it’s been “1,000 new cops on the streets”, which is exactly what Rahm sez he did with getting sworn officers out from behind desks) gives him wiggle room on the fact that *whoever* is mayor, there will be over 1,000 “new cops” over the next 4 years–there are more than 250 retirements every year, so over 4 years, there are 1,000 new cops, and if you get 1,000 “more” out from desk duty (preferably by re-assigning their duties to non-sworn employees of CPD, like in most other big cities, which would come with a regular city pension, rather than a cop pension), then both prongs of Chuy’s ‘promise’ are ‘provably true’, while not comporting with a plain-meaning understanding of the ‘promise’.

    Of course, there is *no doubt* in my mind that CPD needs meaningful reforms, and smart application of reforms should be able to get more cops in the streets, while maintaining the ‘paperwork’ side of policing, at less than the cost of adding 1,000 cops (and the cost of their cop pensions) to the current headcount.

  • 762. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    My kids don’t have study hall.

  • 763. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    CHA’s money is for housing, not schooling. Chuy is a moron.

  • 764. Angie  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    @762. Peter : “My kids don’t have study hall.”

    Neither do mine, at two different schools.

    @760. SouthSideIrish4 : “And I’m sure Rahm’s kids aren’t stuck in study hall like CPS kids…just to get the 7 hr day.”

    So pay the Lab School tuition, and your kids won’t have study hall either. Or do you expect to get their $30K per year education for free? What is with this seething jealousy of Rahm’s kids?

  • 765. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    “The younger grades have a shorter day”

    Sure, in an ideal world, the K-4 kids would have a somewhat shorter day. Like what Winnetka does, with K-4 at 6:30-ish, and 5-8 at 7-ish. That said, I will note that Kenilworth–with total freedom to schedule a day however they want–have a 6:55 day for K-8.

    Anyway, the impracticality for CPS to have two different schedules in elementaries is a serious barrier. Especially those schools that have a lot of busing. And if the only choices are everyone at 6:30, or everyone at 7:00, I lean to 7:00.

    Unless someone can guarantee that my kids would fold the laundry if they only had a 6:30 school day.

  • 766. Chris  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    “My kids don’t have study hall.”

    Yeah, no study hall here, either.

    What elementary schools have study hall for K-4? Or even for 5-8?

    If we’re talking about HS…

    YES, the refusal to give the SEHS the waiver to have the one shorter day a week was (and continues to be) dumb. It’s a misguided, short-sighted, hobgoblin of consistent application of the rules. But any decision to give those kids ‘study hall’ is on the administration of the school and/or was designed to make some parents irate about the ‘wasted’ time (it’s only wasted if the kids waste it).

  • 767. Angie  |  March 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Editorial: CTU’s contract demands just a political manifesto

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/7/71/475972/editorial-3

    “The real problem is this: The CTU is doing a disservice to its members, the public and to its bargaining partner, CPS, by raising expectations that these issues can be resolved at the bargaining table. This is a setup to make CPS look miserly and unreasonable. It’s also a set up for disappointment for CTU members.

    And nowhere do these “demands” acknowledge the huge financial challenges facing the school system — challenges that get in the way of hiring librarians, lowering class size and expanding pre-school. CPS, which is projecting a $1.1 billion deficit next year and massive and growing pension bills, is out of tricks to pay for the school system it currently has. And that’s before any new expenses are added.

    CTU calls them contract demands. We can them something else entirely.”

  • 768. Peter  |  March 30, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Chuy really believes that Congress is going to pass some financial transactions tax and help Chicago shore up CTU? That is absolutely stupid.

  • 769. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    @766 Chris – the SEHS’s that have the block schedule do have one shortened day – or at least they used to before the new PE requirement. Difficult for me to remember things from the old folks home while I worry about my grandkids education. Maybe study hall is a Whitney Young thing??.

    If Chuy is pulling a “hocus pocus” on the police numbers he’s only hurting himself because no one believes it will actually happen. But, hey with the proposed Lucas Museum location there may be a need.

  • 770. taxpaying teacher  |  March 30, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    This is obviously a very contentious topic. We all want what protects our own interests best which is very understandable. What I find troubling about some comments is the inability of some to even consider and/or acknowledge each other’s different perspectives. As a teacher and a taxpayer I can appreciate the different points of views. I live in an area of the city which is made up of people who work for the city in some capacity. My block consists of police officers, firemen, and city employees for the most part. We are not wealthy by any means, but for the most part we are able to live a decent life. Most of the families have at least one kid in college. We are also getting to where we are looking at our future as retirees. It bothers me when people talk so cavalierly of pulling the rug out from under us in terms of reducing pensions. I understand that the deals that were made by the city and CPS were not well thought out and fiscally unsound. It has created a terrible situation, but these deals were made and they need to be honored. Where was your outrage at the time that they were offering these contracts? As an older teacher, I have seen many contracts that probably shouldn’t have been agreed upon by either side. When things are going well in the financial markets, it’s easy to pretend that things will stay that way and we will all continue to ride the wave. I don’t like the idea of my property taxes or any other taxes for that matter increase, but I understand that in order for the city to meet its contractual obligations, it is necessary. Do I think pensions need to be reformed as we move forward? Absolutely, but reducing current and retired employees pensions is something that I don’t think is right. I believe that the idea of compromise must be embraced by everybody so that we can move forward and create a system that is fair for both the employees and taxpayers.
    I am not really impressed with either candidate. I didn’t vote for Emmanuel when he ran the first time and will not vote for him in this election. I truly believe that he does not represent my family and our needs. Will Garcia do any better? I don’t know, but I’ll take that chance as will most of my neighbors.

  • 771. HS Mom  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    @770 – Thanks for posting. I certainly understand what you’re talking about. There are a lot of us in that same position except we don’t have pensions.

    Just to comment on a couple things

    ” When things are going well in the financial markets, it’s easy to pretend that things will stay that way and we will all continue to ride the wave.”

    Totally agree here. Who would have guessed. Despite recovery, city finances have still not rebounded and are in decline. It’s a huge gap that we are being forced to address without enough gain in personal wealth.

    “It bothers me when people talk so cavalierly of pulling the rug out from under us in terms of reducing pensions”

    Discussing money matters is a very emotional topic and the tone has run in both directions. I happen to agree with Rahm that give and take negotiation is the only workable way. I also think that because it’s necessary, some kind of work out is fair. I can’t imagine that there isn’t one other single solution out there other than all or nothing. Maybe you’ll consider sharing your rug.

  • 772. Chicago Dad  |  March 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    This election is about many issues, not just the pensions. One major requirement of the job of mayor is to bring new businesses and their employees and their tax dollars into the city. This expands the total tax revenue which will help with the pensions without cutting too much elsewhere.
    Rahm has an excellent track record of doing this and Chuy has absolutely no record at all, and it just doesn’t seem to be a priority for him, probably because it isn’t a priority of his boss, Karen Lewis. This is incredibly short sighted—-even the teachers should be able to see this and wonder exactly what Chuy’s plan us to grow the city. Because if the city doesn’t grow, they’ll never get their pensions.

  • 773. Teacher4321  |  March 31, 2015 at 5:53 am

    “@770 – Thanks for posting. I certainly understand what you’re talking about. There are a lot of us in that same position except we don’t have pensions.”

    @771, but you most likely have Social Security, which we do not have.

  • 774. HS Mom  |  March 31, 2015 at 7:13 am

    @773 – There is a huge difference between social security and a pension. I was certainly not even suggesting that teachers pensions be reduced to social security levels because people can’t live on it. So for those who do not have a pension you’re right there’s social security plus any kind of savings (savings, whether it’s IRA or anything else is available to all).

  • 775. Patricia  |  March 31, 2015 at 7:39 am

    @770 Nice post. I do agree that everyone has different perspectives and interests at heart. It sounds like your proposal to pay for your pension in full is to raise property and other taxes. Is this correct? I just want to make sure I understand your viewpoint.

    ” …., but reducing current and retired employees pensions is something that I don’t think is right. I believe that the idea of compromise must be embraced by everybody so that we can move forward and create a system that is fair for both the employees and taxpayers.”

    Your points here seem to contradict. You believe you should be made whole, yet you say everybody needs to compromise? I may be misreading your intent, not sure. I just want to make sure I understand as online, it is difficult to convey in posts.

    I do not think people advocate for completely pulling the rug out, at least I do not. However, I do believe that there needs to be compromise from many or any one group will be overburdened—-to the point of moving and reducing the tax base. This just creates a downward spiral and the city as a whole suffers.

    Would you be willing to pay a bit more for healthcare in retirement? What about those with 5 or more years left to retirement have to work to 67 to start getting payments? I am sure there are a host of other things that would not pull out the rug from anyone. I remember there were all kinds of options 25ish years ago when the private sector essentially eliminated pensions and moved to 401k.

    @773
    True about social security. However, anyone who relies on social security for retirement is foolish. It is also less than teacher pensions as noted up thread. Social security (if it is still solvent when I retire) will not be enough to have a decent retirement.

  • 776. Patricia  |  March 31, 2015 at 9:08 am

    @chicagodad “This is incredibly short sighted—-even the teachers should be able to see this and wonder exactly what Chuy’s plan us to grow the city. Because if the city doesn’t grow, they’ll never get their pensions.”

    Thank you for the reminder about business growth and agree that chewy has no clue about business development. Very good point that it is not a priority of his either. I didn’t make that connection and it is really a scary thought!

    I can’t imagine that police and firefighters are for chewy. He will be De Balsio on steroids with his son’s history and all the interests he is beholden to. Plus he is now playing with the 1000 cop numbers and taking away overtime pay. Also, Karen Lewis is going to drive the point that police and fire should not be able to retire after just 20 years. Rahm is the best bet for cops and firefighters.

    If teachers want to get a workable solution, Rahm is the guy to do it. He has proven that he is willing to talk pension reform that is fair, he is masterful at attracting business to Chicago, and he is powerful in Springfield. Chewy just does not have the skills or capacity to drive any meaningful change and will bring down the city to maintain status-quo. I hope it is clear to everyone that pension status-quo is the downfall of Chicago.

  • 777. Jay  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Angie must be in Rahm’s inner circle. She keeps claiming that CPS has this 1.1 billion deficit…

    How does Angie know?

    There have been multiple “freedom of information” lawsuits against CPS to open the financial books and Rahmbo ignores them. What is Rahm hiding? Maybe Angie can tell us?

    Oh, We should just trust Rahm.. LOL

  • 778. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

    ” Where was your outrage at the time that they were offering these contracts?”

    The problem was kicked into gear in 1995. when Daley wussed out on forcing Springfield to fund the CPS pension as they had promised when the funding formula was revised. And then he took a pension holiday on the City pensions, too, and set this whole catastrophe in motion.

    Where was our outrage? I think most of us were typical Gen X 20-somethings not very focused on the policy implications of Daley’s machinations to keep getting re-elected, *and* get all his projects done.

    Where was the outrage among the (alleged) professionals running the CTU and the CTPF? Why were *they* so unwilling to take a stand and demand that the contributions be made by the State and the CIty? They were unwilling to be demonized as “demanding” a tax increase–because, make no mistake, that is what would have been necessary, and that is what Daley and the Springfield crew would have done–said that the ‘greedy teachers want to raise your taxes’.

    The only “way” to fix this without a lot of pain now is to have a time machine and go back to ’95 and fix it with a little pain then and over the last 20 years. 20 years of kicking the can has the can up against a wall and everyone is still trying to kick the can, but smashing their feet on the wall.

  • 779. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:09 am

    “We should just trust Rahm.. LOL”

    We should just trust Chuy.. LOL

    works just the same there, jay.

  • 780. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Patricia: “However, anyone who relies on social security for retirement is foolish.”

    Or, ya know, working class. Something close to half the working-aged, working households in the country don’t make enough to save for retirement. And there are a bunch more who don’t make enough to save in a meaningful way ($100k in an IRA is peanuts as an annuity/safe withdrawal).

    And since Chuy is clear that he wants to protect the working class, all of his funding proposals will be ‘soak the rich’, and most of the bona fide rich people in Chicago can either (a) simply move, or (b) massage their incomes, to avoid much of whatever city-based tax scheme gets used. So, there will be a tier of “rich” people who really get soaked–and I would bet that that level starts at the ‘two professional city-employee salary level” (ie, about $150k–which is a cop and a teacher each with ~5 years in), and perhaps quite a bit lower.

    ps: anyone thinking about the financial transactions tax–there is a very good reason that Chuy has moved to calling for a federal-level tax. Take a look at Sweden’s experience with a FTT for why. He’s aware that, no matter what anyone thinks, the CME will simply “leave town” (at least as to trading) if a City FTT is implemented.

  • 781. Jay  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Chris,

    Obviously, you haven’t watched the first two debates. 10 different times, Chuy said he would open the books for the taxpayers to see.

    Now, if you think he is lying……

  • 782. IB Obsessed  |  March 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

    According to Patricia, there shouldn’t be pensions, yet one shouldn’t rely on social security and there should be no $15 wage to help save for retirement. Apparently, you should just shouldn’t exist after a certain age….or should not be stupid enough to be working class. Yeah that sounds like a 1%er supporter.

  • 783. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Jay:

    “Obviously, you haven’t watched the first two debates.”

    How is that obvious?

    I just don’t believe him. It’s a pander to get himself elected. I don’t believe that he will, in fact, do it.

    Can you point me to the current audit of the Cook County financials that provides the level of detail that you expect from the city??

  • 784. Patricia  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:06 am

    @IB Obsessed
    No, that is not at all what I said and I am in NO WAY a 1%er. LOL!

    I never said there should not be pensions. Please reference. Unsustainable defined benefit pensions do need to go. Look at the fiscal mess of this state because of defined benefit pensions if you need proof.

    Reality is no one should rely on social security. The baby boomers are aging, and there is not enough young workers to support the social security demands. There are countless articles and analysis on this topic. Sadly, many people are in fact planning to rely on social security. Please post a link to a source that says it is a-ok to rely on social security for retirement.

    I also have said that I support raising the minimum wage. Please re-read. I did question how ctu and chewey proposes paying for it, but their point was really just to get press coverage. BTW, you can thank Rahm for getting the minimum wage increase in place.

    IBO, if you want to keep your head in the sand and rely on social security, it is your choice. Best of luck with that.

  • 785. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Jay:

    ps: that is exactly what I said:

    “We should just trust Chuy.. LOL”

  • 786. mom2  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Wow do the Chuy supporters continue to ignore the fact that we don’t have the money for what CTU was promised? It’s like that just doesn’t matter – we will just take it from all these rich 1% ers. Who are they? How much do they have to give before they decide to leave Chicago?

    I’m for Rahm and not even close to a 1%er. We are a typical Chicago CPS family. Our household income is less than many of my kid’s CPS teachers. We are trying to save for retirement because we know, just like most people, that social security will not be enough. If our taxes skyrocket, we will have no savings.

    We need to find some compromise for existing teachers that doesn’t take away what they have so far but makes changes for the future. If new teachers moved to a 401K or IRA or some other savings plan, with social security and with money contributed from CPS (like many businesses do), they would be in the same position as everyone else.

  • 787. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am

    “Look at the fiscal mess of this state because of defined benefit pensions if you need proof.”

    The mess is because *past* politicians (several of whom–Madigan, Cullerton–are *current* politicians) chose to short change pension funding in order to keep taxes low *in the past* and avoid challenges to their re-election.

    It’s a perfect example of robbing the future. They all chose their present fortunes over their children and grandchildren. And that theft has become real now, and those of us of tax paying age (IL does not tax *any* retirement income–one of three states that have income tax, and exempt all retirement income–AL, HI and IL) now, are going to get to pay for the sins of the (not so distant) past.

  • 788. Test Scores  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:21 am

    New study from Stanford University on the impact of Charter Schools:

    http://urbancharters.stanford.edu/download/Urban%20Charter%20School%20Study%20Report%20on%2041%20Regions.pdf

    “Using student level data obtained via data sharing agreements with our state education agency partners, we studied 41 urban areas in 22 states covering the school years 2006-07 through 2011-12.
    The outcome of interest was the academic advancement in one year’s time of a typical student in a charter school compared to the same measure for a virtual peer from local traditional public schools in the same location as the charter school.”

    Outcomes were highly in favor of charters nationally. In Chicago it was ALMOST a push, coming out modestly in favor of charters.

  • 789. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:25 am

    “If new teachers moved to a 401K or IRA or some other savings plan, with social security and with money contributed from CPS (like many businesses do), they would be in the same position as everyone else.”

    1. New teachers are on a different (Tier 2) plan, that is substantially less generous. Anyone hired after 1/1/2011 gets nothing until 62, and has to be 67 to get full pension, and that requires 10 years of service, v. Tier 1 that allowed full pension at 60, with 20 years, or 62, with only 5 years.

    2. When you pencil out your proposal (social security + 403(b) matching), you get an amount higher than the current normal cost of the CTPF.

    3. The problem with the CPS pension is the *20 years* of under-/non-funding that Richie Daley bequeathed unto us. Had Daley made the full normal cost contributions to the CPS (and other city) pension funds, they would be adequately funded today, and we wouldn’t be talking about this. A *huge* amount of that funding was supposed to come from the State, but no one (that is, not Daley, not the Aldercritters, not the CTU, not the CTPF trustees) bothered to make a big stink, while the state kept making contributions to TRS.

    4. Because of 3, even if every new teacher were switched over, we’d *still* have a big funding deficit to fill. So, any transition to a Social Security + personal acct w/ matching would actually make the next 4 years funding situation *worse*. To move the new employees to social security + 403(b), you have to start with a substantially fully funded pension fund.

  • 790. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Test Scores: “New study from Stanford University on the impact of Charter Schools”

    As someone will point out, CREDO (that did the study) is funded by the Walton Foundation, and Pearson, and its Stanford affiliation is via [scare quotes] “the conservative Hoover Institution” [/scare quotes]. So someone(s) will say (not w/o reason) their stats are juked.

    Of note to me, tho, is the quote that they feature on their ‘about’ page:

    “The CREDO report last week was absolutely a wake-up call, even if you dispute some of its conclusions or its language. The charter movement is putting itself at risk by allowing too many second-rate and even third-rate schools to continue to exist. Your goal should always be quality, not quantity.”
    – United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, June 2009

    Arne is, in many ways, readily dismissed, but that is the real point about charters, isn’t it? That, to the extent that we, as a school district, fund them, they damn well better be best in class operators and they damn well better be able to *prove* better outcomes, or they risk their continued existence. And, I do have to say, what I have seen about charters in CPS is that very few of them are up to the quality standard.

    But then, too, a blanket objection to *all* charters, regardless of any provable success, misses the point–which absolutely should be about what provides the best educational outcome for the most students, in a manner that doesn’t leave other children to rot, and doesn’t bankrupt the district/its citizens.

  • 791. mom2  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    @Chris – ” When you pencil out your proposal (social security + 403(b) matching), you get an amount higher than the current normal cost of the CTPF.” Thank you. I’m just a mom and not all that plugged in. What is 403(b) matching? Is that the only option? Do you have a proposal of what would work and could be affordable that would still give teachers a similar outcome to most private sector workers (which isn’t that great but it’s something)?

  • 792. IB Obsessed  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Patricia, I actually never said YOU are a 1%er. Please re-read. Many people vote against their own self interest.

    “fiscal mess of this state because of defined benefit pensions if you need proof. ” Uh, no. Reference Chris @787 @789 no. 3 above. And thank you Chris for saying. Some posters here adamantly refuse to acknowledge those facts. They seem to just WANT defined benefit pension to be failures. Similar to…..

    the dogma that Social Security can’t/won’t work. That deficit could easily be fixed by eliminating or raising the cap on income subject to the social security tax, but GASP that would require increasing taxes on those making over 118,500k. Currently no one pays ss tax on income over that amount. http://www.ncpssm.org/Document/ArticleID/967

    Doesnt it seem fair that EVERYONE pays ss tax on all their income, not just 99%ers?

    Rahm supported the $13 min. wage only to head off the movement for a $15 minimum wage. Ever tried to put any money aside while making even $15 an hour Patricia?

  • 793. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    “What is 403(b) matching?”

    403(b) is 401(k) for ‘public employees’. Basically same thing, just under different section of the tax code. The ‘matching’ is just the ‘matching contribution’–which could be automatic, without matching requirement, but just how I short-handed it.

    “Do you have a proposal of what would work and could be affordable that would still give teachers a similar outcome to most private sector workers ”

    If I had one that (i) worked while a pension is substantially underfunded by ensuring that already earned benefits (say, in the case of a pension freeze–where the current benefits are guaranteed, but no more earned) are fully funded, and (ii) didn’t cost *more* than the normal cost of a D-B pension, I would have run for Governor…AND for Mayor, AND for King. But math sorta gets in the way.

  • 794. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    ” That deficit could easily be fixed by eliminating or raising the cap on income subject to the social security tax, but GASP that would require increasing taxes on those making over 118,500k. ”

    “Doesnt it seem fair that EVERYONE pays ss tax on all their income, not just 99%ers?”

    It’s only “fair” if either (1) the FICA tax gets treated as simply a tax, and not a ‘social security contribution’ (in which case, it should apply in some fashion to non-work income (ie capital gains), too), or (2) the calculation of the SS benefit is un-capped, too. Neither of those are politically palatable, at least for now.

    Anywho, the issue with SS is the same as everything else in the government fisc–the Boomers have voted themselves the biggest piece of the pie. The “surplus” in the SS “lockbox” which has been building up since Reagan [gasp!] raised taxes to fund it will be rapidly depleted as the Boomers retire, and after the surplus is “spent” (that is, borrowed from the future, again), the FICA cashflow will support about 75% of what the current ‘project benefit’ is.

    SS right now (bc of the bonds “in” the lockbox) is effectively a general obligation of the Federal Guv, as is medicare. There’s really no reason to maintain the fiction of the ‘contributions’ having anything to do with the worker’s future benefits, and there should be a wholesale restructuring of the Federal tax system. But there’s no political will for that.

  • 795. Patricia  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    @792 IBO
    Yes, you are correct and Chris is correct about Daley and pension holidays. However, I do think defined benefit is a mistake. A guaranteed 3% increase regardless of what happens in the world is a mistake. The inability to revise benefits based on the world around you is not a sustainable position and it is crazy that it is part of a state constitution. No one has a crystal ball and governmental, fiscal, man made or natural disasters can all impact the viability of defined benefit. I do believe the tier 2 pension plan does tie increases to an index to keep pensions grounded in reality, which is good IMO.

    “Many people vote against their own self interest.”

    There is no way that voting for chewey is in my own self-interest. Voting for Rahm is in my self interest.

    IBO, when you get that social security changed, let me know. Until then, I will make sure that I save on my own for my retirement.

    Say what you want about minimum wage, the fact is there was movement to increase it which is a good thing. You have to start somewhere without driving all the small business out of business and also attracting big business. Good thing Rahm sees the big picture and balances all interested parties, even though some get upset with him

    BTW, I have indeed saved with way less than $15/hr in my lifetime. It is really hard. That is one of many reasons why I support increasing the minimum wage.

    Lastly IBO, where do you think the money should come from?

  • 796. IB Obsessed  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I think it should come from raising property taxes. And so does Rahm.
    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/7/71/167654/emanuel-begins-formidable-job-of-trying-to-sell-pension-plan

    Beyond that, it would be foolish and disgenuous to detail an uninformed plan until FOIAs receive responses and we know what has been used to fill what bucket. Anything else would be posturing.

  • 797. Patricia  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    @796 IBO

    Rahm is not proposing just property taxes, from the article it looks like a “share the pain” approach.

    “trying to sell his share-the-pain plan to raise property taxes by $250 million — and increase employee contributions by 29 percent — to shore up two of Chicago’s four employee pension funds.”

    Increase employee contributions 8.5 to 11%. Raise property taxes over a 5 year period. And I am sure a bunch of other details not listed.

    Unions are in an uproar saying no way.

    IBO, so are you a share-the-pain advocate or just raise property taxes 150%?

  • 798. Peter  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    It’s my understanding that Chuy voted for the pension holidays as State Senator.

  • 799. IB Obsessed  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    @Peter, I thought maybe my post would inspire you take a break from your work at Rahm campaign headquarters. Hi there and WOW no response to the Rahm proposed property tax increase except changing the subject to lob one at Chuy?

    It’s advisable to give a citation on that claim showing you are an impartial voter who came to their own conclusion or people might think you have a vested interest in believing it.

  • 800. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    “share-the-pain plan”

    To be clear, that just addresses the City pensions, and the City portion (about 18%, right now) of the tax bill.

    That does not address CPS at all. And CPS raising *its* levy by a meaningful amount would require action in Springfield, bc of PTELL.

  • 801. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    IBO: “an impartial voter ”

    At least he’s a voter…you’re suggesting that Chicago raise it’s property tax from your suburban perch!

    Which is *definitely* not saying that you shouldn’t comment, but c’mon–you benefited from the too low taxes while you lived in the city, and now you left. “You guys should just pay more” is really easy to say from the outside…

    I think that the full cost of TRS should be shifted to local districts, too, just like CTPF, and *all* State Education Aid block granted on a poverty-adjusted, per student basis. Which would result in CPS getting a bigger share of total State Education Funding, and your district having a huge hole blown in its budget. That would go a *long* way toward fixing CPS’s budget problem–should we assume you have no objection too it??

  • 802. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    its not it’s

  • 803. Peter  |  March 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Wait, IBO isn’t even a citizen of Chicago?

    Anyway, look up the Chuy’s vote on HB 452 in the Senate Journal. The vote was in 1997.

  • 804. Chris  |  March 31, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    “HB 452”

    I don’t think that bill had anything directly to do with pensions.

  • 805. taxpaying teacher  |  March 31, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    @775 It is frustrating to have a discussion by posting. My intent was that those of us who are counting on a pension in retirement and the taxpayers who contribute to that pension need to work on a solution that is fair to both. Most of my colleagues accept that in order to fix this issue we have to share in the pain. In talking with other teachers, most of us would agree to contributing more of our pay to our pension. Another area that is also contentious is COLA. As a taxpayer, I understand that a 3% COLA at this time is really a little much. I suppose that it could be lower, tied to inflation, not given every year, or compounded yearly are possible adjustments that might be proposed. The teacher in me who is counting on that pension would want some type of guarantee that the state, city, and CPS will not be able to take “holidays”.
    I am fearful, being so close to retirement, that if my pension is reduced at this point my financial house of cards that has been in the works since my husband and I began working full time will maybe not collapse, but will be weakened. For those who have already retired, I’m pretty sure many of them may face some financial hardships.
    As far as raising property taxes, as I said I’m not thrilled by any means. The other pension funds (police, fire, city employees) are in trouble as well. I just don’t see tax increases not being a part of the picture. There are huge payments that are coming due. I would also hope that these unions also recognize the need for some kind of adjustments. Nobody wants to give up anything, but I think the majority of union employees recognize that it is inevitable that they will have to give up something in terms of bigger employee contributions, pushed back retirement ages, changes in COLA’s to name a few. Again,only if the state, city, etc. cannot get out of making their required payments.
    On another note, I don’t really know how to say this without sounding like a b*****, and it’s not my intention by any means, but you could have gone into a job or career that offered a defined pension benefit. I always wanted to be a teacher, but the fact that I would have more time with my children and the pension benefit really kind of made it more attractive to me. It was part of a conscious choice on my part, and my parents encouraged it based on the fact that I would have money in my old age.
    I have read this over several times, and I’m still not sure that it says what I want it say. In my defense, it’s Spirit Week at my school and even though it’s only Tuesday, I’m exhausted! Lots of high energy kids and activities takes it out of you the week before Spring Break!

  • 806. Chris  |  April 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

    “you could have gone into a job or career that offered a defined pension benefit”

    Pretty much insurance companies, utilities and the government. Anything else–basically no chance.

  • 807. Patricia  |  April 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    @805 Really good post. Thank you. It is hard “discussing” via posts sometimes.

    “My intent was that those of us who are counting on a pension in retirement and the taxpayers who contribute to that pension need to work on a solution that is fair to both.”

    Good to hear and agree for the most part. As a taxpayer I get nervous with the “all or nothing” ultimatums that come from union leadership. Strike first, and “maybe” talk later is not a good message to convey to the very people that the union needs & wants to help pay for pensions.

    “Most of my colleagues accept that in order to fix this issue we have to share in the pain.”

    Also good to hear and I think it is important for teachers and other union members to let their leadership know that it is “ok” to have a discussion about pension changes. I know union leaders are doing their job, but the tone and animosity communicated by union leaders causes a lot of anxiety, alienation and mistrust with taxpayers who fear they will be left holding the entire pension bag—-that they really had nothing to do with.

    Rahm is the candidate to fix the pension mess in a fair and balanced way. Chewey will just tax the city and taxpayers to the point of driving the revenue out of Chicago.

    Lastly, I have always thought teachers deserve “combat pay” the day after Halloween when the kids are on sugar hangovers or just before winter & spring break 😉 I admire your patience!

  • 808. IB Obsessed  |  April 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I am a reluctant, new suburban resident of 3 months. Last summer, an ordinary person took a stray gangbanger bullet and was shot and killed at the CTA bus stop where my 8th grader waited for the bus to school. Great thing to happen when you’re trying to get your kid confident enough to take 2 ELs or 3 buses to HS next year! Yeah boy! Those 1,000 new police proposed by Chuy are sounding pretty good.

    Rahm announced wall to wall IB HSs and then cut the budget for schools with per pupil funding. CPS grabbed the revenue from our school’s rooftop transmission tower. Our CPS school is filthy because the privatized janitors can use only the mandated cheapo supplies and the principal has little control over them. I see only more fraying of the social fabric and safety net as services are cut and privatized and the neigbhorhoods are neglected.

    HB 452 had nothing to do with pension holidays.

  • 809. SouthSideIrish4  |  April 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    808. IB Obsessed | April 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I’m sorry that shooting happened near your child. That must have been so frightening. I’m glad you are in a safe/secure place now.

  • 810. mom2  |  April 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    IB Obsessed – that sounds very scary. I hope to never know how you felt but I totally get why you left.

    Our CPS schools are not filthy. If we all have to use the same janitors and supplies, why is that? I’m just trying to understand.

    I personally think the wall to wall IB is more of a gimmick than real change but I’ll wait to see once or if I have a child in one of those programs.

    If I at all believed that Chuy really had a plan and a way to fix much of Chicago’s issues, I would vote for him. I just don’t see it and fear his loyalties and his lack of focus on our terrible financial situation. I also hate the crime in the city and wish Rahm could do more but at least I think he is trying with moving police to where there is more crime, trying to get the community involved/community policing, summer jobs programs, after school programs, getting places like Whole Foods to open in some lacking neighborhoods (which helps the food desert issue and creates jobs) and other things to try to keep kids busy and off the street. Not sure he is succeeding, but he is trying.

  • 811. Test Scores  |  April 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Doesn’t wall-to-wall IB just mean that they let students enroll in “IB” classes without applying/doing the whole program? Why would that cost more money?

  • 812. HS Mom  |  April 1, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Tax/teach, Patricia – Yes thanks, great posts. Very refreshing to hear about open thinking.

    Taxpaying Teacher and Everyone – Enjoy your break.

  • 813. HS Mom  |  April 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    This is out about the 3rd debate

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/04/chicago-politics

    “Tuesday night would have been an occasion for Mr Garcia to dispel doubts about his ability to manage the city’s catastrophic finances. But rather than come up with specific proposals, he insisted that he needed to audit the city’s books, which he said were shrouded “in a veil of secrecy”, before he could decide on expenditure cuts or tax increases. He also refused to say who will be on the commission of financial experts that he is planning to appoint, if elected, revealing only that it will probably have 12 members. His only concrete proposal was the introduction of a luxury tax on the sale of expensive jewellery or fancy cars.

    Mr Emanuel, on the other hand, was spewing specifics on what to do about Chicago’s $20 billion mountain of unfunded pension liabilities. He said he will avoid an increase in property taxes by introducing a progressive sales tax on services, by bringing a casino to Chicago and by using TIFs, which are public-finance tool called tax increment financing that allows the city to finance economic development in a designated area by tapping into the future tax revenues it is expected to generate. He estimates that the casino alone will generate $1 billion for Chicago’s coffers over the next ten years.”

    Haven’t heard anything about the Lucas Museum or any details on the manufacturing jobs or about most of the items on that list actually.

  • 814. Mom2Boys  |  April 2, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Yes, about that third debate… I watched it until I could stomach it no more, and heard Mr. Garcia give several names of financial experts he would appoint to the commission. A progressive tax was Mr. Garcia’s idea. The mayor has been pelting Chicagoans with regressive taxes/fines/penalties since he took office.

    I think the 3rd debate was a sham and a real low point for journalism in our city. The moderator’s behavior made it apparent that he was clearly biased toward his neighbor Emanuel, who happens to live two doors down. He threw the mayor softball questions, let him off the hook about things and allowed him to drone on endlessly, while interrupting and cutting Garcia off each time he tried to respond to questions. And the cruel and dogged line of questioning about Garcia’s son- wasn’t that special! The moderator got to place negative information into the minds of voters, while “allowing” the mayor to take the high road. Nice performance. Garcia demonstrated in his response that he is a man of grace and integrity, who loves his son and is proud of how he turned his life around. It was pretty apparent that the moderator was only interested in one part of that story arc.

    And what was it with the close-up of the 1099 prop from one of the mayor’s ads being placed on-screen? I felt like I was watching one of Rahm’s tv ads. The moderator of this debate is a right-leaning authoritarian, and a shill for the mayor. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ponce lands a coveted appointment as Commissioner of Broadcasting or some such thing for his contribution to the mayor’s re-election campaign.

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/17799/rahm-emanuels-fixation-on-chuy-garcias-budget-deficit-is-absurdsometimes-de

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150401/OPINION/150409977/theres-no-debate-phil-ponce-blew-it-last-night

  • 815. taxpaying teacher  |  April 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    HS mom There is a huge problem with Emmanuel’s solution of using the $1 billion generated from a casino. The casino doesn’t exist! Maybe it will if he can get it past the Illinois House and Senate, but there has been talk about a Chicago casino for a long time. It’s not like it is going to be generating anything any time soon. So, does he just get to put off paying the mandated payments to the various city pension funds again? That will just exacerbate the problem. It strikes me like someone who budgets or spends money with the idea that they are going to win the lottery. What happens when the ticket doesn’t have the winning numbers? Also, casino’s in Illinois and neighboring states have not been doing as well lately as they have in the past because of the gambling machines now allowed in bars, storefronts, etc. As far as TIFs, there are so many opposing views as to how they can and should be used it’s hard to say what kind of revenue they will bring to the table. Emmanuel is counting on the state to help fix this mess by allowing him to put off payments again. At some point, you have to pay the bills. I think it needs to be dealt with now, not later.

    I am not that impressed with Garcia’s ideas either, but I would love to see the city and CPS have to open their books. I think there might be ways to find some real savings. Not enough to make the problems disappear by any means, but at this point, anything would help. Emmanuel’s dealings with the Unions in the past has caused much distrust and dislike. I think Garcia may have an easier time winning concessions that will help bring about pension reform.

    I’m pretty sure Emmanuel will win, but as i said upthread, he won’t get my vote and the votes of many of my neighbors. He lost most of us when he publicly insulted teachers with his comments and had a law enacted to try and break us, police when he said they could stick it in their ear, and the fire department when he told them they were going to bleed in their next contract. This is a man who does not have our backs or best interest at heart. Some of us got the message loud and clear.

  • 816. HS Mom  |  April 3, 2015 at 7:25 am

    @814 – I personally favor the casino idea. Lots of people enjoy the night out and take the income out of the city. He’ll use the casino plan to borrow against future tax income – the state of Illinois has already done that.

    I agree, any mayor should open up the books and search for obvious waste. Lots of people going to have different opinions on what waste is and I’m not sure that with Chuy’s CTU alliance he will have all citizens interests at heart.

    I don’t fault or agree with everything about Rahm or his style. Just like I don’t agree with CTU delegates methods and personal attacks.

    @799 – “impartial voter” – There was no candidate put forth who could match the credentials, background or assertiveness needed to get the job done. The Chuy/CTU alliance makes him far from impartial and is a deal breaker all the way around.

  • 817. Jane  |  April 6, 2015 at 8:51 am

    http://abc7chicago.com/finance/ill-has-2nd-highest-property-taxes-in-us-study-says/632711/

    ILLINOIS HAS 2ND-HIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES IN US, STUDY SAYS

  • 818. Chicago Dad  |  April 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Very interesting, Jane.

    Assuming property taxes rise in Chicago, everyone should be asking themselves which candidate, if elected, would raise them more—-

    The one who has a track record of bringing more businesses and their workers and their additional tax revenue into Chicago,

    or the one with absolutely no record of attracting these businesses and workers, with no real interest in doing so, and is beholden to public sector unions for his candidacy and support.

    The higher the tax rates, the more likely businesses will take their workers and leave, causing the remaining businesses and workers to bear a higher burden and even higher tax rates in the future.

    If you care about Chicago’s health and vitality in the long run, vote Rahm.

    If, however, it’s important to you that the CTU gets “what’s rightfully theirs” regardless of the damage it will cause, vote Chuy.

  • 819. neighborhood parent  |  April 6, 2015 at 11:11 am

    The study fails to account for valuation.
    So maybe IL & NJ are at the top of this ‘study’ but their total state Real Estate valuations are probably greater than many on the list. The study shouldn’t be comparing ‘tax bill averages’ it should be comparing ‘Tax Rates’ and accounting for home valuations.
    As someone who is about to move out of state, I can guarantee you that we/chicagoans are not getting a bad deal. (of course it could always be better, and I’d rather not see my tax $$ go to interest payments.)
    Although if you are unemployed or can’t really afford your home then it’s (taxes) probably too much.

  • 820. michele  |  April 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I hope many of you have already voted, if not please remember to vote tomorrow. No matter who wins the Mayoral election on Tuesday businesses will still invest in Chicago because of the labor force’s work ethic, children will still be educated because of the tenacity of their Parents, freight will still move in and out of our city because of our location advantage, and neighborhoods will rise and fall based upon their resident’s ability to engage in positive political change. At best the run off Mayoral election has been an economic stimulus package for a few and a wake-up call for many more.

    There is a great quote from former Mayor Harold Washington, “Chicago is one city. We shall work as one people for our common good and our common goals.” I for one think this statement of purpose would serve the newly elected Mayor well in the next four years. What will make our city Chicago great, is our people and their commonality of purpose – together we can accomplish much, divided I am sure we will accomplish much less.

    Please vote http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/your-voter-information.html

  • 821. Veteran  |  April 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    #767 CPS is miserly and unreasonable.
    Why are CPS employees expected to purchase teaching and cleaning materials out of their pockets? I am a special education teacher who had to purchase a laptop in order to participate fully in IEP/MDC meetings. I became very weary of borrowing clinicians’ laptops at meetings. It looked very unprofessional and since CPS does not purchase laptops for the teachers, only the clinicians, I saved up and bought my own.
    My friends who teach in the suburbs are issued I-PADs, laptops and cell phones in order to communicate with staff and parents. I had to up my minutes on my phone plan in order to discuss accommodations and modifications with my students’ teacher-we found this worked out via cell phones on our ride to and from school.
    CPS wastes so much money on central/region personnel salaries, failed initiatives and privatization that employees are not sympathetic to CPS’ cries of “we dont have any money”

    Who is keeping track of the special education monies alotted to each school? This money used to be separate but is now lumped into the general school fund. Are special education teachers told how much money they have to spend on student materials/tests/student technology-this is a travesty and probably illegal. Why do resource rooms in the suburbs fully stocked complete with up to date technology? I am sick and tired of teachers complaining about special ed funds being used to supplement the gen ed program.

  • 822. HS Mom  |  April 7, 2015 at 7:11 am

    @819 – “The study fails to account for valuation”

    Valuations are based upon a number of factors including dollars needed and levied by the taxing agency with little consideration for the actual value of your home.

    Talking about taxes in terms of how much actual money comes out of your pocket is certainly one realistic way to look at it.

    @818 “(Rahm)” The one who has a track record of bringing more businesses and their workers and their additional tax revenue into Chicago,”

    Yes, I think that’s an important consideration.

  • 823. CTU Jess  |  April 7, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Congrats Mayor Emanuel!!!

  • 824. West Loop parent  |  April 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you voters!!!! We believe in Rahm!!!

  • 825. Rahm  |  April 8, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Yup! Congrats to Rahm! I had to hold my nose for this election, but I ended up voting for Rahm! Well, lets look forward to the teacher strike and other stuff this year…

  • 826. SouthSideIrish4  |  April 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    825. Rahm | April 8, 2015 at 2:29 am

    I don’t think they’ll be a teachers’ strike. I think both parties will negotiate differently and get a contract in place before the school year starts in the fall.

  • 827. maybe......  |  April 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    ……the chickens have come home to roost…….That’s is where all the money went into the pockets of Rahm and his ilk not teacher pensions. Stop blaming teachers! Now that BBB is on leave and still getting paid it is time for the parents of this blog to get on board with the CTU. I hope Patricia, Chris, Peter and Angie read the papers over the weekend and go full force on the letting Rahm know how you feel. Jay was correct all along.

  • 828. Mom2Boys  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I agree with #827. No bid contracts screw taxpayers, and enrich the coffers of those who grant them. Hmmm, pity that the announcement about BBB and her lucrative no-bid contract was held back until after the mayoral election. How convenient. The mayor is ultimately responsible- he has final approval, and he also hired BBB. Reminiscent of another CPS board member who’s been making millions for her company via contracts with CPS. When the issue of this clear conflict of interest gets raised, Rahm just yawns. Meanwhile, our property taxes have been hiked to the max for the past four years to prop up CPS, while CPS continues to make cuts to the schools. I’m disgusted.

  • 829. Peter  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Nope, the CTU is going to destroy CPS.

  • 830. Peter  |  April 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    You fools know that CPS needs about $600 million to pay for outrageous pensions next year.

  • 831. SouthSideIrish4  |  April 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    828. Mom2Boys | April 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I agree with you. No bids screw taxpayers. But now that CPS is looking to get out of the Supes deal and since the investigation with CPEF, I don’t think anyone in CPS or Rahm’s administration will want to make drastic cuts (once again, they’ll find the $$). Also, they still have to finalize a contract w/CTU. I hope ALL who are involved is punished to the full extent of the law. Maybe we’ll continue with tradition and have another Gov. in prison.

  • 832. Chris  |  April 20, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    “our property taxes have been hiked to the max”

    Yeah, 2.53% up from 2013 to 2014 (reflecting the year taxes paid). Just enough to pay the raise to the teachers.

    12 to 13 = 3.38%
    11 to 12 = 1.94%
    10 to 11 = 5.86%
    09 to 10 = fractional decrease
    08 to 09 = 5.23%
    07 to 08 = 1.47%

    So, over 7 years, the levy has gone up 22%–and the ‘typical’ teacher salary has gone up 25% over the same period. The levey increase just pays for the teachers.

    Taxes are too high, salaries are too low, not enough is spent on improving the schools, there’s a giant hole in pension funding. It ain’t gonna get fixed easily.

    Anyway, to ‘maybe…’: Why would I join up with folks (that is, the *union*, not the teachers) who threatened a strike if people voted for the “wrong” guy?? And, as far as I can tell, they will be striking for either (1) more money, or (2) shorter school day, one of which I most certainly do not support.

    Yes, the SUPES contract was, by all accounts, stupid. And the contracting process has that stench of impropriety. But that was peanuts in the whole scheme of things–less important than the accounting year change that was used to “fill” the current year’s deficit.

    The Pension Hole (which is the real actual problem facing both CPS and the City) is the fault of Rich Daley’s 15 years of non-funding–so we, today, get to pay double or triple to make up that failure.

  • 833. Mom2Boys  |  April 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Article from Crain’s Chicago Business:

    “How could Chicago Public Schools be so dumb?

    It’s a common, straightforward practice, used by CEOs awarding multimillion-dollar consulting contracts and consumers shopping for new cars. When you’re making a major purchase, you gather bids from multiple sources.

    Competition among vendors tends to reduce your cost and improve the quality of the product or service you get.

    Pretty obvious, right? Not to the folks at Chicago Public Schools. They awarded a $20 million contract for leadership training services without competitive bidding. Turns out CPS CEO Barbara Byrd- Bennett has ties to Supes Academy, the Wilmette firm that got the no-bid contract. The feds are investigating.

    Aside from possible legal violations, the Supes deal reflects badly on business practices at CPS, a $6.5 billion public agency charged with educating Chicago’s children.

    CPS ignored a basic tenet of sound financial management when it awarded such a lucrative contract without competitive bidding. You wouldn’t catch a private company handing out a $20 million contract without multiple bids. Corporate procurement officials make law firms, IT consultants, janitorial companies and a host of other suppliers compete for their business.

    “Something worth $20 million, we put that out for bid,” says Warren Batts, former CEO of Deerfield-based Premark International.

    Corporate executives have a fiduciary duty to spend shareholders’ money wisely. They can be sued for wasteful spending.

    Public-sector officials have similar obligations to the people they serve. With budgets under pressure at all levels of government, it’s more important than ever to follow financial best practices. CPS, which faces a $1 billion budget gap and has been closing schools, should use every lever at its disposal to maximize bang for the buck and avoid wasting a dime of taxpayer money.

    Competitive bidding also can protect government agencies from charges of cronyism and lawsuits by vendors that didn’t get a chance to bid.

    Yes, there are cases when competitive bidding isn’t worthwhile. But these exceptions are rare. “Public institutions like CPS, which spend our hard-earned tax dollars, should only hand out no-bid contracts in time-sensitive emergencies or when only one company is uniquely qualified to do a specific job,” says Andy Shaw, CEO of the Better Government Association.

    CPS finances are overseen by the Chicago Board of Education under the leadership of President David Vitale. A private-sector veteran, he surely knows the value of competitive bidding. Yet the former vice chairman of First Chicago and onetime CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade signed off on the no-bid contract two years ago.

    I wanted to ask him why, but he didn’t return my call. Neither did the CPS media office.

    Vitale defended the contract in an interview with education magazine Catalyst Chicago after the deal was approved. He said the contract went through a special CPS process for no-bid awards, which determined that Supes offered unique services. That conclusion apparently was based on Supes’ roster of 125 sitting school superintendents and a certificate program for superintendents.

    I’m no expert in educational training, but there appears to be some debate as to how much the for-profit company’s offerings differ from those available from such institutions as the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois and even Harvard University’s graduate school of education.

    Maybe Supes does offer a unique and superior service. But the best way to make that determination would have been a competitive bidding process that put its claims to the test.”

  • 834. Patricia  |  April 21, 2015 at 9:46 am

    @Chrs “So, over 7 years, the levy has gone up 22%–and the ‘typical’ teacher salary has gone up 25% over the same period. The levey increase just pays for the teachers.”

    The union does a good job for their members—at the expense of taxpayers.

    To add to the madness, this is during “the great recession”. Many people during this time lost jobs, had workloads doubled to compensate for those cut, forced to renegotiate contracts and certainly did NOT get any salary increase if they still had a job. Plus, Chicago homeowners got slammed with higher property taxes. The middle class is getting hammered.

    The real issue continues to be pensions.

  • 835. Angie  |  April 21, 2015 at 9:57 am

    @827. maybe…… “Now that BBB is on leave and still getting paid it is time for the parents of this blog to get on board with the CTU.”

    Just as soon as pigs fly or Karen Lewis gets reasonable about spending the taxpayers’ money, whichever comes first.

    ” I hope Patricia, Chris, Peter and Angie read the papers over the weekend and go full force on the letting Rahm know how you feel.”

    Sure, I’ll let Rahm know that I support him 100%.

    BTW, which schools have principals that came from SUPES? Does anyone know?

    No-bid contracts may not look good on paper, but if they deliver the needed services at the right price, I have no problem with them. Is $20 million out of the multi-billion CPS budget really worth all that fuss?

    @828. Mom2Boys: ” Meanwhile, our property taxes have been hiked to the max for the past four years to prop up CPS, while CPS continues to make cuts to the schools. I’m disgusted.”

    Your property taxes have been hiked to pay for the teachers’ pensions. School budgets were cut for the same reason. Pretending otherwise will not cause the money to magically appear in CPS coffers.

  • 836. Tea bagger  |  April 21, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Surrender tax payers! You vote for corruption and you receive corruption!

  • 837. Chris  |  April 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

    “You vote for corruption and you receive corruption!”

    Yeah, and the guy who was made a Deputy Water Commissioner after winning a Ward Committeeman seat and supporting Harold is the one, true anti-corruption fighter. We didn’t have a good option on offer.

    You choose to live in a city with a history rife with corruption, and then you are Shocked. Shocked!! to find that corruption is going on in here!

    Yes, we should fight against the corruption at every opportunity. Yes, if BBB approved that contract as ‘payback’ in some fashion, she needs to go.

    But why is competitive bidding a good idea for this contract, but not for the janitors? Or the Teachers? Maybe we should have a competitive bidding process to find the Union that will agree to provide a set of teachers at the lowest cost?? Ridiculous, right?

  • 838. Jay  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, you are going to get what you pay for.

    Teachers’ colleges down 8% in enrollment in last year; you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Teach for America? Down 25%.

    I am helping by dissuading ALL of my students from entering education (We are doing a career research paper)

    An 18-year-old would have to be a freakin idiot to pursue a career in teaching.

    I showed them this blog to dissuade them. They switched right away after reading the lack of respect from the bloggers on this thread.

    Society will reap what it sows.

    Have fun!

  • 839. michele  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Chris, is anyone surprised there’s corruption? Most likely not. To your point and to the core issue when centralized resources like tax dollars are used it’s best to have some centralized representative oversight.

    Certainly there is much academic literature, that supports that collective bargaining is a core value of what makes our democracy work, otherwise the balance of power shifts to those who have the most money and political power – we only need to remember studying Robber Barons of the last century and think of what the images the Upton Sinclair book on meat packing revealed.

    I found this article and think there’s some interesting information about the Chicago teacher pensions in it. I’m posting the link here. http://www.ctpf.org/current_news/MYTHBUSTERS.pdf

    What ever the outcome of the current CPS investigation, the push for more transparency and accountability is stronger than it’s ever been and this movement will continue to change expectations. If we all expect more then we will get more. The challenge is to stay engaged in the outcome as well.

    Thanks to all the posters – I only hope you’re following through with your Aldermen and State legislators on all these CPS issues.

  • 840. Jay  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Patricia, Chris, Peter and Angie. My students would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” for saving them from pursuing a once-noble and respected career. Many of them are now going into medical careers, where they will get paid for their hard work.

    Thanks again!

  • 841. kdp5678  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    This thread raises a question that I have wondered about for a long time: is interest in teaching waning because the salary is not high enough or because the working conditions are lousy and job satisfaction are not high enough? My guess is that it is the latter.

    I am a tenured professor in the arts at a middle-tier institution and I earn considerably less than the average CPS teacher. I certainly don’t begrudge teachers earning a good living. It’s a difficult and important job and I firmly believe that the US should invest more/smarter dollars in education. At the same time, I empathize with people who have a hard time paying for those kinds of increases when they have lost jobs and are hurting themselves.

    More importantly, it seems to me that what really stinks about teaching is not the pay, but the following: 1) the profession is not afforded the respect that it has in other countries where public education gets better results with fewer dollars, 2) class sizes are too large, 3) they are expected to fix a whole host of social and economic problems that are for the most part beyond their control, 4) there is a lot of political hostility out there as exemplified by this discussion.

    Are these perhaps the reasons fewer students are enrolling in teachers’ colleges and TFA? Should we should focus on increasing job satisfaction rather than focusing on money? I would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this.

    I don’t think the average person realizes how hard most teachers work and how much they care and how demoralizing it can be to put in so much effort without getting the respect and appreciation you deserve. Please keep that in mind when you slaughter teachers as an entity in this sort of forum.

  • 842. Angie  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    @838. Jay: “I am helping by dissuading ALL of my students from entering education (We are doing a career research paper)”

    Excellent!

    “My students would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” for saving them from pursuing a once-noble and respected career. Many of them are now going into medical careers, where they will get paid for their hard work.”

    No, thank you for doing that, and you know why? Because after this, only the students with the true passion for teaching will consider entering the profession. Everyone else who looked at going into education because they did not have the scores for other majors, or because of the short work day and summer vacation will now look elsewhere. And in the end, thanks to you, our schools will have better teachers.

  • 843. Jay  |  April 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Yep, and A LOT of substitute teachers who look like their pictures belong on a wall at the DMV.

    I hope and pray you have grandchildren. Karma dictates that you, in particular, will reap what you sow!

    Incarceration rates should skyrocket. At $88,000 a prisoner, your tax dollars will be directed where they belong- Paying for my gold-plated pension and subsidizing the rising criminal element.

    Your boy Rahm doesn’t like the title of Spike Lee’s new movie, “Chiraq.”

    I can’t wait to watch it. Your grandchildren will live in Chicganistan.”

    I can’t think of a more deserving person.

  • 844. Patricia  |  April 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    @841
    I think most every post that questions or criticizes “the union” should be prefaced with, “it is the union, not the good teachers.” It is stated in many posts, but often gets ignored as union supporters try to avoid conversation and instead start attacking. The union only amplifies this to its membership to keep the conflict going instead of seeking a reasonable resolution. Of course, there is back and forth snippy comments. However, I believe most, if not all, posters here who are questioning the union, truly do respect and support the good teachers. You really can be against what the CTU has done to the teaching profession and be completely supportive of the many fantastic teachers out there.

    On this and many other threads, there are many teachers who seem to have a very different view from their union. These teachers are rational, reasonable and very professional. Others, not so much. I think even teachers do not agree with all their union does and I think in the mayoral race, the union demonstrated that they have lost sight of their membership with strike threats, insulting taxpayers and a complete disregard for the pension crisis.

    @michelle
    Private and public sector unions are two very different cases. I am all for private sector unions and believe they have be indispensable in our history. However, public sector unions do not have a “bottom line” or “profit option” to keep demands based in reality. Public sector unions have proven to push, push, push, push because the view is that taxes can always be raised.

  • 845. Jay  |  April 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Yep, and A LOT of substitute teachers who look like the pictures on the wall of a DMV.

    Your tax dollars are going to go to subsidizing prisoners at an annual clip of $88,000.

    So, as Karma would have it, you will be paying for my gold-plated pension and increased incarceration.

    Fitting! It is EXACTLY what you deserve. Karma is a b$tch, eh?

  • 846. Chris  |  April 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    “when you slaughter teachers as an entity”

    I challenge you to find *one* incident of that in the 845 posts in this thread. It would be hard, even if you intentionally take it out of context.

    I love the demands for respect salted with personal invective. Kla$$ie!!

  • 847. Chris  |  April 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    “You really can be against what the CTU has done to the teaching profession and be completely supportive of the many fantastic teachers out there”

    And the so-so teacher and the not so good teachers who are doing their best. Heck, one can be supportive of *all* of the individual teachers–down to the hypothetical teacher everyone agrees shouldn’t be in the classroom–and *still* be against the CTU’s rhetoric and negotiation stances and *threats*.

  • 848. mom2  |  April 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    @841 – I agree with you that many people aren’t happy with the teaching profession because they believe they are respected as much as they should be. I also agree that what we all should focus on is improved working conditions, not on better pay. The end result on focusing on improved working conditions would benefit both teachers and students. Parents on this forum that are focused on the fact that we don’t have the money to fund the current pensions are also very focused on making things as good as possible for their children. So, by putting efforts and money into improving the schools themselves, classroom supplies, technology, bathrooms, reducing class sizes or aids, etc. you would have everyone on the same page, I think. The issue with the CTU is the focus is always on “getting what was promised” (which I understand is frustrating) or reducing the amount of time worked (which is not in the best interest of our children).

  • 849. jen  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t believe Jay is a real person. I believe Jay is an anti-teacher troll pretending to be a teacher to make teachers look bad. Don’t feed the troll.

  • 850. Chris  |  April 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    “I don’t believe Jay is a real person.”

    Well, there is a real Jay Rehak, who “Jay” has implied he is.

    If it isn’t really Jay Rehak posting as “Jay”, I hope someone clears that up.

  • 851. a parent  |  April 21, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Sounds like the same Jay (who came along with references) from prior posts. Same tone same threats.

    Makes me glad we didn’t pick Whitney Young.

  • 852. Mom2Boys  |  April 21, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    @835. “Is $20 million out of the multi-billion CPS budget really worth all that fuss?”

    You’ve got to be kidding. Not worth the fuss, Really?

    “…if they deliver the needed services at the right price, I have no problem with them.”

    Well, we’ve all heard about Aramark’s questionable three-year, $260 million janitorial contract that is leaving our schools filthy and principals frustrated. Gee, apparently the awful food being delivered at many CPS schools, including the two that our sons attend, is part of a $97 million-a-year contract with Aramark for food service. The contract can be renewed three times.

    More shenanigans with our tax dollars: We have Debra Quazzo, CPS board member, who’s been under investigation by the inspector general because her company is the beneficiary of lucrative contracts with CPS. From Chicago Sun Times, 2/8/15:

    “As a member of the Chicago Board of Education, Deborah Quazzo has voted to support charter school networks that have given more than $1 million in business to companies in which Quazzo has an ownership stake, according to records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Five companies in which Quazzo has an interest have gotten a total of more than $1.3 million from contracts with the privately operated schools, which are funded almost entirely with tax dollars through the Chicago Public Schools system the Chicago venture capitalist helps oversee.

    The deals involved six charter operators and a company that manages some campuses for a seventh Chicago charter network, the records show.

    The money coming to Quazzo’s businesses from the charter schools is in addition to more than $3.8 million the Sun-Times reported in December her companies have gotten directly from CPS. Since then, the district also has paid another $200,000 to two of them.”

    Some on this board blame rising property taxes solely on teacher salaries/raises, while completing ignoring the impact of CPS’ fiscal mismanagement and pay-to-play no-bid deals by our mayor and his board of “yes” men/women, which rob all of us of our hard-earned tax dollars.

  • 853. Angie  |  April 21, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    @852. Mom2Boys: “You’ve got to be kidding. Not worth the fuss, Really?”

    Yes really, not if SUPES provides the services they were paid for. Do they?

    “Well, we’ve all heard about Aramark’s questionable three-year, $260 million janitorial contract that is leaving our schools filthy and principals frustrated. Gee, apparently the awful food being delivered at many CPS schools, including the two that our sons attend, is part of a $97 million-a-year contract with Aramark for food service. The contract can be renewed three times.”

    Was Aramark contracted using the proper bidding procedure? If so, apparently that does not solve all the problems.

    According to my kids, this year’s food quality is about the same as it always was, which is to say not so good. However, does CPS have the money to pay for better food with so many children who get free lunch?

    As for the dirty schools, there should have been something in that contract that specifies the quality of work and the penalties for not doing it. Hopefully, it will get resolved now that the issue has been made public.

  • 854. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:00 am

    @853. “Yes really, not if SUPES provides the services they were paid for. Do they?”

    From Chicago Magazine, 4/20/15: The SUPES training program garnered consistently negative evaluations from participating CPS principals. Back in December 2013, Catalyst’s Sarah Karp wrote that “almost from the start, principals grumbled that the training was too elementary and a waste of their time.” She quotes from principal evaluations of the sessions: “One question asks what the principal found to be least useful about the session; one attendee wrote ‘All of CELA.’”

    From Catalyst, June 11, 2014: Catalyst: How were the (SUPES) sessions?

    Blaine Principal, Troy LaRaviere: “At the first one, I sat around for about an hour being encouraged to tell other people how great they were, and hearing them be encouraged to tell me how great I was. I left feeling like I wasted my time. It did not get any better as the weeks progressed. The second was about marketing your school. A very polished gentleman led the workshop – Dallas Dance from Baltimore. He made the statement that perception is reality. You have to alter people’s perception of your school. I told him and everyone gathered that I altered the perception of my school by doing what it takes to increase our student achievement. I told him it seems to me that CPS is more interested in changing people’s perception of CPS than with changing CPS itself. And the fact they paid you $20 million to come in and took money from my students and gave it to you to tell me how to market my school is evidence of that fact. That, I believed, was going to be my last training. [He was then switched to another cohort.] The new one was the best one I had been to. Principals were talking to each other, getting ideas from each other. I’ll never forget, at the end, the guy who ran it said “I know I went off script and let you guys talk.” I realized the reason it went so well was he decided to stop and not do the SUPES curriculum and actually just let us talk to each other. CPS didn’t have to pay SUPES $20 million to put principals in a room together and let us talk to each other.”

    “Was Aramark contracted using the proper bidding procedure?”

    The point is, Rahm granted Aramark very large and lucrative contracts to service CPS schools. Aramark is partly owned by Magic Johnson, a contributor to the Mayor’s election campaign. Aramark’s abysmal janitorial service has been widely complained about by school administrators and the company has been slow to respond. Aramark’s unresponsiveness has been discussed at LSC meetings at our son’s school, and I’m sure at others. Regarding the food service, both our kids used to have Chartwells and they feel it was far superior to Aramark. Perhaps if there weren’t conflicts of interest inherent in these large CPS contracts, there might be better service and more accountability from vendors such as SUPES and Aramark.

    “Your property taxes have been hiked to pay for the teachers’ pensions. School budgets were cut for the same reason.”

    Again, our property taxes are continuing to pay for massive backroom deals and fiscal mismanagement at CPS. In light of this, it’s unrealistic to assert that CTU is solely responsible for property tax hikes or school budget cuts.

  • 855. SSally  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:46 am

    “it’s unrealistic to assert that CTU is solely responsible for property tax hikes or school budget cuts.”

    Good point, they are also responsible for the children not being able to read or write. Thanks!

  • 856. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    “Some on this board blame rising property taxes solely on teacher salaries/raises”

    Taxes have gone up *less* than salaries under the CTU contract (nevermind the cost of health insurance, etc) over the past 8 years.

    Given that CPS has been tax capped for a long time, the CPS portion of property taxes would have gone up *exactly* the same amount whether the raises under the CTU contract were (i) the same, (ii) 5 times as much, or (iii) actually a decrease in salary levels.

    Anyone who asserts a cause:effect relationship between the CTU contract and the CPS portion of property taxes doesn’t understand how the system currently works.

  • 857. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Eureka!

    The solution to Angie (and all the other teacher bashers’ problem):

    We could call it Angie’s Solution:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/22/kansas-schools-funding_n_7112702.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

  • 858. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Oh, also, the CPS levy would be exactly the same if Chicago and CPS were governed by perfect angels. In case you didn’t notice, the pensions are underfunded (thanks, Richie Daley), and CPS needs every dime it is entitled to from the property tax.

    Yes, that implicates the TIF situation, and 100% release of the CPS portion of TIF funds would help out CPS. It would *NOT* lead to our property taxes being lower.

  • 859. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Excellent idea:

    Have all the kids roaming the streets of Chicago from May to September.

    I’m sure they won’t get into any trouble. We all know that idle teens behave themselves.

    Rahm could have a press conference with Angie for the big rollout:

    Angie’s Solution for CPS. She saved the taxpayers!

  • 860. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 10:00 am

    “We could call it Angie’s Solution:”

    “exceed the required minimum number of school days, so they can afford to cut a few days without violating state law”

    Um, isn’t that what CTU wants? Fewer, and shorter, school days?

    You could call it the SSI4 Solution, too, since that’s totally her hobby horse.

  • 861. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

    “Aramark is partly owned by Magic Johnson”

    The contracted entity is a JV between Aramark and Magic’s company, I’m nearly certain. To make it a minority owned enterprise.

    “Chartwells”

    Chartwells was somebody somebody sent, too. They and the other former company–Preferred Meal Services–were implicated in ‘gifts’ to CPS folks.

    The public contracting system in Chicago is really a pile of shi….smelly stuff.

  • 862. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Interesting article about Kansas. ” …..low number of snow days this past winter meant that his schools had some wiggle room when it came to a closing date”

    Years back when we were at Yellowstone, one of the rangers was asking my kids about school in Chicago and “snow days” since weather seems to be the common talking point when people learn someone is from Chicago. He couldn’t believe we didn’t have any (at the time) and went on to tell us that he was from Kansas and his sister who still lives there had so many snow days it was ridiculous. He indicated what seems like several weeks worth. When I asked him why, he said because the school buses have such long routes with many dirt roads that do not get plowed—thus they have to cancel a lot of school because any snow is a real issue for transportation. He said they started school in early August, or something like that, just to cushion for expected snow dates. As opposed to Chicago which has plows, salt, and more compact bus routes.

    Anyway, just thought it was interesting to see how it is now getting politicized as it seems most things school related do these days.

  • 863. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:17 am

    You reap what you sow! Thanks to the Patricia’s and Angie’s of the world, read this. The race to the bottom is in full force! ROFLMAO!

    http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2015/04/fewer-students-report-wanting-to-teach-study.html

  • 864. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:33 am

    @858,861. Good points. I’m for release of the TIF funds. Yes, at minimum, Chicago’s contracting system is a huge piggy bank for some of our public officials.

  • 865. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:37 am

    @ Jay. I know you want to get all nasty and spiteful, but I will try to be rational and I do really feel bad that you are so unhappy.

    If you look at the dynamics of the teaching workforce (there are plenty of studies out there), you will see many older experienced teachers and many very new teachers—not much in between. Like camel humps (I think I used this example up thread too). These two groups have very different aspirations for their work life. The more experienced teachers went into it as a passion and profession and many women and minority males did so because there were not many opportunities available to them several decades ago. So there are some really talented experienced teachers nearing retirement. The younger ones never intended on it being a lifelong profession, passion may be there or may not, and they will likely switch jobs multiple times—-as any young person does these days. It is neither right nor wrong, it is just a shift in mindset of younger people.

    Your union is trying to force everyone into the “old school mold” instead of figuring out how to evolve the teaching profession—-to keep it a profession. Your union is doing a terrible job with the changing workforce dynamics. It is not resonating with the young teachers and certainly not appealing to those kids trying to figure out their first career. You and your union are pining for the old days and bitter that the world is changing around you. It may suck, but why not try to evolve with the times? I have to say that I see a lot of young IT kids who have a completely different work ethic than I did and have vastly different expectations in the workforce. I do not begrudge them for it, nor do I dissuade them from the profession just because they are a different generation than I am. I learn from them, and they learn from me. It is not always easy, but that is the reality of today’s workforce.

    Also, young kids want to chart their own destiny. They have seen Zukerberg and other “kids” make millions. The next cool app can be their ticket to infamy. There really is not much appeal to a union job that locks you into pay grades with no ability to make more money if you are a superior performer. Maybe the pendulum will swing back to job security? I do not see that happening, but never say never.

  • 866. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Isn’t that EdWeek article just a prelude to a change in state teacher licensing requirements?

    Honest question: Can someone point me to the studies (not funded by teacher’s unions, **or** by anti-union folks) that demonstrate that those with Undergraduate Education degrees are better teachers than those with either ‘liberal arts’ or field specific (math/science/history/whatever) degrees? Do those studies exist?

  • 867. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:44 am

    @864 “Yes, at minimum, Chicago’s contracting system is a huge piggy bank for some of our public officials.”

    Agree and it has been a mess for a LONG LONG time in Chicago. Rauner is right when he says that CPS is a political patronage entity that is bureaucratic and needs to change. Hopefully gutting central office and the renewed spotlight on contracting will help improve things………………It won’t shore up the pension nightmare, but it should be more transparent and our tax dollars should be spent wisely.

  • 868. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    @867. Patronage is definately a huge problem. However, Rauner’s affinity for privatization is also a concern e.g. he’s a charter proponent. Privatization frequently doesn’t live up to it’s hype, instead delivering sub-standard “product.” This is certainly not in the best interest of taxpayers. However, it is a well-honed mechanism for public officials at the highest levels to receive lucrative kick-backs.

  • 869. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Love the passive-aggressive “spiteful and hateful” comment:

    Notwithstanding,

    Your theory of blaming the unions is one theory

    OR

    Is it because of the lack of respect and lack of pay for younger people with a laughable pension (Tier 2)?

    Let the bloggers decide. Either way, I will continue to guide my students away from the profession as much as I can.

    I want my students to work hard in college AND get rewarded for their hard work.

    The public is going to get what they pay for. Maybe high school kids are smarter than the public thinks.

    I know this: I am a GREAT teacher and am forced by my conscience to dissuade my students from entering the profession I love. Five years ago, I was encouraging them to become educators. It is pathetic really. However, I can’t control the lack of respect in the US for teachers.

    There are more Patricia’s, Angie’s, and Bruce Rauner’s in the world than teachers. The elite have control of the message. I can only do my part in my limited role.

  • 870. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    @868 I remain charter neutral and am for accountability for all schools, because they are all CPS kids. We can agree to disagree on charters. My kid’s best buddies are from rough areas with one charter and one neighborhood. Both are great kids and both their Mom’s made sure they succeeded. The one from the charter is thankful she had a safe place to send her son. That is a good use of tax dollars IMO.

  • 871. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    “a laughable pension (Tier 2)”

    CTU bargained that. Older Union leadership selling out the future to protect the past.

    I’ve never understood why, in the US system, the ‘best and brightest’ HS students would choose to go get an Education Undergrad degree.

    NOTE: *not* ‘why they would want to teach’, but ‘why they would get an BA in Education’.

  • 872. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    “protect the past” = Protect the contract between me and the state that I signed in 1992. I accepted the terms and the state agreed.

    Yes, CTU did the right thing.

    Don’t pay your mortgage for 6 months and see what happens.

    I guess the bank’s contracts are valid, but not the teachers, eh?

    I thought I was living in the United States of America where contracts matter.

    I guess to you only the contracts with which you agree matter, correct?

  • 873. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    @Jay “Is it because of the lack of respect and lack of pay for younger people with a laughable pension (Tier 2)?”

    I do think there is tremendous respect for good teachers at the “ground level” so to speak. The parents and wonderful teachers one-on-one at a classroom level. The profession overall has taken a huge hit and it is a shame. It seems like they are two completely different worlds. I blame the union for this as much as uber reformists. Unfortunately, things degrade to personal attacks instead of finding rational solutions for tenure, merit pay, firing poor performers, metrics, etc. It has become a vicious cycle of unions digging in on status quo and reformists finding legal ways around it. The real loss is for the students with a crazy mix of change that really has nothing to do with educating students and everything to do with trying to either change or avoid change. If there was rational discussion from the start and meaningful change, I think we would have no need for charter schools, testing, etc. today.

    It is in the union’s interest to make teachers feel that the world is out to get them, because it keeps everyone in the same boat and any success in resisting change is a victory for union leadership and justifies the unions existence.

    Also, the Tier 2 thing was approved by the union, right? The union’s priority was to protect the current members. It was at the expense of the new members……………and IMO at the expense of the profession.

  • 874. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    And who was on the other side of the negotiating table?

    Could it have been the politicians that were elected by the public? It amazes me how little blame has been assigned to them in 873 posts.

    As a taxpayer like you, this concerns me. However, I fully expect my contract to be enforced just like the bank that forecloses on your house.

    Here’s the rub for me: I had many options in the late 80s. I chose teaching for less money than many of those options. I wanted to give back to society and have a rewarding career. Teaching has been that for me. However, I expect a government entity in the US to fulfill its promise to me. It will. I literally feel sorry for my younger, dedicated colleagues who are getting the shaft. However, they had a choice in the mid 2000s. They had a chance to evaluate their profession of choice. Those coming in after 1/1/2011 knew or should have known exactly what they were signing up for.

    That is fair. That is the system on which American capitalism was built.

  • 875. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    @870. It’s good that your son’s friend had a safe school experience at the charter. And I’m also for accountability for all schools.

    Unfortunately, charters don’t appear to have the same reporting requirements imposed on them as do other CPS schools. If you try to find test data for CPS charters, it’s often missing or incomplete. I had this problem when researching schools using the CPS Options booklet in past. Also, charters don’t have the same checks and balances. For example, I don’t believe they have Local School Councils, which are composed of parents, neighborhood residents, teachers and staff. Major tasks for LSCs include creation of the annual school improvement plan, review of school progress toward meeting school improvement plan goals, approval of expenditures, and evaluation of principal performance.

    Blaine’s principal has had a lot to say about accountability measures. From City Club of Chicago Speakers bio: “Troy Anthony LaRaviere is the principal of Blaine Elementary School, one of the highest performing neighborhood schools in Chicago, and a relentless defender of public education. He is a CPS principal, CPS parent, and CPS graduate.

    LaRaviere uncovered the fact that CPS Office of Accountability officials altered charter school test score data. Today LaRaviere continues to lead his school while working to inform the public of the dangers of the sub-standard parasitic school system reorganization underway in Chicago and across the country. ”

    From Catalyst, 3/19/15 article: “Suspensions down, schools feel safer, but charter data still absent”

    “…But for policy experts like Dan Losen, keeping discipline records out of the public eye is deceptive at best.”

    “For the state not to be requiring charters to be releasing this information is really counterproductive. Charters are all about school choice, but if parents don’t have adequate information about each school’s discipline climate, they can’t make an informed choice,” says Losen, the director of the Los Angeles-based Center for Civil Rights Remedies. “They need to be held accountable to federal civil rights laws, and we have no way of knowing if they’re doing things like suspending kids on the basis of race or disability.”

  • 876. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    As an aside, I DO NOT need to live in the city; the residency requirement didn’t go into effect until 1994. I choose to live in the city and pay taxes. I feel my tax dollars should support the education of my students. It is a small sacrifice, I know. But it is a deliberate one.

  • 877. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I believe that contracts should be honored. It scares the heck out of me that corporations (and now government?) are gaining the ability to renege on pension obligations and other benefits that working people have counted on for their retirement. It’s not like a retired person has options for making up the difference, as would someone with many years of work ahead of them. We’re creating an even larger class of poor elderly folks in this country who will be eating cat food so that they can afford to buy their medications.

  • 878. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you Mom2boys. I would agree to a 10-year freeze to the pension COLA to help out the state, but beyond that, “I think the working class should fight like hell to protect what is rightfully ours.”

    Thanks again. The elderly should be given what they were promised.

    The SS tax should be on every dollar earned; not just the first couple hundred thousand. It was on the first $106,000 until Obama upped it.

    I can tell you this; if I made a million a year, I would have NO problem giving $60,000 in SS tax to help society.

    But, then again, I;m a teacher.

  • 879. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    “It amazes me how little blame has been assigned to them in 873 posts.”

    Um, you mean like the dozen times I’ve blamed Richie Daley for the underfunding of the pensions? Should *every* comment lead with that?

    ” the working class should fight like hell ”

    Are teachers working class or professionals? You don’t get to have it both ways.

  • 880. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Chris, if you blamed Daley, then we are in complete agreement. Rahm, for all his faults, is cleaning up the Daley mess. I empathize with him. He has a tough job, just like Obama does,cleaning up the George Bush mess.

    Nonetheless, I can only control my world. I’ve dutifully paid into my pension, unlike 66% of the suburban teachers, whose teachers were given pension pick-ups by the districts. After all, the districts didn’t have to contribute anything; the state picked it up.

    I applaud Rahm for bringing this GROSS injustice to the fore. A portion of the Chicago taxpayers’ state income tax was and STILL IS paying for those suburban teachers’ pensions. I did a research project on the subject for my Ed. Admin Master’s degree. I was outraged and so should EVERY Chicago taxpayer.

    Suburban teacher: 0% contribution every check
    Chicago teacher: 9.4- 9.6% contribution every check (plus those of us living in the city= a portion of our State taxes)

  • 881. Peter  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I can’t believe CTU would rather destroy CPS than find a way to make it work.

  • 882. Angie  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    @854. Mom2Boys: Blaine Principal, Troy LaRaviere? Yeah, there’s a source with no bias whatsoever. Why don’t you quote Diane Ravitch while you’re at it?

    “The point is, Rahm granted Aramark very large and lucrative contracts to service CPS schools. Aramark is partly owned by Magic Johnson, a contributor to the Mayor’s election campaign. ”

    No, the point is that in some people’s eyes Rahm can do no right, so this issue was used as an attempt to sway the election. I wouldn’t rule out a little sabotage, either, to prove the point. Thankfully, it did not work on April 7.

    @857. Jay: “Eureka! The solution to Angie (and all the other teacher bashers’ problem)”

    This article reminds me of CTA contract negotiations in 2010, where union opted to cut the service for customers rather than make any concessions. And things like that make me wish for Ronald Reagan and his solution to the air traffic controller problem.

    @872. Jay : False logic. Mortgage papers have my signature on them, and my ability to pay the money back was verified before said mortgage was issued. Neither is true in the case of your pension contract.

    @877. Mom2Boys: “I believe that contracts should be honored.”

    And I believe that contracts signed by the puppet politicians elected with the help of union money and promising them the unsustainable pensions in exchange for campaign contributions should be declared null and void, because having the funds to pay for them never entered either party’s mind.

  • 883. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    ” if you blamed Daley, then we are in complete agreement. Rahm, for all his faults, is cleaning up the Daley mess.”

    I don’t believe I exaggerated by calling it a dozen times in this thread alone.

    Daley screwed the (then future, now present) City for his personal electoral and financial benefit. The hagiography of him and his family is repugnant.

    The TRS/CTPF disparate treatment is the price Daley has bequeathed to us to pay for ceding total control of CPS to the Mayor’s office.

    Rahm–as you note, despite his faults–at least acknowledges that there is a real problem, and that the can cannot be kicked forever. Whether his strategy is the best–or even workable–cannot be known until after it actually happens.

    Serious question, Jay:

    It appear that you do not have a BA in education. Why do you cite declining numbers in undergrad education programs as the (implied) ‘best’ evidence of declining interest in teaching? Had I (20 odd years ago) been seriously interested in teaching, I still would have *never* considered going to an undergrad ed school; and I think that would be the right choice for *most* kids who *are* interested in teaching.

    While we’ve been (quite!) happy with all of our kid’s teachers to date, I’ve found that those with non-education BAs have been the better of the bunch. And I believe that that is more true in HS.

  • 884. Mom2Boys  |  April 22, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    @882. This discussion is not about Rahm. Election is over. My point was about fiscal mismanagement and improper spending of taxpayer money. Why is ok for politicians to misspend our money, but you rail against unions? Also, I don’t believe for a hot second that you’d champion that retirement benefits be declared null and void if you were counting on them in old age, no matter how and with whom those contracts were developed. I guess you’ve got your lifeboat, right?

    While Blaine’s principal isn’t afraid to speak out, he is a notable star performer at CPS, racking up the achievements at his school that make droves of parents wish they could send their kids to his school. He seeks to improve outcomes, and is a proponent of transparency. Ditto Diane Ravitch, who is a noted scholar and educational expert.

    @878. Yes, absolutely, the social security cap should be lifted so that everyone pays based on their full income, not only the lower/middle classes. That would sure solve a lot of issues.

  • 885. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    “the social security cap should be lifted”

    Do the folks who suggest this understand the basis for the political resistance? That it isn’t *solely* about not wanting to increase taxes?

  • 886. Angie  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    @884. Mom2Boys: ” This discussion is not about Rahm. Election is over. My point was about fiscal mismanagement and improper spending of taxpayer money.”

    So what do you know about this bidding process? Who was Aramark’s competition, how much did they bid, which references they submitted, etc.? Why are you so sure that this was not the best deal CPS could get?

    “Also, I don’t believe for a hot second that you’d champion that retirement benefits be declared null and void if you were counting on them in old age, no matter how and with whom those contracts were developed. I guess you’ve got your lifeboat, right?”

    My lifeboat is social security at 67, plus whatever I can save until then. As for the union retirees, I’m not saying that they should be left without any payments. However, the current benefits are way too generous compared with what they pay into the system, and since they absolutely refuse to consider any reduction, I see no choice but to force the issue somehow. Bankruptcy, changes to the constitution, or whatever it takes to balance the books without making the private sector workers shoulder the entire responsibility for someone else’s bad decisions.

  • 887. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Chris,

    I have a BS in Education and two masters degrees. My education classes were crappy; however, the undergrad teaching classes pertaining to my field of study were very good and my cooperating prof and student-teaching experience were exceptional. I am not even aware of the distinction you are making, as I haven’t paid any attention to the inner workings of Ed programs after I graduated.

  • 888. Jay  |  April 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Wow. Your signature? After the mortgage crisis? Angie only believes in contracts she likes. Guess what? I signed my employment agreement.

    And you’re psychic now? Angie is blessed with the ability to read what is in the heads of politicians and union leaders.

    This blog is blessed to be graced by “Angie the Great.”

    Or

    Angie is delusional and will spew any crap that will justify her viewpoint.

  • 889. Patricia  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    @875 I am for more charter accountability. Kudos to CPS for pushing for it too. My understanding is that even though the legislation is not there yet for charter accountability, CPS is measuring ALL schools on the same criteria. New charters have it in their contract and current charters have it added at renewal time. CPS has made it pretty much non-negotiable—-meaning if you don’t agree to be measured by it, then no charter for you. It makes sense since ALL the schools are CPS schools and ALL the students are CPS students.

    I do not think you can accurately compare charters and neighborhood schools. They are different and serve different purposes. I would never take away a choice for a parent who wants to get their kid into a situation where learning is expected and being smart is not mocked by peers. You can’t measure this and IMO it is critical to student success in high poverty areas. Charters provide this as do parochial schools. Vouchers would be a good thing.

    The Blaine principal is not a credible source. He is so bias and while he makes some good points, he has a personal political agenda and is not objective. Blaine was desirable well before he became principal. Sure there are parents who love him………..but there are many parents who play the game and kiss his ring, but think he is a whackado. They fear retribution on their kid and I don’t blame them for playing along.

  • 890. Angie  |  April 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    @888. Jay: “Wow. Your signature? After the mortgage crisis? Angie only believes in contracts she likes. Guess what? I signed my employment agreement.”

    Yes, my signature on the mortgage contract stating that I borrowed the money and agreed to pay it back. Everything else, such as income and asset verification, proof of employment and other supporting documentation was a part of verifying my ability to pay the loan back. The agreements is between me and the bank, and we agreed to use our respective money under the certain terms.

    Your agreement, on the other hand, is between you and the politicians you helped to elect, yet it is using the taxpayers’ money without them having any say in the matter. If there is not enough to fulfill all the promises, no problem, you’ll just ask taxpayers for more. That is taxation without representation.

  • 891. Chris  |  April 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Jay: ” I am not even aware of the distinction you are making, as I haven’t paid any attention to the inner workings of Ed programs after I graduated.”

    Well, then your citation to the falling numbers of kids entering/graduating from Education programs is even less meaningful. A bachelors in education is not the only way to become a teacher, and I would argue that it is often not the best (BUT–sometimes it is! Tough to state a unified theory!!).

    Also: If you are in fact Jay Rehak, as you have implied, then your LinkedIn profile is inconsistent with your statement of your education here.

  • 892. Mom2Boys  |  April 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    @889. ” I would never take away a choice for a parent who wants to get their kid into a situation where learning is expected and being smart is not mocked by peers.”

    I never suggested that we should take away current school choices for families. But I am against the continued pattern of school privatization. Unfortunately, CPS has a pattern of starving low income area neighborhood schools of needed resources, then charter operators move in and parents are offered a “choice” for their children. Who wouldn’t want their children to attend better resourced schools?

    “The Blaine principal is not a credible source.”

    I strongly disagree with this assertion. LaRaviere is a nationally respected educator, and one of a very few who isn’t afraid to speak out about broken programs and corrupt practices in an attempt to improve education in Chicago.

    “They fear retribution on their kid and I don’t blame them for playing along.”

    Source for this assertion? Seems like a pretty extreme statement.

  • 893. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “Angie the Great’s” vote doesn’t count OR she doesn’t vote. You were represented in all negotiations by the politicians YOU elected.

    Sorry, you picked the wrong guys/gals to represent you. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    I’m getting paid until the day I die. Get a box of Kleenex for the teacher-bashers on this board. They are going to need it.

  • 894. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Really,

    Since you are SOOOO smart, why don’t you “school” us about why the SS cap is in place?

    I will get back to you with data on your BS education program distinction theory.

    I suspect 90% of teachers come out of education programs, but I will post later.

  • 895. Patricia  |  April 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    @892 I have always believed that there would be no need for charters if CTU and CPS would work together on solutions for low performing schools. (I do think there is some recent effort that BB and Karen Lewis have referenced that sounds promising.) Instead the union digs in on tenure and fighting change—-not allowing for combat pay or other ideas that may not involve all union employees. CPS finds ways around it with budgeting until they reach a threshold to trigger change. The CTU can make charters unnecessary if it would allow for its members to be treated differently (which is against their ideology, but IMO has contributed to the rise of charters). I think there is a percentage of charters that is good for the district. My guess is somewhere 20-30%.

    As far as the Blaine principal. It wouldn’t be “source”, it would be “sources” and I am not naming names. I know who I know, I meet who I meet, they share what they share……i.e. “play along and kiss his ring or there may be retribution on my kid”. I really do not care if you believe me or not. Publicly it is clear he has personal political aspirations and as a result, he is not objective. Certainly some good ideas and I have no problem with speaking out, but he has a personal political agenda which clouds his crediblity.

  • 896. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:17 am

    In the United States, approximately one-third of new teachers come through alternative routes to teacher certification, according to testimony given by Emily Feistritzer, the President of National Center for Alternative Certification and the National Center for Education Information, to a congressional subcommittee on May 17, 2007.

    So, 67% come from teacher ed. programs. Assuming they’ve improved, those taking alternative routes just bastardizes the profession.

    So the drop is real, AND is just getting started.

    Teaching will be a “bridge job” in the next decade, not a profession.

    Good luck with that. The “race to the bottom” is underway.

    As I get paid for the rest of my life with your increased taxes, I will watch the rapid disintegration of the US into a banana republic where the government and the worker bees “catch fish for the mass uneducated” instead of “teaching them how to fish.”

    The US had a good run….

  • 897. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

    In addition, considering the self-interest of the source I cited, she probably inflated the alternative #’s, so I believe it is 75% come from teachers’ ed programs.

  • 898. Peter  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Jay, when CPS declares bankruptcy, you won’t be getting what you think.

  • 899. michele  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Quick question about budgeting at CPS, for a start can we as taxpayers begin asking CPS to make sure Charter schools are paying full rents on the property that they are occupying. Maybe worth an audit to see how fair market rate rents on all properties that Charters are using could help in CPS manage cash flow. Seems like a totally simple first step to identity financial resources that are currently not being accessed by the system. Maybe the federal probe can look into this as well.

  • 900. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Yeah right. Assuming a bk, the Detroit pensioners only lost 4.5%.After all the threats. Oooooh, I’m scared. Rahm is too arrogant to even have a bk. Get ready to pay until I die.

  • 901. Chris  |  April 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

    “So, 67% come from teacher ed. programs. Assuming they’ve improved, those taking alternative routes just bastardizes the profession.”

    Jay Rehak asserts on his LinkedIn page that he has a BA in English–not a BS/BA in Education.

    Karen Lewis has a degree in Chemistry from Dartmouth, not a BS/BA in Education.

    Jesse Sharkey has a degree in History from Brown, not a BS/BA in Education.

    So, I guess they all bastardize the profession?

    If an undergraduate degree in education is so all important, why are we trusting our children’s education to a union lead by people without one???

    Yes, they *all* have masters degrees (of one ilk or another) in teaching. As do all of the teachers I was referring to. And I think that that is the *better* approach.

  • 902. Patricia  |  April 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    @Jay
    Good to see movement in your thinking. So a freeze on COLA for 10 years plus a 4.5% reduction (perhaps more) is something you can stomach. That is a start. How about paying a bit more for healthcare or have all government workers use the open exchange or some way to supplement medicare?

    The discussion needs to get beyond threats and insults and focus on solutions. Although, Bankruptcy may be the only way to have a productive conversation.

    @Michelle, interesting idea, but why focus on vilifying charters? Many support them and that would just cause conflict out of the box. Plenty of other things budget wise would be better.

  • 903. Chris  |  April 23, 2015 at 11:15 am

    “why the SS cap is in place”

    Because it is considered a quasi-pension, and since there is a cap on the wage income used for calculating benefits (and those is no wage income–ie, the Capitalist class, whose income is dividends and capital gains–are not entitled to collect), that is also the cap on the wage income that is subject to the ‘contribution’.

    I think it has been a ridiculous distinction since the rate was increased under Reagan, but the fiction of it being a ‘contribution’ to the system, rather than just a separate income tax, has endured. And I think that the idolatry of St. Ronnie plays a role in that.

  • 904. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 11:18 am

    No movement. Was said in the first few blogs in my posts. You guys were too busy bashing teachers to notice.

  • 905. Angie  |  April 23, 2015 at 11:57 am

    @900. Jay: “Yeah right. Assuming a bk, the Detroit pensioners only lost 4.5%.After all the threats. Oooooh, I’m scared. ”

    Where did you get this number?

    “In Detroit, which emerged from bankruptcy at the end of last year, pensioners received about 60 percent of the value of their pension claim. Investment banks party to Detroit’s derivative contracts received only about 30 percent of the value from those deals.”

    Source: CPS’ billion-dollar budget hole leaves unappealing options
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-cps-budget-crisis-met-20150422-story.html#page=1

  • 906. Peter  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Is Jay trying to make CPS parents hate the CTU?

  • 907. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Yes, that is over an actuarial life of the pension because the COLA has been frozen. It was a 4.5% cut. I’ve already posted the link numerous times. Sorry if you didn’t click through.

    I’m getting a SWEET pension (nice and high). I will be fine! The COLA is not that important to me. I am retiring in paradise abroad where the cost of living is 50% less than Illinois.

    An added bonus is that I don’t want to spend money in the US so that YOU have to pay more for my pension.

    Angie’s taxes are like gold to me!

  • 908. Jay  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    No,
    Only the moronic teacher-bashers who spend all day bashing teachers on this thread.

    It gives me great pleasure.