Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicago Public Schools Teeter on Fiscal Precipice | janresseger

Chicago Public Schools Teeter on Fiscal Precipice | janresseger:

Chicago Public Schools Teeter on Fiscal Precipice


 The Chicago Public Schools instituted a sudden, early February, unpaid four-day teacher furlough to save $35 million, along with a $46 million spending freeze on school discretionary funds that pay for textbook purchases, after-school programs, field trips, and hourly aides. But, at the end of last week after massive protests, the school district restored $15 million, when it became apparent that the city’s poorest schools had experienced the deepest cuts.

Lauren Fitzpatrick of the Sun-Times reports: “Money was given back to 434 schools that qualify for federal Title I money for low income children….”  “The Sun-Times found that schools where three of four children are low-income generally had their discretionary funds cut at twice the rate as schools where one in four children were low-income. The newspaper also found that majority Hispanic schools saw freezes that were twice as large as majority white schools.”
Juan Perez of the Chicago Tribune explains why schools serving the poorest Hispanic and African American students were unfairly penalized by the budget freeze: “CPS originally determined the amount of money schools had to cut in the spending freeze by looking at the money each building held in three accounts: funds received from the district on a per-pupil basis; supplemental state aid meant to help educate low-income students; and federal grant funds. These state and federal dollars aren’t meant to be used on general operating costs, but are intended to keep class sizes low and support learning programs in schools that have a higher number of low-income and minority students…  If poorer schools or buildings with large numbers of English-language learners had not yet spent their state and federal aid, those schools had more money to cut and were then in many cases hit hardest by the spending freeze.”
The problem is that nobody knows where the money to cover the restoration of the funds is going to come from. Restoring $15 million to the poorest schools will add to the district’s Chicago Public Schools Teeter on Fiscal Precipice | janresseger:

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