FY12 Budget

Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget for Chicago Public Schools

FY12 Budget

Take back TIF funds

Mr. Brizard,

 

While it is a step in the right direction that your boss has made use of TIF funds more transparent it does little to solve the problem. There are still many millions of dollars diverted from the public schools to serve private developers. Take back the funding that is rightfully ours and balance the books the right way. Instead of fighting against the educators of Chicago you should be fighting for us. Stand-up to your boss and tell him to give back the TIF money that rightfully belongs to CPS.

 

Regards,

A parent, CPS teacher, and property owner

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FY12 Budget

Stop the Incessant Assessments!

In many CPS schools, students are given 7-9, 3 hour standardized assessments per year. That means students are taking standardized assessments about every 2-3 weeks, and this doesn't include midterms and finals. The students get burned out (anybody would!), and rarely do they take these assessments seriously, yet schools are held accountable for whether the scores are improving. These standardized assessments cost thousands of dollars and take away from instructional time, but have little validity because students are just not taking them seriously. Our kids are not robots, they are intellectual and curious young adults hungry for enrichment and experience. Why not invest in enrichment programs or technology rather than dumping CPS funds into incessant assessments?

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FY12 Budget

Stop giving our public funds to private charter schools!

We taxpayers have paid for all these schools, equipment, books, etc. They belong to us (government represents us.) I do not want our schools handed over to private corporations or groups. I want our schools to be run by us (government). And I want teachers to be maintained as public employees represented by unions.

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FY12 Budget

TIF Reform

Unless I'm misunderstanding, a large portion of the proposed raise in property taxes will go to TIFs rather than schools. It is time we recognize that school funding must not be diverted to other city projects. TIF reform is imperative so that money collected for schools will actually go to the schools.

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FY12 Budget

Increase CPS Spending on RTI & Restorative Justice Programming

Chicago Public School is following the path of other large urban school districts with the introduction of a new Response To Intervention (RTI) Program. The program is designed to create a learning environment and classroom culture that optimizes the potential for student achievement.

 

As a strategy RTI recognizes that academic, behavioral, social and emotional not only enhance achievement, but 1) decrease office discipline referrals, 2) decrease number of suspensions, 3) decrease lost instruction time, 4) increase administrative time to focus on instruction and 5) increase student and staff engagement.

 

When fully funded and implemented RTI along with other strategies including Restorative Justice can work together to effectively reduce the more than 43,000 students suspensions and 600 student expulsions in Chicago Public Schools during the 2009 -2010 school year.

 

While this budget addresses security spending in Chicago Public Schools for the upcoming fiscal year, by identifying $72 million with an additional $7 million to be spent on security cameras alone, it does not clearly state how RTI and other similar much needed violence prevention strategies designed 'to "Educate, Inspire and Transform" our students and the lives of the communities they live in are to be funded. As an example, it is estimated that if Restorative Justice was implemented in each Chicago Public School it would cost approximately $42 million per year. THIS IS LESS THAN 1% OF THE PROPOSED BUDGET.

 

The High HOPES (Healing Over the Punishment of Expulsions and Suspensions) Campaign city-wide coalition whose constituents include faith/ community-based, parent and student advocacy organizations is requesting that this budget increase spending on RTI, Restorative Justice and other proven strategies that promote student learning and community engagement by coordinating and advancing a system of prevention and interventions. It is also being requested that this budget increase spending on the systems to measure the effectiveness of such strategies.

 

Reverend Robert E.Biekman

Pastor Southlawn United Methodist Church

Leader with Communtiy Renewal Society

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FY12 Budget

Early Childhood

I think it's great that CPS is putting more focus on Early Childhood Education. So many studies have shown how important it is to get children in the classroom sooner rather than later. So great job by focusing on Early Childhood CPS.

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FY12 Budget

Less security, more support!

I work in a high school of 1600 students which employs 23 security guards. With the budget proposal as it stands, maybe we will have 24 for 2012.

Our students would be suspended less, drop out less, and learn significantly more about handling conflict with grace by shifting the budget for security to a budget for Restorative Justice. Security guards and disciplinarians don't need to lose their jobs -- just retrain them to implement positive behavior interventions!

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FY12 Budget

Forensic audit

If CPS would put real numbers in the budget, be as transparent as they claim to want to be, get TIF money that is suppose to go to the schools, oh, yeah and receive from the lottery which was suppose to be for schools, stop throwing out good stuff, - O.K. I think that's enough for now - then I think their budget might be in order without having to raise taxes.

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FY12 Budget

TIF Reform; Charter Schools- no!; TFA- no!; CTU & parents

1) I will gladly pay more property tax if it's going to Chicago kids. However, CPS has lost millions of dollars to the TIF program. Demand reform & sit in those TIF meetings and refuse the taking of money from our kids.

2) Charter schools do not have cuts in funding?!? That is not right. These schools (which are selectibe in their enrollment & are unregulated) are now taking from neighborhood schools. For shame!

3) TFA- no thanks! I value both new & experiences teachers. I have no patience for in & out college grads who don't have a vested interest in our community.

4) CTU and CPS Parents need to be involved in budget negotiations from day 1.

Thank you for your time.

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FY12 Budget

CPS Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is!

Great strides were made with the revision of the 2011-2012 SCC, specifically with the expansion on Restorative Justice (RJ) and the focus on the Response to Intervention (RTI) strategy. Also reflected in the new SCC is the expectation that “suspensions should be the last resort” for school administrators, teachers, and staff. Preventative and proactive programs that promise to ensure students’ achievement by changing schools’ climates appear to be CPS’s priority for the upcoming year. Priorities are in order for CPS (or at least it appears that way on paper).

 

It makes sense to demand administrators and teachers create nurturing environments and keep kids there by not suspending them. Suspending kids results in loss of class time, and a decrease in their grades. Suspension is so common that children rarely fear at home suspension, but rather enjoy a vacation from school to be out in the streets, play video games, and be on facebook. Suspensions, punishments, and expulsions do not teach children what they have done wrong, nor does it condition them not to do it again because statistics show that kids continue to get suspended at high rates. Last year 1 out 10 kids got suspended!

 

However, if preventative and proactive programs are a priority for CPS, why isn’t RTI a line item in the budget? Why is CPS cutting $87 million to supplemental programs which include Restorative Justice programs that truly build safe school cultures and avoid suspensions and expulsions, while CPS is spending an extra $7 million in security cameras? If administrators, teachers and staff are expected to produce a different result in the schools, why are they not being given the appropriate tools and resources to do so?

 

CPS has a duty to provide principals, teachers and staff other alternatives to punitive punishments they encourage against. More importantly CPS has a duty to our children to provide them a quality education. The High H.O.P.E.S. (Healing Over Punishment, Expulsion, and Suspensions) Campaign estimates that CPS can get a Restorative Justice program in every CPS school for $42 million, only 1% of the entire CPS budget. Let’s invest in our children and fund and implement RJ and other proven strategies.

 

If we expect different results we need to change the way things have been done in the past. What will set aside this CPS administration from those who came before it other than rhetoric and semantics? CPS’s suspension and drop-out rates are embarrassing. But nothing is seriously being done about it. We continue to invest in CPD and zero tolerance measures that have not worked.

 

Also, rethink the message that is being sent by prioritizing police officers in the schools and replacing old security cameras. The message sent is that we KNOW our kids will do bad things, but not to worry because WHEN they do CPS will catch them, suspend and most likely arrest them. If the budget remains as is, CPS will deny students of a quality education and might just give them the gift of a criminal record. How far in life can we expect our youth to get with this kind of support? Security is important, but CPS should not prioritize reactive strategies above proactive and preventative ones such as RJ and other proven strategies that will change the culture and climate of schools, not weed out the “bad kids”. Last year more kids dropped out than graduated. Our kids, our future, cannot afford for CPS to give up on them.

 

Janet Vargas

Enlace Chicago

Youth Organizer

Member of The High H.O.P.E.S. (Healing Over Punishment, Expulsions and Suspension) Campaign

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FY12 Budget

Solving the budget deficit

Instead of laying off so many of our teachers, which are the brick and mortar of the school board, maybe we should focus on eliminating redundant positions at the central office. If someone sat down and performed an analysis for each department (specifically the two department I worked in) they would realized that there are several employees whose jobs are either unnecessary, redundant, or not a function of high productivity and fiscal prosperity.

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FY12 Budget

TIF Reform

I notice that that in a city of 2.7 million people, only 16 people have offered ideas here. Perhaps that's because they believe this forum is simply a way CPS can claim to value citizen input without actually taking any of the suggestions seriously. The most popular ideas here have to do with giving TIF funds back to the schools. This was also a recurring theme that citizens brought up in the recent budget meetings. My idea is for you to actually take citizen input seriously. If we see no TIF reform, we will know that those who see these forums and meetings as a waste of time are right, and that CPS and the City of Chicago are still more dedicated to their wealthiest citizens than to the children and other citizens they purport to serve.

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