FY12 Budget

Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget for Chicago Public Schools

Campaign: FY12 Budget

Promote Energy Efficiency

Encourage schools to turn off lights and computers, scale back on heating, and generally run their buildings more efficiently. At home, when we're "tightening our belts" we make sure we don't leave lights on or windows open in winter. Why not do the same in schools? I think it could really add up!

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Budget from alternative sources

I applaud the health efforts that CPS has started with making reccess mandatory and including a nutrition segment in the SIPAAA.

 

I would suggest that the CPS board would consider to have aldermen agree to use TIF funds to include additional resources for school (extended learning time or investing in school soccer, basketball teams). I hope that CPS can receive more funding from the state instead of depending on local revenue. IL is one of the states that allocates the least amount of funding for education.

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Great idea

I really like that CPS is maintaining class sizes

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Where is the Innovation Plan in this budget?

I'm struck by the absence of an innovation plan in this budget. What are the tested innovation initiatives that are being expanded? What are the new ideas that will be tried in controlled "test markets" in the coming year. I would have expected to see Innovation Initiatives that address both quality improvements (people-driven and technology-driven) and cost (fixed and variable) reductions. Ask yourselves "What Would Apple Do?" (as it relates to innovation)...and build it into the plan. I for one would not approve this budget without it.

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Facilities

How many construction managers, architects, managers, engineers and maintenance people are actually needed to run CPS facilities? The Public Building Commision manages construction of city facilities, but CPS and the PBC contract with outside firms to plan construction and maintenance. Is there anyone who works for either of these agencies that can actually perform the work that gets contracted out? How many layers of management are there in the facilities dept? What role does an Asset Manager, Portfolio Manager, Area Facility Manager or Building Engineer play? Are any of these responsibilities duplicated on any level? Can either be eliminated and have their roles reassigned? Why does a government agency the size of CPS and with so many facilities not have its own trades people? Why is so much money reserved for contracts? How about using that TIF money to build larger, more efficient facilities and demolish the smaller ones. It wouldn't require as many administrators or maintenance people, and it would also save money on physical plant maintenance in the long run. Make the attendance areas larger and put your beat cops to work to ensure student safety during arrival and dismissal times.

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Reduce Infrastructure & Operating Costs by $5,000 per student

With declining enrollment over the past decade, the infrastructure issue must be addressed immediately and dramatically. This budget calls for a cost per student of $20,570, of which only $7,690 is instructional cost. The rest is infrastructure and overhead. This budget needs to target a reduction in operating costs of at least $5,000 per student and get to work on realizing this savings. By the way, this cost compares with tuition at the British School of $23,350 (grades 1 - 6) and the Catholic School average of $3,500 (where graduation rates are 96%).

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Budget hearings & face time

Next year, the Chicago Public Schools should hold the first of its scheduled series of budget hearings on the South or West Side. In general, the press fails to provide meaningful (if any) coverage of budget hearings held after the initial one which has always been held on the North Side. This serves to perpetuate the notion that the powers that be are less interested in the issues and opinions of folks who don’t live in the northern part of the city.

 

Concerns about access to TIF dollars, budget opacity, and lack of ongoing opportunities for public involvement in budget discussions were expressed across communities. Concern about whether the proposed budget supports successful school completion for all of our young people and redresses inadequacies and inequities in access to educational resources (educator quality/quantity, quality curriculum, computer technology, after-school programs, mentoring, non-punitive discipline, facilities, and etc) was loudest at the hearing on the South Side.

 

Face time

Mr. Brizard told his July 28, faculty town hall meeting audience, "you have got to understand that we exist to serve the public" and "if a parent is in your face, yelling at you, that's parent engagement." He said that when it's about his own children, he wants to be able to speak directly to those most responsible without having his words filtered through somebody else. Mr. Brizard should model the behavior he's asking of frontline educators. In the future, CEO Brizard, along with his cabinet, should attend all of the budget hearings and hear directly from the very “public” he said he was hired to serve.

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Revenue Ideas for CPS

Charge consultant fee for professional staff information that is expected and shared with other schoold districts. Who are the experts on our children in Chicago? CPS!

Tax for those who scream preferential treatment in hiring "Chicago's very own"

Why would our children and Adult children raised by CPS suffer be hungry and jobless for someone who is NOT from Chicago?

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Virtual Schools & Online Courses

Expand technology programs by offering options for online courses to high school students. Provide parents and students with the option of attending virtual school. Minnesota has an excellent K-12 virtual school program. Virtual schools greatly reduce operating expenses but provide quality education if properly implemented. Technology offers many opportunities to reduce district overhead expenses!

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

New Central Office

Hi Mr. Brizard-

 

Welcome to CPS. Here is my idea for saving money:

 

 

 

Geographically, there is much more south side than north side in Chicago. So, looking at a map, the geographic center of Chicago is about 31st and Western. The CPS central office’s former location was, roughly, at 39th and Western----very centrally located. However, it was in a very old, partially run-down, warehouse-type building. It is widely recognized that the CPS central office was relocated downtown so that it would be closer to city hall and the political power of Chicago.

 

 

 

Whenever, I or my colleagues need to go out to schools and be at central office on the same day, we are reimbursed up to $25 for parking. This really adds up. Also, it is time consuming traveling in and out of the Loop several times per week. Since we are short staffed, we should not waste so much time dealing with traffic and Loop parking lots. When we need to meet with citywide staff members, we must scramble around looking for a space large enough to hold the group. In the past, we had the use of Medill, but now Medill is being converted into a charter school. Our current choices are Colman (dim, dingy, in disrepair, not reliable internet access), 1900 N. Austin (in disrepair, not always reliable internet access), TAMS (always booked), or Princeton (I have never been there, but I do not hear positive things).

 

 

 

My idea for saving money, over the long run, would be to find a location on the west side of Chicago (there are plenty of vacant land areas) and build a brand new central office for CPS. This could be a sleek, efficient, no-frills building resembling a large new warehouse to reflect the austere times in which it is being built. It could be one of those steel constructions that are always advertised. It could be constructed so that all of our departments would be in one location. All of the offices, cubicles, conference rooms, large meeting rooms and even the board chambers could be located in a brand new, efficient compound. The warehouse could be part of the complex (maybe a separate building) so that we could get rid of the current location off of 47th Street (appears to be in disrepair) and whatever other warehouses CPS has. CPS could purchase a segway for you, Mr. Brizard, to travel between departments.

 

 

 

I think that, over time, this would save money because CPS would not have to maintain all of these old buildings. Managers would be more accessible to schools and, therefore, more likely to be out at schools supporting teachers and principals. I am not sure about the operating cost of the central office, but I am sure it is more expensive in the Loop than it would be in a new construction on the west side. An added bonus would be the economic advantages that a CPS central office located on the west side would bring to its surrounding neighborhood. Pretty soon there would be Subways, McDonalds, Corner Bakeries, and Potbellies springing up in an area that needs more jobs and economic growth.

 

 

 

I know that initially, this would cost millions that CPS does not have, but, over time, CPS may recoup the initial cost in added efficiencies.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Diane

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Charge a Fee for at Home Video Access to Board Meetings

CPS could charge a fee to view CPS Board Meeting from Home and also charge a fee for listiening to the audio live by call thru your home telephone. The fee could be automatically charged to your phone bill.

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Campaign: FY12 Budget

Sports Programs

Consider scaling back on sports programs. Are we concerned with education or athletics? There are plenty of community programs that offer sports, recreation, and athletic programs for children and teens. How much money is spent on sports programs that can be used to enrich educational programs? Just a thought!

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