Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rahm -- 'Let them eat chaos.'

While protesting teachers marched outside, parent Chitunda Tillman Sr, who has 3 kids who are CPS students, tells the board exactly what he thinks about their school budget cuts. (Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times)
 “With a historic billion-dollar deficit, we are taking every step we can to minimize any impacts to the classroom."  --CPS Liar-in-Chief Becky Carroll
Homeowners, prepare to dig deeper. Schoolchildren — especially high schoolers — prepare to get less. -- Sun-Times
The Carroll quote is from a few weeks ago. The other is the lead-in to today's CPS budget story. Remember LIC Carroll assuring parents that budget cuts wouldn't target the classroom? Well they have, slashing classroom spending by $68 million. This while throwing the whole system into chaos by closing about 50 schools, mostly in African-American neighborhoods, further disrupting the lives of more than 40,000 children and their families and costing teachers and staff more than 3,000 jobs.

BBB claims that the big hit on classrooms is in response to the pension "crisis." Nothing could be farther from the truth. The CPS budget cuts have little to do with the size of retiree pensions or health care since the city and state haven't been paying their share into the pension fund for years. Rather it's a revenue problem in a state where the very rich and the big corporations pay little or no taxes.

Rosemary Vega wants at 'em as well.
Raising property taxes, and depleting district budget reserves, are wrong answers to a long-term funding problem. They're  the wrong way to generate revenue for the schools. Instead, Rahm should be pushing for a  larger and more progressive state income tax with less reliance on county property taxes. He should also be directing his huge TIF fund surplus towards school spending.


As you might expect, with Rahm in control of city schools, not everyone came out losers in this year of draconian budget cuts. The pension "crisis" doesn't seem to have affected big budget winners including UNO's scandal-ridden charter schools and charter networks run by Chicago Int'l. and Noble St. who made out like bandits.Taking the biggest hits were Curie, Kelly, Fenger, Phillips and Morgan Park H.S.

Another big budget winner was Teach For America (TFA) who's 5-week wonders will be contracted with in record numbers to replace Chicago's fired teachers and staff. Since arriving in Chicago with 34 recruits in 2000, TFA's numbers have surged to a corps size of 500 this year, with over 1,700 alumni in the region.
A lot has changed in Chicago's education ecosphere since the '90s, however. Nowadays major budget cuts, layoffs, and school closings in Chicago have left an absence of vacant teaching positions. The added influx of TFA corps in the city means they now compete head-to-head for jobs with traditional teachers. But after almost two decades of sending their minimally trained elite college graduates into struggling schools across the county, the non-partisan data on TFA corp members' success is mixed at best. -- Gapers Block
Don't miss this HuffPost Live segment on TFA, including an interview with Chicago teacher activist, Katie Osgood.


 I bet it got Rahm's attention.
Sneed hears [CTU Pres. Karen] Lewis may be enlisting the advice of a bazooka, the silent victim of Rahm’s verbal war: former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who made peace with the teachers union during his tenure in office — and who is the unnamed culprit in Rahm’s criticism of the Chicago school system.
◆ To wit: Sneed has learned that Lewis and Daley were spotted huddling at Gibsons eatery Tuesday in the wake of CPS officials announcing what Lewis called a bloodbath”: The layoffs last week of 2,113 teachers and other employees, a month after 850 CPS layoffs because of school closures. -- In Sneed's column this morning.
The Art of War
 If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. -- Sun Tsu

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