Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rahm's great longer-school-day hoax. Charging students $500 for extra classes.

(Fred Klonsky toon)
The hoax began with a mega-political campaign which tried unsuccessfully to convince CPS parents and teachers that the magic bullet in school reform was more seat time for students. When hardly any schools bought into this bogus, baseless notion, the mayor imposed his will on schools, as usual, from the top down.

It was Karen Lewis and the CTU who, without opposing a longer school day and year, repeatedly asked questions like -- How will it be paid for? What will be done with the added time?

Now schools have to live with the longer school day, even while Rahm is slashing budgets, closing schools and firing hundreds of teachers and staff and cutting art programs from the curriculum.

In response, Joyce Kenner, principal at the city's top selective-enrollment school, Whitney Young, is threatening to charge students $500 each if they take a 7th-period class. If this threat is carried at successfully at WY, it will surely be picked up by other principals facing the same budget crunch.

From DNAInfo Chicago
Whitney Young Magnet High School, Michelle Obama's alma mater, may have to charge students $500 to attend a seventh period because of nearly $1 million in budget cuts the school is facing...Kenner, who said she was caught off guard by the depth of the cuts, confirmed that the $500 class fee is definitely an option to counter those costs.
"If it's something legal says that we as a school can do, then yes, we're very seriously considering it," she said Thursday morning. "Luckily, we do have families and parents who are able to afford a little extra."
Yes, we know Ms. Kenner. That's why they call it, "selective" enrollment. But what about the thousands of students and families who can't afford $500/class hour?

Kenner says, a scholarship program would be set up to offer waivers for students who couldn’t afford the fee. Yes, kind of like Harvard or Princeton, Francis Parker or Lab School (where Rahm's kids attend school). But I thought this was a PUBLIC school system!!!

In addition to the recommended $500 class fee, Kenner has suggested laying off nine more faculty members, eliminating the Writing Center and reducing the number of languages taught at the school, among other ideas.

Already, the school has reduced it deficit to $800,000 by eliminating an art position, cutting substitute teachers and a security position, and having department chairs take on additional classes


  1. Northside College Prep is down $700K and their current principal has just accepted a job at Lake Forest High School. Interim principal has limited capability to go to bat for the school, no one is safe, all will suffer. All schools are my school!

  2. Anonymous, don't you find it amazing, though, that some high schools were cut at least a million, while NCP was cut far less? And--I would suspect--that the other high school cut have a larger population. Now, if funding is done per pupil, how can that be figured? (Of course, in the juked math
    of CPS administration {& the CPS Board, for approving this garbage math--sounds like they ALL need to take more ELEMENTARY math courses again and, probably few on the CPS Board actually attended any CP schools. so let's not blame the teachers!!!}} But--we'll never know--all of the information has already, probably been shredded. Time for a state investigation, Lisa?


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