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*** UPDATED x1 *** Chicago mayor aligns with CTU, demands more state money for CPS

Friday, Feb 9, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Last month

Illinois education officials are proposing an increase of $350 million in funding for local school districts next year, an amount that falls short of expectations and deals an initial blow to Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to address an impending budget crisis. […]

“Good luck with the state making that case to Chicago legislators” that $350 million is enough, [CTU President Stacy Davis Gates ] said.

“This idea that they are going to get out of this session without acknowledging the obvious about Chicago, I think that’s ridiculous,” she said.

* Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson sat down with WBEZ and talked about state school funding

If you can’t convince Springfield to pony up more money, what is your backup plan?

It’s not like we’re asking for anything radical. We’re talking about social workers, counselors, class sizes that are manageable. We’re talking about full wraparound services for treatment for families who are experiencing the degree of trauma that exist in this city. We’re also challenging the state of Illinois to recognize that as our English-language learners population grows, that there’s support there, that individuals with disabilities, that those families have real accessibility within our public school system. Anything short of ensuring that Chicago Public Schools has everything that it deserves and needs is not acceptable.

But you don’t control Springfield. What is your backup plan?

To defund public education is a bad idea. That’s what it comes down to. Either we’re going to defund the school district or we’re going to fund it. Those are our two choices. For too long, politicians have come up with excuse after excuse of why we cannot fund public education. Public neighborhood schools were demonized. And where has it gotten us? We have vacancies, closures. We have population loss. There are people’s lives at stake.

You are demanding more money from Springfield, but isn’t there more you can do to run Chicago Public Schools more efficiently? The school district has some very small schools that some will say are inefficient.

We need to address it in a way that holds the community harmless. Now, are there bureaucratic structures that create a great deal of bottleneck? Of course. And is that something that the Board of Education in my administration would have to look closer at? Absolutely. But whether you are in a small school setting, or you are in a larger school setting, families still deserve a social worker and a counselor. The key is to make sure that the dollars reach the families … and it has to reach the families in a very meaningful way.

*** UPDATE *** Asked if the CTU or the mayor had made any formal ask of the governor for increased school aid, spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh had a one-word response…

No

Keep in mind that the governor’s budget address will be delivered 12 days from now.

This is all performative, or amateur hour, or both.

       

27 Comments
  1. - Dupage Dem - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:14 pm:

    Again Mr. Mayor, what is your back up plan if Springfield refuses to give you a blank check? And what makes the need in Chicago so much greater than the need in other communities, such as Maywood for additional state school funding. Bottom line is ALL schools need more state funding, but it just in not available.


  2. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:17 pm:

    ““Good luck with the state making that case to Chicago legislators” that $350 million is enough, [CTU President Stacy Davis Gates ] said”

    Will CTU president use more of her unconventional tactics in pursuit of her funding agenda?

    “A Chicago Public Schools elementary school principal says the president of the Chicago Teachers Union told teachers to “punch their principal in the face” last week at a union meeting on the Near West Side, according to a Chicago police report”

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/2024/2/2/24059385/stacy-davis-gates-punch-principal-face-bullying-chicago-teachers-union-police-report


  3. - Macon Bakin - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:18 pm:

    I think Johnson is a disgrace to the progressive movement that said why shouldn’t CPS be a tier 1 district?


  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===The key is to make sure that the dollars reach the families … and it has to reach the families in a very meaningful way.===

    That’s actually a better argument for increasing the EITC than it is for sending more money to the bureaucratic nightmare that is CPS.


  5. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:34 pm:

    The transit agencies will be in Springfield with their hands out also.


  6. - Jimmy87 - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:42 pm:

    The disconnect between these two statements, both in the same paragraph :

    “It’s not like we’re asking for anything radical.”

    And…

    “We’re talking about full wraparound services for treatment for families who are experiencing the degree of trauma that exist in this city.”

    Many or even most legislators view school districts as just that, districts for you know…schools and education. Asking for a funding level that would effectively transform school districts into large scale social service providers that perform a host of “wraparound” services for all levels of family trauma; I’m sorry, but that will indeed be viewed by many as “radical” in Springfield. I’m not saying that the Mayor is wrong, it’s just that there are many in Springfield, democrats included, that don’t hold that same belief.


  7. - NotRich - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:43 pm:

    Brandon and Stacey demand that CPS fully
    Staff high schools built for 800 students that now house 120 total. CTU is causing the pain financially.


  8. - Almost retired - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:48 pm:

    I think the city has not allowed video poker and slots that would generate increased revenue for city. They are asking every tax payer in the State to pay more or they are asking for funding to other service to be cut to give them more money just for them. I would like to see them use revenue that could be locally available before this. Arrogance and entitlement unless you have controlling power don’t usually work.


  9. - supplied_demand - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:51 pm:

    ==And what makes the need in Chicago so much greater than the need in other communities==

    The 4,500 additional migrant children who have joined CPS since the school year started.

    https://www.chalkbeat.org/chicago/2024/02/08/chicago-public-schools-sees-more-migrant-students/


  10. - supplied_demand - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:53 pm:

    ==Staff high schools built for 800 students that now house 120 total. CTU is causing the pain financially. ==

    This is the part I will never understand. The path to fully staffed buildings is clearly fewer buildings with more kids in each. It is not demanding full staff for a less than half-filled school.


  11. - Anon - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:58 pm:

    Imagine having a Mayor that didnt want more money for his local schools.


  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:01 pm:

    ===Imagine having a Mayor that didnt want more money for his local schools===

    They all do, but if they come out and say it, they should then do the work. The work clearly wasn’t done here.


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===The 4,500 additional migrant children===

    That’s a one percent increase in headcount.


  14. - Hello There - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:10 pm:

    Just wait, this wrecking crew is going to mess up the new(er) school funding formula that took 30 years to pass and seems to be working well. Just wait. They will bring it crashing down.


  15. - JoanP - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:10 pm:

    Lots of non-responses there.


  16. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:23 pm:

    Well why not have a referendum on raising taxes for the CTU or bonds like collar counties do all the time


  17. - frustrated GOP - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    Perhaps the mayor could raise the property tax levy for CPS that has been suppressed for decades. There are a lot of other communities paying a lot more in taxes per property value than people in Chicago. and I would think the rest of us should get a break in the State money going to prop up the low property taxes in the city


  18. - Unanimous Choice - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:54 pm:

    The mayor’s next budget is going to have to include some serious tax increases. His job for the next few months should be to build up the political capital to get it done.


  19. - Telly - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:04 pm:

    == Well why not have a referendum on raising taxes for the CTU or bonds like collar counties do ==

    I’m pretty sure CPS is statutory prohibited from doing that. But you raise a good point. The mayor and CTU can ask the GA to lift that prohibition and then they can ask Chicagoans to decide at the ballot box if they should get more money.


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===I’m pretty sure CPS is statutory prohibited===

    Pretty sure they can run a referendum whenever they want.


  21. - City Zen - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==why shouldn’t CPS be a tier 1 district?==

    Because Chicago isn’t a Tier 1 town. Unlike other tier 1 school districts, Chicago has both a large industrial and commercial base to draw from. And it’s the home to a few billionaires.

    When it comes to school funding, Chicago needs to stop pretending it’s Chicago Heights.


  22. - low level - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==Now, are there bureaucratic structures that create a great deal of bottleneck? Of course. And is that something that the Board of Education in my administration would have to look closer at? Absolutely.==.

    You should know, Mayor. How long did you spend at CTU? Or is it that its much more complicated than simply blaming the bureaucracy and expecting them to magically find the money you want?


  23. - Old IL Dude - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:42 pm:

    Slightly off-topic, but the Chicago Bulls used to have a player named Cristiano Felicio. Signed him to a 4 yr/$32M contract. The guy couldn’t play a lick of NBA ball no matter how hard the coaches tried to get him right: practices, one on one coaching, video review, you name it, nothing worked. The way he was built, the way he operated, his level of effort, just wouldn’t be a success in the NBA. They could have paid him twice as much, it wouldn’t have mattered. Results were always going to be poor with this guy.

    That’s how it is with CTU and CPS. The way things are being operated, the outcomes are going to be the same, no matter how much money you throw at it. Get rid of CTU’s current SOP, consolidate schools, and try to be professional educators.


  24. - DuPage - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:56 pm:

    === class sizes that are manageable…. We’re also challenging the state of Illinois to recognize that as our English-language learners population grows, that there’s support there…===

    Many of the collar and downstate schools have had to cut back on English-language learners programs as well as other programs. Some classes went from (19 students, 1 teacher, 1 assistant) to (31 students, 1 teacher, no assistant). Most of these school districts also need additional state money.


  25. - supplied_demand - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==That’s a one percent increase in headcount. ==

    And equal to the entire Maywood public school population, as the original comment mentioned.


  26. - Shytown - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    here we go…they’re closing ranks at MO an CTU to start turning the Gov and GA into the bad guys if they don’t give them everything they want. Good luck with that.


  27. - Just a guy - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    The CTU has spoken…and so it begins. Get the popcorn ready. No planning. No work. Just an outline and the note that “we need a lot more money. We don’t quite know how much - but we know it’s going to be a lot more.” So sad. It really is.


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