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Board of Education sets budget hearings for August 17, 18 and 19... Continues to refuse to provide budget to the public

The Chicago Board of Education released a "Proposed Budget 2010 - 2011" to the public on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, and scheduled the legally required budget hearings for August 17, 18, and 19. But the Board has continued to make it nearly impossible for members of the public to actually read and study the document, which runs to more than 2,000 pages, in preparation for the hearings.

First, the hearing schedule. Each night's hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m., probably with a Power Point presentation from CPS budget officials. Members of the public who wish to testify are asked to sign in between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.

August 17, Lane Tech High School, 2501 W. Addison. Entry into the building will probably be through the Western Ave. parking lot entrance.

August 18, Westinghouse High School, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd.

August 19, Corliss High School, 821 E. 103rd St.

Several people who are trying to get copies of the 2,000 pages of budget documents are becoming frustrated, as CPS refuses to provide the budget book and related documents to the public at public libraries, ward offices, and in the city's more than 600 public schools, as has been done in the past. The budget book itself is 433 pages long. However, an additional 1,586 pages of budget information is included on a CD that is placed in a pocket in the inside back cover of the budget book.

Another problem with public access to the budget prior to the hearings is that CPS officials have not paginated the 2,000 pages of documents.



Comments:

August 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM

By: truth seeker

urls for budget information

For those who may be interested:

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/budget_book.pdf

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/Area_and_Central_Office_Units_All_Funds.pdf

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/Area_Central_Office_Units_by_Fund_Group.pdf

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/School_Segment_Reports_index.pdf

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/School_Support_Units_All_Funds.pdf

http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/School_Support_Units_by_Fund_Group.pdf

The sad thing about these being provided in PDF form as opposed to something like excel, dbase, access, openoffice base, or some similar form more directly amenable to analysis is that this forces people to go through the onerous process of creating these formats for themselves using OCR and other technologies. During the time Project Inform existed, the entire CPS budget was available in a searchable form which while primitive, allowed for some useful analytical work to be done. How sad that in an environment of ubiquitous computing and analytical tools(open source even) that CPS chooses to stonewall the legitimate aspirations of citizens to understand what is going on and hold CPS to account. I suppose that the benchmark of equally unaccountable foundations and philanthropy just means CPS is no worse than the worst.

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