August 17, 2010. Lane Tech Budget hearing transcript shows unprecedented critique of CPS priorities

The transcripts of the annual budget hearings conducted by officials of the Chicago Board of Education on August 17, 18, and 19, 2010 have now become available at the Board of Education's official public website ( They were not available to the public prior to the Board's August 25, 2010 meeting, at which a truncated version of the "Proposed Budget" that had been supplied to the public (and served as the text for the hearings) was available. CPS officials also avoided many of the most important questions raised during the hearings, as the record shows. (CPS officials told the public during the budget hearings that they would answer all of the questions on line, but by the day of the Board meeting, no one could find the Q and A that had come out of the three hearings).

Substance has worked to convert the transcript format (with numbered lines) into a more linear narrative format for easy replication for schools and others, taking more than a dozen hours to make the conversions. If readers need the original Court Reporter version of the transcripts they need to get them from the CPS website in their original format.

By the time Jonathan Goldman of the "Raise your hand coalition" spoke about the need for TIF money to go to the schools, the crowd in the Lane Tech auditorium had grown to more than 200 people, the largest ever for a CPS budget hearing. The August 17 crowd was the first of three large turnouts, resulting in the 2010 budget review being the most widely attended in the history of Chicago's public schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman and the seven members of the Board of Education were truant during the three days of hearings. Board of Education President Mary Richardson Lowry claimed at the August 25 Board meeting that the members of the Board had read the transcripts, but their questions to Ron Huberman during the meeting showed otherwise. Almost none of the questions raised during the public hearings was answered by the seven members of the Board, or Huberman during his presentation at the beginning of the Board meeting.

As the school year begins for all Chicago school children, Substance will try to present our readers with the complete transcripts of the hearings. The transcripts of public participation of Board of Education meetings are not kept, as most of our readers know. Most of the Board members (and almost all of the executives working directly under Ron Huberman) consider the Board meetings' public participation a waste of their important time, and many spend the meetings with their Blackberries or casually reading while parents, teachers and students try passionately to do something about the schools.

The following is the transcript from the August 17, 2010 hearing at Lane Technical High School in Chicago, converted by Substance to Word format for this website. Those who wish the original Court Reporter format (with line by line delineation) can get it from CPS on the CPS website at:

In The Matter Of: 2010-2011 PROPOSED BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING AT LANE TECH HIGH SCHOOL, August 17, 2010, Original File AUGUST 17_2010-CPS-LANE TECH.txt Smith's Court Reporting Service, (312) 726-2266


Held at: LANE TECH HIGH SCHOOL, 2501 West Addison Street, Chicago, Illinois

Smith's Court Reporting Service, (312) 726-2266

PRESENT: MS. DIANA FERGUSON, Chief Financial Officer; MS. CHRISTINA HERZOG, Budget Officer, MS. JORY SIMMONS, Moderator.

The crowd grew in the Lane Tech corridor as 7:00 p.m., the opening of the hearing, neared. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MS. FERGUSON: Everyone to turn off their cell phones. We want to make sure there is not interference with the speaker system. My name is Diana Ferguson. I'm the chief financial officer for Chicago Public Schools. I'd like to welcome you all here tonight. I greatly appreciate your time and interest in our budget hearings as evidenced by your attendance here tonight. We

appreciate your interest and commitment. We have approximately two hours scheduled tonight, and virtually all that time is going to be devoted to public comment.

In the past years of these hearings, we have done a presentation, and then turned it over to public comment. And this year because of the interest level, we would like to devote as much time as possible to hearing from you. We are here as representatives of the Board of Education to take your input, listen to your comments, and take that and translate it back to the board incorporated into our budget process going forward.

We, in addition to representing the Board of Education, we clearly represent a large stream of people across the district who work on putting the budget together; perhaps most importantly, the principals from our 680 schools across our district and our communities. And on that note, I would like to take a moment to thank Principal LoBosco and her staff for welcoming us to Lane Tech tonight. And now I would like to turn it over to Christina Herzog, who is our budget officer here tonight to also welcome you.

MS. HERZOG: Thank you. I'm going to echo Diana's appreciation of your commitment to Chicago Public Schools as well as our students. I look forward to hearing your feedback and comments on the budget. As you appreciate, you know, our budget is based off of revenues that we can expect at the time that we develop the budget, and those refers come from a variety of sources. They can be state, local, federal as well as grant funding. As we've seen this year in particular and really in the last week as well, the amount of revenue that we can expect, changes depending on the actions of our legislatures, and it greatly impacts our budget.

We know that in a budget year like this one, there's going to be some people who agree with the reductions that we had to make to be able to close our deficit, and people who don't agree. And that's why we're here tonight. We definitely want to hear what you have to say about the budget and the process. So we know you've had a chance to examine the budget that we posted online, so our job here tonight is to listen to you, is to ensure your questions and concerns are put on record, and to take those questions and concerns back to our larger team and to the Board of Education. So that's what we're going to be doing with you here tonight.

My colleagues throughout the audience and we also have a transcriber who will be reporting your questions and comments. And, you know, we'll post the appropriate questions and comments online along with the responses so that those who are not here tonight, can be part of this process and be part of the responses to those questions and concerns.

If you actually have a comment about a budget, a specific school budget or a specific program at a school or a position at a school that is individual, we will connect with you one-on-one, so that we can make sure to get your individual contact information to provide you feedback to your comment. So let's go over a few of the ground rules for tonight in advance of us starting.

For the evening, we have provided a Spanish translator, as well as a sign language interpreter. If anyone needs assistance, can you raise your hand and let us know so I can make sure you get the headphones for the Spanish translator and have the sign language interpreter sit with you as well.

(No response.)

Okay. Let us know during the proceedings if you need somebody. We have a list of registered speakers for the evening, and when your name or organization is called, please proceed to the microphone, which is right over there (indicating). Each speaker will be given two minutes to speak. And will be notified at the one minute, 45 second mark. So that the speaker can conclude. And we will ask that you adhere to the time limit, so we have the opportunity to hear from all of the speakers that are scheduled tonight.

Ms. Simmons, who is sitting up front here, has graciously accepted the moderator job for the evening and will notify the speaker of when to conclude and when time is up.

Okay. The public comments are scheduled to conclude at 9:00 p.m. So we're going to begin in a second. I just want to begin and thank you on behalf of Chicago Public Schools. And the budget office has worked hard on putting this budget together, and is interested in hearing your feedback and your comments as well, and for taking the time to participate in today's hearing. So with that, let's begin with the first speaker.


Access Living's Rodney Estvan presented a detailed analysis of the budget, while Christina Herzog (far left) and Diana Ferguson (second from left) and others took notes. Although CPS officials promised to answer every question on line, they did not. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MR. ESTVAN: It is not on. My name is Rod Estvan, E-S-T-V-A-N, from Access Living of Chicago. I have been reviewing Chicago Public School budgets for five continuous years now. And I have a number of comments I would like to make in regards to the budget.

The first issue that has been in the media is the reserve fund. Access Living supports the position of the Chicago Public Schools on utilizing all reserve funds if necessary in order to avoid layoffs. We support that position. Access Living has real questions about the implementation on what is called a budget response intervention. [Response to Intervention?}. We don't believe that there are enough funds available to implement it effectively. And we think it's going to be a real problem.

We know it's a state mandate. We recommend that the damages be limited by capping the amount of time any one student can stay in the intervention process to no more 9 than 12 weeks. We've also submitted a 57 page document to the Board on this.

We also believe that there are many, many problems with the way the various deficit numbers were presented this year. We would strongly recommend the deficit numbers not be used for bargaining purposes. We think that that's what happened.


The numbers changed so many times. Some of those changes were based on unknown estimates of state calculations that were being done sometimes by the governor and sometimes by general assembly appropriations. We don't think that those met the best principles of performance management.

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please conclude.

MR. ESTVAN: In our written comments, we go on to extensively discuss these issues. And we not support the level of cuts to city wide services for special education. The layoff of psychologists and behavioral therapists and others.

We do support the additional aides that were hired. We think that that's important. And we do respect the small level of cuts to schools for special ed teachers, and we recognize that it did take place.

However, there will still be numerous special education teachers that are unemployed because of other issues. And we hope that schools will hire them rapidly.



MR. HEENAN: This is a request to find out who is after that.

THE MODERATOR: The next speaker after Mr. Adam Heenan will be Susan Dunn.

MR. HEENAN: Thank you for hosting this tonight. My question is about --

THE MODERATOR: Say your name.

Curie High School teacher Adam Heenan (at microphone, wearing hat) asked about TIFs and received no reasonable answer. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MR. HEENAN: Oh, I'm sorry. Adam Heenan, Metro High School. My question is in regards to tax increment financing. Will CPS ask the city to declare a TIF surplus, and then request those funds to help schools, the funds for this year?

MS. FERGUSON: We appreciate your question. We are not here to do Q and A tonight. We are here to solicit your input. So we noted your question, and we appreciate you coming in to give your comment.

MR. HEENAN: Okay. Okay. Thank you.


MS. DUNN: Okay. Hi, my name is Susan Dunn. I'm here as a member of CORE. And I just wanted to mention that at the last Board of Ed meeting, Mr. Huberman stated that there were no classroom special ed teacher cuts, so my layoff notice, I presume, was sent in error.


The position was subsequently filled by a classroom teacher who hasn't taught special ed for over 20 years, and two additional first year treachers have been hired at my school. I have 15 years of experience. My question to you is: Why we're tracking elementary school teachers laid off, when there were no increases in elementary school class sizes?


THE MODERATOR: Judy Schechtman.

MS. SCHECHTMAN: My name is Judy Schechtman, and I'm a social worker at Lincoln Park High School. As a CPS clinician, social worker, I'm aware that the condition, clinical hours of direct service we report are billed to Medicaid. And I know CPS receives a substantial reimbursement from Medicaid for this. How much do you receive and where do these funds go? Where are they reflected in the budget?

MS. FERGUSON: We noted the question.


MS. CATZ: Hi, my name is Ann Catz, and I'm a delegate — I'm a city wide teacher from Chicago Schools — well, let's put it this way: I was. My concern is special ed because that is what my position was. Special education had hired a new person earlier this year to help treat -- streamline, make it more efficient, the office of specialized services. And, basically, it's -- that provides all the services for students with disabilities. Okay.

My question is — it's a two part. My concern is about the Office of Specialized Services in this respect: Number one, will CPS continue to cut services — not services, positions, be it clinicians, be it OT, PT, speech, audiovisual that goes into the testing for hearing and vision? And also cutting the positions in elementary as well as high schools? My question is this: It's two part. Part one -- or part A is: Are you going to continue to hire any more teachers, or are you going to continue to cut or layoff more teachers who deal with children with special needs because those are some of our most valuable and needy students in the school system.

And, Number 2, if you continue to cut teachers, how do you intend to provide the services that are on the IEP, which is a legal document? Take it from one who was a case manager for five years, and I was never out of compliance.


THE MODERATOR: Jonathan Goldman. And following Jonathan Goldman will be Karen Lewis.

MR. GOLDMAN: Good evening. My name is Jonathan Goldman. I'm the proud parent of two daughters at Drummond (phonetically) Montessori. I'm also a member of the steering committee of the Raise Your Hand Coalition, a growing coalition of Chicago Public School parents.


The budget that we're faced with today has actually come a long way from where we started this conversation a few months ago. But I think it's important to note that even at the end of the day, we're still making very real cuts at the school level, at school programs, and it's a shame that we're at this point. Obviously, there's a lot of factors that are causing that, but one thing that I would like to talk about are the impact of TIF districts or CPS. Even though we're close to making ends meet this year, even so, that's being done through cuts, it's being done through accounting measures that are completely draining the reserve fund. And, you know, I believe, that the remaining deficit at this point is a little under $300 million. We've learned from the City of Chicago recently in the press that not only is there $1.2 billion in cash that is sitting in TIF districts collecting dust right now, but that $700 million of that is completely unallocated for development projects. The state law requires that surpluses be refunded back to the taxing bodies. That would mean a boost in CPS — that would mean a boost in CPS in the current fiscal year of approximately $350 million. More than enough to wipe out all the cuts that the draw-down in the reserve funds, and would really help things for the current year.

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please conclude.

MR. GOLDMAN: But we also have to keep in mind that this year's budget is still about a lot of one time revenues and cuts. And moving forward we need to look at something more sustainable. TIFs cost CPS annually about $250 million in property tax money that needs to go to education. We need to reform the system, in addition to turning the surplus down. Thank you.



CTU President Karen Lewis reminded the Board of Education that it had proclaimed cutbacks, but had raised Area Office costs in the budget by nearly $60 million. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MS. LEWIS: Hi, good evening. I'm a little concerned that we've got the same thing that happens year after year after year that we're always in a crisis mode, and I'm also concerned that some of the things that we see are repetitive problems and built-in structural issues.

Again, there is a real serious problem the way schools are funded in Chicago. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that. I think also, though, that we need to always think about what our priorities are, and our priorities have to be children must come first. I saw that sign when I walked in.


And signs like that always scare me because you shouldn't have to say that. There's no sign that says don't pick your nose, but we know not to do that. Right? So when I see signs that say, children first, I'm a little worried that they weren't. So there is a couple of questions that I have, and maybe you can get back to me on that. One of the things I did notice a difference between this year's budget and last year's budget, there seems to be a $59 million increase in the area offices. So that kind of worries me, unless it means you are hiring back our coaches from those area offices. So those are the kinds of things that concern me because I really think, as one of our members said sometime ago, and that that $800 million — that was really — we should have 25 kids in the classroom. That's what we should shoot for. And then anything else, should be a luxury.


So what I would hope that we can do is work together to build a philosophy of how we change the revenue side of this — of this problem. And I would like to have some answers to a couple of other questions, which are why can we not even do a modest increase in property taxes? My concern is that, again, it's very political. And our — I don't think our children's lives should be political. So, please, let's work together. Let's figure out a way. And we have to change this yearly insanity where we're always scrambling for money. That should not happen, and there are only a couple of ways to change that. And that is to change the revenue side of how we decide to educate our children. Thank you.


THE MODERATOR: Lisa Love and following Lisa is Jay Rehak.

MS. LEVY: It's actually Lisa Levy. It's Lisa Levy, and I have very bad handwriting. Okay. So I'm going to talk about this education. I'm very short, too. That's another problem.

Okay. I'm going to talk about this education jobs bill that is — because it's called a jobs bill, shouldn't this be providing jobs? We know that teachers have been cut with disregard to seniority. That they have been — they have been denied due process. And now we get something called education jobs bill. Well, shouldn't we be using that to bring these people back? These are experienced, professional people that we need in the classrooms. So my question is: Are you going to use that money to rehire and to get these people back into the classroom, or are you going to divert that money towards programs?

We don't even know what that means exactly. Programs. It's ludicrous. It's ludicrous. And this disregard for the contract and respect for teachers needs to stop now.


THE MODERATOR: Jay Rehak. And following Jay Rehak, Lynn Davis.

Whitney Young High School teacher Jay Rehak (who is also a trustee of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund) noted serious problems with the Board's math in the Proposed budget. No answer was ever given to Rehak's questions. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MS. REHAK: Yes. Jay Rehak. Teacher, parent of a child in Chicago Public Schools, member of the Chicago teacher's pension fund. And I've got good news for everybody here, you don't have to ask the question. I'll give you an answer. On page 90 of your own budget — proposed budget, you list the number of teachers for fiscal 2011 at 20,987. Then you breakdown assistant principals and principals, and education support personal et cetera, et cetera. Educational support personnel is about 13,000. Just a rough estimate. So it comes out to about 26,000 employees that on page 97, you list in expenditures — you actually for some bizarre reason don't breakdown salaries by principals and assistance principals as you did on page 90, but instead you just list it as teacher's salaries with the assumption that somehow the principals are teachers or whatever, but it doesn't matter.

We divide that sum, which is 26,000 people divided by over $2 billion, 2 billion 65, and it comes out to quite a significant amount of money, far in excess of $80,000 per person. We only have about a thousand principals or assistant principals, but let me get to the point here: The point is this: On a separate line on 97, you list the cost of the health care, and you list the cost of the pension as separate items. When we get paid on our own paycheck, just so everybody understands, we get paid — our check indicates that our pension pick up is seven percent as part of our salary.

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please conclude.

MS. REHAK: Is has been included evidently because the State Board of Education says the average teacher salary is $67,000 into the teacher expenditure at the top. And it's also included down below in the pension list. What that means is the $140 million that is going — the seven percent pick up is being included twice in your budget. So I just found $140 million for you. So I would like you to give it back to the teachers, if you would.


Thank you very much. The 140 million just make sure you get it down right. It's not a question. It's a statement. Thank you.



MS. DAVIS: I'm Lynn Cherkasky Davis. And I direct national board certification for the Chicago Teacher's Union and partner with the CPS program on national board certification. So I'm asking you tonight to reconcile two documents that I hold here (indicating). The one in my left hand is the language from page 14 of your budget book under the district funding highlights in the section entitled maintaining and enhancing classroom resources.

And I'm just going to read you a little paragraph from that — a little section from that. And I quote:

"[A]n important measure of teacher quality for many districts such as CPS, is the number of — page 14, by the way, if you want to follow along — is the number of teachers with the recognized achievement status of national board certification. In 2009, there were 302 national board CPS teachers who achieved national board certification. The largest number of new NBCTs in any district in the United States. Since 1997, CPS has had 1,449 teachers earn national board certification and has attracted another 45 teachers who achieved NBC in other districts for a total of almost 1,500 NBCT. Research has shown that this nationally recognized certification has a positive impact on teacher retention, teache leadership, professional growth, and most importantly, of course, student achievement.

"In 2009, more than 62,000 students in 367 CPS schools hosted at least one NBCT on staff, and 52 CPS schools have 15 percent or more of their staff with national board certification. The new teacher center employed NCPTs so coaches and mentors, as did many departments at CPS. They were chosen for these positions, based on their expertise and success with students. In fiscal year 2011, the district in partnership with the state will spend nearly $7 million to reach the goal of ensuring that at least ten percent of teachers at low income at-risk schools are national board certified."

THE MODERATOR: Ms. Davis, please conclude.

MS. DAVIS: Yes, yes. Here in my right hand (indicating) is the list of more than 30 national board certified teachers. The only teachers with an Illinois master's certificate, the highest certificate a teacher in Illinois can attain, have been terminated and not even allowed to go into the reassigned teacher pool or substitute.

There's [Employee Name Redacted], firewall [verbatim] undergoing cancer treatments with COBRA payments, insurance payments that he can no longer afford.

Mrs. O'Brien, who was due to have a baby this month and could not take a maternity leave because she was told she had been terminated, and she had no job in which to take maternity leave. No employer.


MS. DAVIS: Yes, I will. Her unemployment check was less than her COBRA insurance payment.

There's Jennifer. An NBC candidate who had to drop out of the process after paying her nonrefundable NBCT entry fee, only to find a job at a charter school out of her area of certification.

There sits Mr. Mitchell. He was just arbitrarily terminated, even though there are less senior teachers in his school — in his department, and in his area of certification still teaching. I'm almost finished. There is Valerie who was cut from a turnaround school in the middle of her candidacy. She carries a sign that says, "Will work for food and rent."

Rene teaches in the suburbs. Lucky them.

Nicole took a job outside teaching, and Amy worked with an educational organization and not with our children. And there are many more. So —

MS. FERGUSON: You need to respect the time limit.

MS. DAVIS: I have worked for many, many years to improve teacher quality in the Chicago Pubic School for national board certification all with the goal of increasing the student achievement. Just when we are building a critical mass of national board certified teachers, you fire the very people who are impacting student learning and teacher quality the most.

Can you please reconcile these two documents for me (indicating)?


THE MODERATOR: Dr. John Kugler.

Following Mr. Kugler — Dr. Kugler — excuse me -- will be George Schmidt.

MR. KUGLER: I would like a couple of questions answered. How many educators in the house, raise your hand?


How many CPS cronies in the house? None.

You know, from our budget analysis in the last couple of years, which I've been privileged to be part of, we've noticed at least 50 — between 50 to a hundred people the mayor has appointed into CPS. They're non-educators. It would be illegal for them to be in a classroom. And if I was in the classroom, as I was terminated last year from a carpentry class, one of the last ones on the southeast side, again, for budget, I would throw you out of my classroom when you came in because it would be illegal for you to be in my classroom. That's the state law.

The state law also says, we should provide for our children. We should provide safe, healthy and wholesome learning environments. The process of cutting budgets, the process saying there's a million dollar budget deficit, the process of violating a contract and firing teachers and PSRPs is both illegal and immoral.


You are causing chaos, disruption and remedial harm to the children of Chicago. I am not going to even mention the neighborhoods you have destroyed with your ineptitude, with your cronyism and your theft of public funds.


I stand by my statements. And you can directly e-mail me at [verbatim]. That's where I'm at. If I'm incorrect in any of the statements that I just testified to --

THE MODERATOR: Please, Mr. Speaker, conclude.

MR. KUGLER: Please e-mail them to me, and I will publish you. As I say, again, your process of cutting teachers hurts children. You're not hurting us adults. We're grown. We're going to make it. But every cut you make in a high school is 140 children that you hurt.

In a grammar school, it's usually between 30 to 40 children that you hurt. Every cut you make, hurts a child. You don't take of your children, you hurt the children. I will testify to that every time I come to a hearing. Every time you cut, you hurt a child. Have a good evening.


THE MODERATOR: George Schmidt. Following George Schmidt will be Marisol Duer.

MR. SCHMIDT: Good evening. My name is George Schmidt. I'm currently a reporter for Substance. Until three weeks ago, I was the editor, but I've also taken other employment so I am proud to be doing it. My wife and I have two children in the public schools, and my oldest is a graduate of Whitney Young High School, class of 2007.

I'm a former teacher. Proud to have been terminated by Paul Vallas ten years ago this month for heresy. And my wife is still a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools teaching at Steinmetz High School.

For the past 30 years, I've been examining this budget. For the past ten years, I've been testifying at these hearings regularly. And for the past four years, I've been watching this budget progress from simply silly to what I'll characterizes as murky to atrociously mendacious, which is where it is this year.

My wife asked me to start with some good news. And so I can say that at least in this year's budget, you've given us a key in the school list that would define the alphabetical order in the schools. You're still listing the schools by first name, but at least you have a key to say which page the schools are on. And, I guess, that's an improvement over the past budgets.

What's not an improvement, is that since January 19th, the finance department, led by you, Ms. Ferguson, and the chief executive officer have been lying to the people of Chicago by creating a Chicken Little situation. Creating a deficit, which you knew would not come to be. And using it to drive political decisions. The most outrageous of which was the attack on the teacher's pension fund, which successfully in Springfield in April destroyed a lot of the equity in that fund, and restructured the pension fund for all future teachers. You may think that was a victory, but that victory will cost you dearly in the future.

Everyone who's ever made a household budget knows that the easiest way to create a deficit is to overestimate expenditures and underestimate revenues. And since January 19th when you and Mr. Huberman unveiled the first deficit plan — THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please conclude. Thank you.

MR. SCHMIDT: That's what you've been doing deliberately. Since then — every week or month since then, you have deliberately distorted the actual finance condition of the Chicago Public Schools, as you well know, by reading your own financial statements every quarter. Now, it's come time where those lies have caught up. You've laid off over a thousand teachers this summer, if you count 700 teachers that we removed from the turnaround schools, and every one of those teachers should be back at work.


There was never a budget reason — there was a never a budget reason for doing what's been done, but the one thing that's clear at this point in history is that any word out of the mouth of the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools about deficits is a lie, and his word is...


THE MODERATOR: Mario Duer. I may be pronouncing the last name incorrectly. The organization is CICS. And next after her, will be Jeanne Freed.

MS. DUER: My name actually is Marisol Duer. I'm from CICS Irving Park, Chicago International Charter Schools. I have two children — I'm a parent here today of two children who are placed in the school when I decided to look for a school for months trying to find the right school.

I live six houses away from a grammar school. I end up driving a half an hour away in the morning to take them to school. I truly enjoy the school, and feel bad now that my teachers are not there. Everything is taken way from me. It's just not fair. I don't know what to you tell you. I don't know where they get the money from, but you're taking away from the wrong -- the kids do not deserve this. I don't know even know why. This is completely wrong what you're doing. I don't know how to fix it. I work actually for Chicago (unintelligible) school. I'm not here for them, but there is plenty of kids trying to get in at this time. We have waiting lists, if you can imagine. They're not doing anything wrong. I don't know why we can't figure this out. There's got to be a way. We can't be taking way from our children. We try so hard to find the right place to put them in, and when you do, teacher's aides get taken away. Why do you think they're not useful? I bet I can talk to a million teachers that can beg to differ right now, including parents who sit there and have to come in to help sometimes because sometimes a teacher's aide is just not enough.

You need the help. The schools need the help. We need to help them. We need to figure this out. I need someone to tell me that next year my children will be completely educated the way they deserve to be and nothing cut from them. I want them to tell me that they'll be fine. And nobody can get hurt. That's what I want.


THE MODERATOR: Jeanne Freed. After Jeanne Freed is Jeanne Edmondson.

Teacher Jeanne Fried testified that at Lincoln Park High School they didn't have enough books for the students to take them home to study. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MS. FREED: Good evening. My name is Jeanne Freed, and I'm a teacher at Lincoln Park High School. I work in the world language department. And I would like to address the fact of a lack of resources in Chicago Public Schools. A lack of very basic resources that teachers need to do their job.

Last year, myself and another teacher shared 30 textbooks for all of our students. Our students, of course, could not take these books home because they were shared with four classes. For one of my classes, I had only 15 textbooks to use, and I had 30 students in that class. This is not unusual in my school. It's also true in the math department as well, and I'm from Lincoln Park High School, the north side. If it's this bad on the north side, I can imagine —


Not only is there lack of textbooks, our paper is rationed. I get five reams of paper a semester. That's it. We need some more basic resources. We need a commitment from the board to fund our schools and resources properly with up-to-date textbooks. And a textbook for every child that that child can take home to help them do their homework. We need computers. We need paper to do our jobs efficiently. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Jeanne Edmondson. And after Jeanne Edmondson will be Vanessa Kotesky.

MS. EDMONDSON: Good evening. I am Jeanne Edmondson, a forced to retire teacher from the elite home hospital instruction program. For the 12 years that I was in this program, all of our bosses until the most current, always stressed the fact that all of us had to have these proper certifications, credentials. One of our teachers even had national teaching certification. They told us not even to encourage anybody to apply because most of these people didn't even have these qualifications.

For the record, I want to know exactly who the two six figured salary administrators were allowed to stay in this position over the summer or hiring for the children at the treatment sites and the hospitals sites.I want to know what the credentials are, and everybody in this audience can easily access everybody's credentials on You can find out immediately what people's credentials are.

I would like to know why a system who encourages educating children would take away from the most educated teachers in the entire Chicago school system?


My life is no more special than anybody else's. Everybody in this room is suffering. And I'm glad that lady exceeded the time limit because President Lewis was told to be quiet several weeks ago, but Mr. Huberman had more than two minutes to respond to her.

Thank you. Have a nice evening.


THE MODERATOR: Vanessa Kotesky.

MS. KOTESKY: My question is --

THE MODERATOR: Say your name again.

MS. KOTESKY: Vanessa Kotesky, terminated teacher. Has CPS been asked to sign off on the creation of any new TIF districts beginning in 2010? If so, what was CPS's response? How much potential revenue is going from CPS to those TIF districts? And are the answers going to be online since there aren't any answers now? Yes? Okay. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: The next speaker is --

MS. KOTESKY: When? When are they going to be online?

MS. FERGUSON: As soon as possible.

MS. KOTESKY: What does that mean? A week, two weeks?

MS. FERGUSON: As soon as possible.

MS. HERZOG: As soon as possible.

MS. KOTESKY: That's very vague.

THE MODERATOR: Danielle --

MS. CIESIELSKI: Danielle Ciesielski, Paul Robeson High School.

THE MODERATOR: Can you spell your last name for us, please.

MS. CIESIELSKI: C-I-E-S-I-E-L-S-K-I. On page 64 of the proposed budget it says, our property tax revenues will be declining by 144.9 million from last year to this year. It talks about the population and one-time revenues and things like this.

Every year the board has an opportunity to raise the taxes to the cap. This would increase — if we did it — if we would have voted yes this year, it would give us an extra 80 million approximately. If we would even do it this year and next year, next year we'd get 160 million and so forth. Every year it adds up.

But this — the raising property taxes has always been voted down. I can understand that in all the TIF districts actually raising the property taxes mean nothing, but across the city it has to be some money that would come in and this would not be a one-time expenditure. Raising the property taxes as much as we can, would bring money to the kids every year that they need. I don't understand why this vote is constantly voted down.

This is the only thing that would give you these non-one-time revenues because every time we get this money, it's always a one-time revenue. This needs to be voted up. And needs to be — to help us — to help us to fix the budget. This crisis that is always — comes up every year. We need to stop looking at whatever these one time things are, and stop lying about the deficit. If there really is one, increase the property tax.


THE MODERATOR: Carrie Maxwell. Following Carrie Maxwell, will be Brian Galaviz.

MS. MAXWELL: Hi. I'm Carrie Maxwell. I want to know why our schools are falling apart? And as was spoken more about before that we can't get paper, books, other kinds of resources to modernize our classrooms, yet we're spending millions and millions of dollars on consulting projects such as Impact, which is a grade book and attention system that does not work. And if we went to a, you know, system that works for us, and not be centralized, it would save so much money. It's ridiculous how much money is spent on consulting across the board in many different industries, and we are doing — you're doing the same thing. And I want to know why? I want to know why the money is not going back in the classrooms when schools are falling apart? Especially the ones that have been built a hundred years ago? That's it.


THE MODERATOR: Brian Galaviz. And following Brian Galaviz is Michael Brunson.

MR. GALAVIZ: Hello. My name is Brian Galaviz. And I'm a member of CORE. And before I start, I would just like to see if you all are decision makers?


Srnn High School teacher Brian Galaviz noted that nobody at the hearing was a "decision maker." Neither Ron Huberman nor any of the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education was present at Lane Tech for the August 17 budget hearing. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MR. GALAVIZ: No. The decision makers never come. This is CPS's MO. How many times have we been to meetings to where democracy — to where we're made to feel good because we can come in here, and we can tell you it's messed up with all this stuff. And you can write a report so that you all can do nothing about it. This is what happens every year.


When are you all going to stop hiring bureaucrats? When is Huberman going to stop hiring his buddies at the CTA and CPD and all the rest?


I've have two examples. Pat Taylor, the chief operations officer used to work at CTA getting paid $165,000 a year. Never been a teacher. Never done anything. Some other person named Crimson (phonetically), chief performance management officer, also used to worked at the CTA.

Never been a teacher. You got lists of these, as Karen said, at every office the budget has grown. It's not going to grow so that we can get the coaches that we lost back. When are you all going to put the people's qualifications that should be hired online so that we can see where the modification of education is going?

We can see that you're selling out our positions as teachers for his friends — for your all friends. When are you going to put it online so that we can clearly see what their qualifications are, and how much they're getting paid, so that we can see how you are all selling out student's education for your all friends?

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please conclude.

MR. GALAVIZ: I'm done.


THE MODERATOR: Michael Brunson. And following Michael Brunson will be Rosemary Finnegan.

Chicago Teachers Union Recording Secretary Michael Brunson demanded that the Board provide enough copies of the Proposed Budget so that people could study it. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.MR. BRUNSON: My name is Michael Brunson. And I am with the Chicago Teacher's Union. Look here. I'm all decked out. I got the Mac book. I've got an iPhone. I've got the iPad. I've got three notebook computers hooked up to the internet. And I know if I wanted to, I could download this budget and read it from a computer screen (indicating), but I would much rather read it from a book. And I think everybody would. So I came here — I mean, I left work and I drove like a bat out of a cave just to get here in time so I could get a book because I've been trying to get one for the past week.I even walked over to CPS. And all I got was a CD that almost crashed my notebook (indicating).

So I get here, and I rushed over. I got here, and I feel like I took the last potato chip out of the bag in the car because after this (indicating), there's no more books. How many people want one of these books out here? And, see, that's my question. I — you know, I can't ask you a question because I'm still waiting for my response from last year's budget meeting. It was supposed to be e-mailed, and I never got it.

So I'm going to ask the public, and I'm going to ask you for the sake of the public, could you please publish more of these books because I did have a little bit of time to read it. And I found out that you got over two and a half one time money going into your budget for printing as you had last year, so you have the money to print the books. Please — for the sake of the public, please print these books. That's all I have to say (indicating).


THE MODERATOR: Rosemary Finnegan. Following Rosemary, will be Edith Peredo.

MS. FINNEGAN: My name is Rosemary

21 Finnegan. I'm a school psychologist. That's a

22 hard act to follow.

23 I have a question about how many

24 budgets were available this evening? I saw

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 many people wished they had the budget and

2 missed it. I hope you in the future, of

3 course, will be able to print as many budgets

4 as you expect there to be people interested in

5 them.

6 The other question about the

7 budgets, do you have Spanish editions, or will

8 they be forthcoming?

9 I guess, that's about it. Thank

10 you.

11 (Applause)

12 THE MODERATOR: Edith Peredo. And

13 following Edith, will be Jim Vail.

14 MS. PEREDO: Hello. I have two

15 children going to -- Edith Peredo.

16 I have two children that attend

17 CICS Irving Park.

18 First of all, for all the

19 teachers, I send my deepest appreciation. I,

20 as a parent, have nothing but more than

21 appreciation for all the work that you guys do

22 for our children.

23 One of my children is a child of

24 special needs. So as a parent, of course,

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 there is concern with cuts to the special

2 needs program, but also with our teachers and

3 the teacher's assistants, I cannot tell you

4 how much teacher's assistants have been a huge

5 help for our teachers who work so darn hard

6 every day.

7 And they take the opportunity to

8 give a child who needs that special care out

9 of their hands for awhile, so that they can

10 get a -- continue with their work.

11 But, as a parent, I wish that

12 these TAs are not cut. And just to hear the

13 fact that teachers and TAs and everybody are

14 affected in such a manner, but it affects me

15 as a parent, knowing that it is going on

16 for -- in my particular school for 30 or --

17 and hear that you guys are going through so

18 much.

19 It deeply affects me as a parent,

20 and just to know that there needs to be more

21 parental involvement for the lack of probably

22 knowing that I have no TA or teachers

23 available, it really saddens me. Thank you.

24 (Applause)

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 THE MODERATOR: Jim Vail. After Jim

2 Vail is Kurt Hilgendorf.

3 MR. VAIL: Hi. My name is Jim Vail,

4 and I'm teacher at the Chicago Public Schools,

5 also a reporter of Substance Newspaper, and a

6 proud member of CORE.

7 And I have three points I want to

8 make tonight. One is the media. I would like

9 to know if the Chicago Tribune or Chicago

10 Suntimes or any television network is here in

11 this meeting tonight? Would they please stand

12 up.

13 (No response.)

14 Okay. Now, that tells you

15 something because they keep writing how the

16 teachers have to give up their salaries. They

17 have to make huge cuts. And we're seeing

18 there's huge problems with this budget that's

19 being manufactured and states lies.

20 We've got the Substance team here

21 and PR is here, the Socialist Worker. So

22 thank you for reporting the story from the

23 people outside.

24 All right. Corruption, we

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 mentioned about corruption. Well, let's talk

2 about something a little more specific with

3 corruption in the CPS budget.

4 I spoke to a teacher just today

5 who has a friend who is a consultant who works

6 with -- putting in elevators in the Chicago

7 Public School -- in public schools in Chicago.

8 And he said that when he works

9 with CPS to choose the elevator, they tell him

10 that they want the most expensive one. He

11 says, why don't you take the first one? No,

12 we want the most expensive one.

13 Even now during this crisis? Yes.

14 Well, I asked him if I could get

15 his name. Of course, he's afraid for his job

16 in working there. But I would like to get

17 more information because, obviously, I can use

18 that now as a reporter based on facts, but I

19 could find out more information about it to

20 show you what CPS's priorities really are.

21 And then my third thing is for you

22 guys, perhaps you can answer this right now

23 because I think it's an easy question. This

24 $800 million line of credit. Is it being

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 implemented now? Have you drawn on it? Who

2 is issuing the credit? Which banks? And what

3 is the interest that you're paying on it

4 because I'm sure you have the answer to those

5 questions right now. You don't need to go

6 back to the office. Could I hear an answer,

7 please.

8 MS. FERGUSON: Not at this time.

9 MR. VAIL: I'm sorry?

10 MS. FERGUSON: We appreciate your

11 question. We will post the answers when we have

12 an opportunity to post them online so every one

13 has access to the answers.

14 MR. VAIL: On the website?

15 MS. FERGUSON: Thank you very much.

16 MR. VAIL: Thank you.

17 THE MODERATOR: Kurt Hilgendorf.

18 Following him will be Cezar Simeon.

19 MR. HILGENDORF: My name is Kurt

20 Hilgendorf.

21 THE MODERATOR: Could you spell that

22 for us?


24 And while all of the speakers

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 tonight have focused on a range of topics, I

2 want to focus on derivatives, or what Warren

3 Buffet called financial weapons of mass

4 destruction, five years before our economy

5 effectively imploded as a result of these

6 investments.

7 CPS is heavily involved in interest

8 rate swaps, a specific time derivative. And it

9 is important that the public be informed about

10 the risks involved in CPS's possession of such

11 instruments.

12 Two recent articles are of

13 particular concern. The first by Matt Taibbi

14 of Rolling Stone about Birmingham, Alabama's

15 use of synthetic interest rate swaps, exactly

16 what CPS has. It explains in detail about how

17 these swaps practically bankrupted that city.

18 Toward the end of the article

19 Taibbi mentions that Chicago is, quote, now

20 really under the weight similarly elaborate and

21 ill-advised swaps.

22 More recently, an article by

23 Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times about

24 the Denver School systems use of interest rate

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 swaps, cites a study estimating that unwinding

2 Chicago's derivatives would cost $442 million.

3 You can employ a lot of teachers for that.

4 Every single one of CPS's interest

5 rate swaps was under water as of the 2009

6 comprehensive annual financial review, which is

7 now one year out of date.

8 In 2008, Chicago Public Schools

9 paid almost $20 million in derivative contracts

10 despite the risk that these investments or

11 these swaps -- they're not even called

12 investments under board policy. The word

13 derivative is mentioned only twice in the

14 entire 2,000 pages of the Chicago Public

15 School's budget. I know. I searched through

16 all 2,000.

17 And so some questions are in order.

18 And I'll go slowly. I guess these may never

19 get answered, but it's probably important that

20 they do.

21 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

22 conclude.

23 MR. HILGENDORF: One, when did the

24 board begin using variable rate debt? Who made

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 the suggestion to do so?

2 Two, when were the first interest

3 rate swaps used? Some of these contracts were

4 signed before the board passed its official

5 derivatives policy in August of 2008. Isn't

6 the use of these interest -- or these

7 instruments a violation of board policy if

8 they are used before that policy is passed?

9 Three, who recommend that the CPS

10 become involved with interest rate swaps.

11 Banks might have. We would like to know who

12 there are.

13 Four, how much of the debt service

14 fund is set aside for payments on the

15 derivative instruments known as interest rate

16 swaps?

17 Five, what is the current position

18 on derivative instruments?

19 Six --

20 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

21 conclude.

22 MR. HILGENDORF: I have two

23 questions. Thanks.

24 Six, are the derivatives mentioned

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 above, are those CPS's swaps, or do they

2 belong in a different city? Is it O'Hare? Is

3 it history downtown? Which one?

4 Seven, consistent with the

5 district's debt management policy, the board

6 will prepare a quarterly derivative report.

7 Do you have those with you, and can we get

8 those now?

9 My guess is the budgets haven't

10 been printed, so we probably can't get those

11 either. If not, how can we acquire copies of

12 said reports?

13 Thank you.

14 (Applause)

15 THE MODERATOR: Cezar Simeon. And

16 following Cezar Simeon will be Carol Hayse.

17 MR. SIMEON: Cezar Simeon.

18 Terminated teacher, current Chicago resident,

19 voter and taxpayer. I mean, parking meter user.

20 Please excuse me if I wasn't

21 prepared for my question because I've tried to

22 find a copy of the budget. Even at the public

23 library, but it wasn't available. So I just

24 saw it now.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 And one of the things that I

2 didn't find in the budget, if it's here, I

3 didn't see it, were the salaries of the top

4 leadership in CPS and the board.

5 I ask this because in the spring,

6 I was able to download a salary listing of

7 each employee by school and by name,

8 principals, teachers, security guards and

9 PSRPs off of the CPS web site, but I wasn't

10 able to find the same information regarding

11 the CPS CEO.

12 It just seemed that CPS is ready

13 to advertise the great expense of CPS

14 educator's salaries, and create a public furor

15 toward highly paid teachers, but finding equal

16 information regarding the salaries of CPS

17 leadership, specifics on consulting fees and

18 outsource contracted services, are obfuscated

19 by a really large budget called the

20 publication. That may or may not contain

21 information that I seek.

22 For example, prior to becoming a

23 CPS teacher, I was a highly paid business

24 analyst and computer programmer. And I see

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 $27 million for 203 employees being paid to IT

2 services. I've used the e-mail services.

3 I've used student information systems, and if

4 I were in charge of that department, I would

5 have fired that vendor.

6 (Applause)

7 THE MODERATOR: Carol Hayse. And

8 following Carol Hayes will be Nathan Goldbaum.

9 MS. HAYSE: I'm a CPS employee --

10 THE MODERATOR: Please say your

11 name.

12 MS. HAYSE: Carol Hayse.

13 Ms. Ferguson, as the steward of

14 the budget, you are surely concerned with how

15 effectively the budget monies are used.

16 You are likewise surely aware that

17 the largest study conducted so far of charter

18 schools in the U.S. and Chicago, show that

19 they are performing at or below the level of

20 public schools by truly public schools.

21 (Applause)

22 Charters are bleeding money from

23 the truly public schools to feed unregulated

24 shadowing, unaccountable enterprises.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 Since this will probably persist,

2 a reasonable person might conclude that the

3 reason for the existence of these charters is

4 other than improving the education of Chicago

5 children. What is that agenda?

6 Second, I -- second as a comment.

7 Mr. Huberman sends out the message loud and

8 clear that he is a data driven individual and

9 that those who work for him need to be

10 likewise data driven. However, the existence

11 of data showing that charter schools are

12 ineffective is apparently an inconvenient

13 truth for Mr. Huberman. So that is something

14 that's consistently swept under the carpet, as

15 many of the misappropriations and

16 misexpenditures of the school have been.

17 For instance, the -- I think it

18 was the 60 million-dollar TAP program

19 supposedly to give incentive money to teachers

20 if their children's test scores were high.

21 The program was a flop, of course. And I want

22 to know where the rest of the money went, and

23 why that got swept under the carpet as well?

24 Apparently, this business about

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 being data driven reveals, Ms. Ferguson, that

2 you're swimming in a sea; that you're

3 surrounded by people who are breathtakingly

4 hypocritical and cynical. And I want to know

5 how you all sleep at night?

6 (Applause)

7 THE MODERATOR: Nathan Goldbaum, and

8 following Nathan will be Raymond Flowers.

9 MR. GOLDBAUM: My name is Nathan

10 Goldbaum, G-O-L-B-D-B-A-U-M.

11 And I have -- my first question

12 is, I understand that answers to questions

13 will be posted online. Will the entire

14 transcript of these proceedings be posted

15 online because I think people have made some

16 very important statements that should be

17 presented to the public. And I want to make

18 sure that the entire transcript --

19 (Applause)

20 MS. FERGUSON: We will certainly

21 consider it.

22 MR. GOLDBAUM: Okay. The second

23 issue that I have has to do with TIFs.

24 Now, somebody asked about

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 whether -- whether any new TIF districts had

2 been approved by the CPS. And I actually want

3 to -- I want to put into you that I don't

4 think CPS should approve any new TIF districts

5 until we can assure that we have a balanced

6 budget, and that all of our school's needs are

7 served.

8 And so I would like to have an

9 answer online, will you agree to forego any

10 TIF districts that are presented to CPS

11 that -- will you deny any TIF districts until

12 we can ensure that all of our schools are

13 fully funded.

14 And I want -- actually, I wanted

15 to thank the Raise Your Hand folks for having

16 actually explained that to us because many

17 people are not aware that those TIF districts

18 require the approval of taxing bodies like the

19 CPS in order to -- in order to be -- in order

20 to be approved.

21 The third concern that I have has

22 to do with the positions that have been closed

23 due to budgetary reasons. Now, supposedly

24 many of them will be reopened thanks to --

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 thanks to our finally acknowledging that the

2 money is there.

3 But what I'm concerned is that

4 teachers that have been inconvenient for their

5 principals or who otherwise are inconveniently

6 paid, that is teachers who are veterans, and

7 who maybe cost the city a little bit more

8 money because of their years of experience,

9 will be washed out with the tied only to have

10 new positions opened up, and those positions

11 be given to other teachers. Teachers that

12 should have the guarantee of seniority.

13 So what I'm very concerned, and

14 what I would like to hear for sure is that no

15 new positions will be opened up in places

16 where old positions have been closed; that

17 those same positions will be opened and given

18 to those same teachers.

19 (Applause)

20 THE MODERATOR: Raymond Flowers.

21 And following Raymond Flowers is Susan Zupan.

22 MR. FLOWERS: Good evening. My name

23 is Raymond Flowers.

24 THE MODERATOR: Speak into the mike,

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 please.

2 MR. FLOWERS: My name is Raymond

3 Flowers. I'm from Powell High School.

4 And last year I came to the board

5 hearing at Edison and showed you a map that I

6 made of all the TIF districts in Chicago, and

7 how much money they get from the school.

8 I asked why doesn't the board

9 amend some of the money TIF takes from our

10 school, but I didn't get an answer.

11 This year the news said there was

12 a $1.2 billion surplus in the TIF funds. So

13 I'm going to ask the same question. Why

14 doesn't the board demand the money from the

15 TIF districts to pay for some more research?

16 (Applause)

17 THE MODERATOR: Susan Zupan. And

18 following Susan will be [Student's Name Redacted].

19 MS. ZUPAN: Susan Zupan. I'm a

20 Chicago Public School teacher. Member of CORE,

21 and I work for substance abuse.

22 I have a suggestion actually how

23 CPS might raise revenue and actually save some

24 money. You can raise revenue by charging more

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 than one dollar rent for charter schools that

2 are taking over the public schools.

3 (Applause)

4 I know that charter schools are

5 paying public schools, and they pay one dollar

6 rent per year. So maybe reconsider that, to

7 raise some funds. I don't think that's a good

8 deal for the taxpayers. I think it's a

9 rip-off.

10 One particular charter school,

11 which I'm concerned with is the Learn Charter

12 School on the south -- southeast side taking

13 a -- sharing space with an elementary school.

14 One of the -- Learn has a couple of schools,

15 but one of their schools for which there is

16 data from a 2009 elementary report card, their

17 attendance rate, teachers -- you know, how our

18 attendance rate is 94, 95? You know how the

19 attendance rate of your school is less than

20 95 percent -- Learned Charter Schools

21 attendance rate is 75 percent.

22 But instead of shutting them down

23 the way you would have probably shutdown my

24 school or other schools at that rate, you

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 rewarded them with one or two more charter

2 school.

3 And I looked in the budget, and

4 one of them -- the one at South Chicago is

5 costing CPS over $1.5 million. A different

6 one is $2.3 million. So right there you can

7 say, oops. We made a mistake. We're going to

8 take that back. And I just saved you about

9 $4 million.

10 Please consider those sources of

11 revenue and cost saving.

12 (Applause)

13 THE MODERATOR: [Student Name Redacted],and

14 following [Student Name Redacted] will be [Student

15 Name Redacted] MS.[Student Name Redacted]: Hi. I'm [Student

16 Name Redacted]. I'm with CYT, Chicago Youth

17 (unintelligible).

18 THE COURT REPORTER: You have to

19 speak into the microphone.

20 MS. [Student Name Redacted]: I'm here to talk about

21 cuts and how it hurts students. Cuts based on

22 the learning process, and what I mean by that is

23 when you cut teachers, you have substitutes.

24 And some substitutes come in, and they really

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 don't teach us anything that we need to be

2 learning. They just sort of sit there, and talk

3 about the check to them.

4 Also violence occurs. Like, last

5 school year, we had so many killings and

6 shootings, it -- since you cut the teachers

7 this year, it's going to be even more.

8 New teachers, they won't -- new

9 teachers that come in, they won't know how to

10 help some of the students. Like, for

11 instance, their old teachers, they understood

12 them, and they knew what they was going

13 through. And when you bring a whole new

14 different teacher in, they're not going to

15 know much about the students, and what they're

16 going through.

17 Cuts hurts students so much. My

18 teacher got cut, and he was actually the one

19 that started me with social justice

20 activities. Like, he opened a way and showed

21 me different things. He helped us get grants

22 to get bus cards and stuff to go to different

23 things.

24 And hear a lot of people say that

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 children are the future, but I don't think

2 they understand that if we are the future,

3 then you need to treat us like we are the

4 future. You need to give us the resources and

5 the education to be the future.

6 (Applause)

7 THE MODERATOR: [Student Name Redacted].

8 And following [Student Name Redacted] will be [Student

9 Name Redacted].

10 MR. [Student Name Redacted]: I'm [Student Name Redacted].

11 And I just want to ask a couple of things.

12 First, why isn't the budget

13 available in Spanish? I see that a couple --

14 that you have a translator. Seeing that, it

15 means that there are those people who probably

16 would like to read the budget in Spanish or

17 whatever language.

18 Second, tonight there was a sign

19 that said, Children First. But firing

20 teachers and cutting programs are messing up

21 my transcripts and keeps students from

22 graduating on time. Especially seniors who

23 might have their language cut. And they may

24 have to take two years of another language,

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 but if you're a senior, that would mean you

2 graduate later in the school year because you

3 have to take some school classes or whatever.

4 I just want to know why would you

5 all do that when we're supposed to be the

6 people you're looking out for first?

7 (Applause.)

8 THE MODERATOR: Jerry Skinner. And

9 following Jerry Skinner will be Louis Pyster.

10 MR. SKINNER: I'm Jerry Skinner.

11 I'm a teacher at Calvin Park High School and a

12 union representative.

13 Since the last week of school, and

14 over the course of the summer, according to my

15 count, 14 teachers at our school have received

16 either termination notices via letter or

17 phone, or did not receive a schedule for last

18 year -- or for next year.

19 One of the teachers, which is a 14

20 year tenured veteran, who has led our school

21 to two CPS varsity championships, and about

22 ten sophomore and freshman team championships

23 in volleyball.

24 And I what I would like to know

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 is -- is since the education jobs bill will

2 allow many of these jobs to be filled again,

3 these positions, is the Board of Ed and the

4 principals at our school and the principals of

5 other schools, going to be offering these

6 dedicated, education professionals -- who I

7 can attest are valued by their students and

8 their colleagues, are they going to be

9 offering them an opportunity to get their jobs

10 back? Thank you.

11 (Applause)

12 THE MODERATOR: Louis Pyster. And

13 following Louis Pyster is C.K. Johnson.

14 MR. PYSTER: Louis Pyster, retired

15 teacher. Thank God.

16 Some quick -- quick ideas.

17 First of all, we have two more

18 budget hearings coming up tomorrow and the

19 next day, maybe one or two more of the Board

20 of Education members will come and sit and

21 watch -- and watch. Not answer any questions,

22 just sit and watch. They did that at the

23 hearings on the closings and the turnarounds.

24 And in some cases it appears that

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 they had some valuable input. So I think that

2 would be a good idea.

3 The next Board of Education

4 meeting is on August the 25th. By that time,

5 the question that was asked by Mr. Vail about

6 the eighty -- the $800 million should be

7 answered. That should be part of the

8 discussion at that board meeting. Maybe even

9 the derivatives should be answered because

10 that has come up.

11 And a real discussion by the board

12 members and the board staff on TIF because

13 based on my understanding, some of what was

14 said tonight may not be totally correct, not

15 out of -- whatever. If it is a complicated

16 thing, there are some information, but it

17 needs to be reported adequately so it can be

18 done.

19 And on the TIF money, I'll get

20 back to that in a moment.

21 I assume that if teachers have

22 been laid off, displaced, and they will be put

23 back once it is agreed as it will be once that

24 money that has come under -- from the federal

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 government has arrived and in place, that

2 those people will have their jobs back.

3 When they have their jobs back, it

4 should be the same people with their jobs

5 back. Not someone else.

6 (Applause)

7 And that is the job of the CPF, and

8 it would be the job of the CTU to make sure

9 that happens.

10 One other thing, some people

11 decided to take their pension because they

12 thought they had to do that. I hope that the

13 Board of Education will do everything in its

14 power to give those people an option to come

15 back to work for CPS without that.

16 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

17 conclude.

18 MR. PYSTER: And some of them may

19 have taken the pension and enhancement where

20 they pledge that they will never return, but

21 board administrators and principals have come

22 back, special arrangements have been made. And

23 I'm not saying anything underhanded, that has

24 been done because they have decided they need to

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 come back.

2 The next thing I think is in terms

3 of the TIF. If somehow the CPS gets their

4 hands on some of the TIF money, I would suggest

5 that they use that money -- and this is a

6 little sneakier way, but to use this money to

7 make sure that all the after school programs,

8 all the security personnel, all the safety and

9 security plans and all that, and argue that

10 this is vital to the safety of our students.

11 And that may provide millions of dollars.

12 And once you provide that through

13 TIF, and make the argument with the mayor of

14 the City of Chicago that it is not in his

15 interest to have any -- and if this sounds

16 horrible, what I'm going to say, so be it --

17 any more shot or dead students. It is not in

18 anybody's interest for all kinds of reasons.

19 Obviously, for the student's interest and their

20 families, but it is not. And he can use that

21 argument as maybe they could use some of the

22 TIF money out of the city council when they

23 decide that in order to make sure there's no

24 enough police out there on the street, this

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 would be a way of making an argument of

2 figuring out some way of that TIF money being

3 used.

4 And once you free up the money for

5 safety and security, you can use it to make

6 sure all these programs that we have talked

7 about will be handled.

8 And I think if you do those kinds

9 of things --

10 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

11 conclude.

12 MR. PYSTER: -- I think you will be

13 acting in the interest of everybody. Thank you.

14 (Applause)

15 THE MODERATOR: C.K. Johnson. And

16 following C.K. Johnson is Gina Baruch.

17 MS. JOHNSON: My name is C.K.

18 Johnson, Carol Keating Johnson. I'm a parent.

19 I have an eighth grade student, a

20 son at Coonley. I'm very happy at that

21 school. Love the teachers. And I, as a

22 parent, want to thank all the teachers.

23 My father was a special ed teach

24 for 30 years. And ended up being

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 disciplinarian -- his position became

2 disciplinarian of Marshall High School, rather

3 than teaching students, which evolved from the

4 system.

5 I want to thank the teachers for

6 their hard work. I'm a volunteer. I am a

7 parent. I have been for many, many years. I

8 see the importance of parents getting involved

9 in volunteering because the teachers do need

10 the help because of where it is at. Unfunded.

11 I have a master's in public

12 health. And I see this as a public health

13 issue big time. One of the major causes of

14 poverty, of course, is lack of education. And

15 with -- I think our system is developing into

16 a system where we have children who are

17 undereducated. An inequitable education. We

18 are having children who are frustrated and

19 angry and coming out of a system with a lack

20 of education that they need to survive in this

21 new world of science and technology.

22 My question was, my son has been

23 involved with a CPS tech group for over three

24 years. And I've heard that it will be cut.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 I'm very upset and disappointed by this. He

2 and other students, particularly minority

3 students, need to be involved with technology.

4 That is a sign of the times, I guess.

5 Even though I'm 54 years old and

6 don't understand, it's a sign of the times.

7 I wanted to know if these programs

8 will be continued to be funded? How will they

9 be funded including science programs, because

10 I'm planning to be a science teacher. Maybe

11 I'm crazy in the system, but I do want to be a

12 teacher. And so I would like to see some

13 answers to these questions. Thank you.

14 (Applause)

15 THE MODERATOR: Gina Baruch. And

16 following Gina is Xian Barreh.

17 MS. BARUCH: Hi, my name is Gina

18 Baruch.

19 I've been an art teacher with CPS

20 for the past 17 years. But on Friday the

21 13th, I received a letter stating that I was

22 being honorably dismissed.

23 I've been tenured for the last 14,

24 and over those 14 -- over those 14 years, I

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 received a superior rating. I've also been

2 awarded over $90,000 worth of grant money for

3 grants that I applied for. And I never

4 received a negative comment about either my

5 teaching or my program.

6 And yet, as an honorably dismissed

7 teacher, I am not entitled to insurance now.

8 And neither is my daughter. And I'm not

9 entitled to be part of the displaced teachers

10 school, which essentially says I now have to

11 go on to unemployment.

12 I am very concerned that because I

13 was only about three years away from being at

14 the 20 year mark for retiring, that I am being

15 told they don't want me to complete that 20

16 years, which will greatly reduce the ability

17 for me to receive a decent pension.

18 And I'm also concerned that there

19 are other tenured teachers out there who are

20 also being put in the same position. I am

21 also concerned that in CPS, art teachers and

22 art programs are dropping like flies. And due

23 to the fact that creativity is after all

24 considered a higher thinking -- a higher level

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 thinking skill. I question what this is doing

2 for our students in terms of preparation.

3 I can speak honestly that teaching

4 middle school, my sixth graders who are coming

5 from school, who did not provide an art

6 program, barely knew what to do with the art

7 tools that I was giving them or providing them

8 with. And barely understood the word

9 imagination.

10 So I hope this will get addressed

11 that, as an art teacher for CPS, that I might

12 still get to retain my job. As money flows

13 in, I will be restored. And our students will

14 again be given the ability to receive art in a

15 classroom. Thank you.

16 (Applause)

17 THE MODERATOR: Xian Barreh. And

18 following Xian is Deborah Simmons.

19 MR. BARREH: Hello. I'm Xian

20 Barreh.

21 Recently as of last week, I was a

22 teacher at Julian High School. I -- at

23 Julian, we had the last remaining open

24 enrollment in their Japanese program.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 I also work closely with student's

2 parents and other educators to lobby for a

3 hundred million dollars for CPS jobs from the

4 federal government that some of the other

5 speakers have talked about. So on Wednesday

6 we celebrate that bills passage. And on

7 Thursday, I received a letter honorably

8 terminating me.

9 I learned early at Julian that

10 most of our city only really notices our

11 students is when we have to bury them, as I

12 have had to do with four of my students.

13 And so I've worked very hard with

14 my students to teach them about skills of

15 civic engagement through our social justice

16 club, which was nationally recognized

17 including via President Obama.

18 They were also very involved in

19 educational policy. And often have been here

20 to tell many members of this panel up here and

21 the actual decision makers at CPS, how they

22 should actually be running things, but we're

23 not actually listened to very often.

24 So my real question is just -- and

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 I would like an answer -- an honest answer to

2 this on the web site is who is going to take

3 care of my kids?

4 (Applause)

5 I know you are all basically good

6 people. And as you know, I'm a calm,

7 cheerful, kind of goofy role model for my

8 kids, but I stand here absolutely beside

9 myself with rage today. I'm outraged that

10 standing here today called to take -- called

11 to this table after the fact, after all these

12 decisions have been made to cut all these

13 vital programs, and after the central office

14 has decided how to hurt my students.

15 And we are here not for a genuine

16 conversation, but for a one-sided input

17 session that will go nowhere. We don't even

18 get to look at the budget thoroughly. I don't

19 even know what I'm supposed to do with this

20 right now (indicating). I mean, it's so many

21 thousand pages, and it's not really very

22 legible in this format right now.

23 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

24 conclude.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 MR. BARREH: I will. Thank you.

2 I did get it online last week, but

3 it's kind of hard to get through that many

4 pages in such a short time. So, I guess, I'll

5 have a lot more time now to look at it.

6 I always taught my students not to

7 make excuses for treating people inhumanely.

8 I taught them to take action, not to complain

9 about their own situations, but to step up and

10 not just to think about themselves, but to

11 think about others.

12 So I want to tell them you know

13 what you're doing is wrong. It's wrong. It's

14 wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong.

15 You've heard the evidence from

16 other people with real details, and I know

17 you've been given your orders on what to do

18 about this budget. And I know that you

19 honestly in your hearts don't want to hurt

20 children. Every individual has a choice.

21 I know because I swore from the

22 first day of teaching at CPS, I would do no

23 harm with my children. I would never lie and

24 mislead or miseducate my students. I kept

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 this covenant and in many ways that's exactly

2 why I stand here today, and I may never be

3 allowed to teach my students again.

4 I urge you to take this same oath.

5 Walk out of here and return to the board a

6 real community minded budget. Minus the

7 patronage contracts, the performance

8 management insane legal cuts, and every bit of

9 bureaucracy that's currently drenched in the

10 blood of our students.

11 You'll get fired, but you'll be --

12 you will be able to look your own kids in the

13 eye, and stand with all of us who really care

14 about the student.

15 (Applause)

16 THE MODERATOR: Debra Simmons. And

17 following Debra Simmons is William Lamme.

18 MS. SIMMONS: Hello, my name is

19 Deborah Simmons. And I'm a parent of two

20 children that attend Meecham [verbatim] College

21 Prep. It's a charter school and it just opened.

22 Right now I just found out that

23 our school was going to be having cuts

24 financially.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 And it comes at a time when I have

2 two students that are excited. I've never had

3 excited children who are trying on their

4 uniforms. When I'm carpooling, all they're

5 talking about is their school. Their school.

6 Their teachers. They want to go to school.

7 They can't wait for summer to end. They want

8 to get back to school. It's -- the kids feel

9 safer in school than they do on the streets of

10 Chicago.

11 I'm a product of Chicago Public

12 Schools. I went on to do great things. And

13 in doing those great things, I instilled in my

14 children that education is where it's at. And

15 without having the teachers here today,

16 they're the ones that are educating our future

17 leaders and our future everything.

18 They're putting more police on the

19 street. Hiring them to fight crime, when it

20 won't keep the teachers in the classroom to

21 educate and get the kid off the street

22 corners.

23 So I'm just here to say that my

24 school -- my children's school -- I call it my

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 school because the day they enrolled, I

2 enrolled as well. I'm one of those parents

3 who are hands-on. I'm always at the school.

4 Always calling. I carpool anybody's children

5 while I'm not working right now who can't make

6 it there.

7 My family has suffered great

8 tragedy. Three weeks before the school year

9 both my parents were murdered, three weeks

10 into the school year. And I told that to the

11 school, and they rallied around my children.

12 And with that, you know, in our family

13 tragedy, they kept a 3.9 and 3.3 GPA

14 throughout the whole school year with such a

15 tragedy behind us. And I owe that all to the

16 teachers because I couldn't have done it by

17 myself.

18 I love Meecham College Prep, and

19 pray this to everyone that I know. And I have

20 had friends come over from the Catholic school

21 system that are now attending Meecham College

22 Prep. And just want to say thanks to all the

23 educators for making it possible for us to do

24 what we do every day.

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 (Applause)

2 THE MODERATOR: William Lamme. And

3 following William is John Moran.

4 MR. LAMME: Yes, I'm William Lamme.

5 And I'm a teacher at Kelly High School, and a

6 member of the local school council.

7 Many of us have had an edge in our

8 voices up here today, and I think there's two

9 reasons why.

10 One is because of the very

11 misguided policies that we believe CPS is

12 pursuing at the moment. And the second is

13 that they don't care to hear our opinion on

14 it. And I think that this hearing is a sign

15 of that that there's no one here to answer the

16 questions or make an attempt to answer those

17 questions here today.

18 We want to have some dialogue, and

19 there isn't any with this format.

20 So why come? Well, it's not really

21 just to blow off steam. Although, we certainly

22 have got some, but actually I think we're

23 actually building up steam in our movement to

24 sweep away this policy, which seems to be

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 carried out by people who are practicing the

2 policy of impunity and unaccountability.

3 (Applause)

4 There is no interest -- there is no

5 interest in partnering teachers. There is no

6 interest in hearing the community input.

7 Now, why is this working the way it

8 is? Well, I suggest that what's happening here

9 is a certain etiology on the part of the Board

10 of Education that we need to impose market

11 reforms -- market style reforms in our schools.

12 And yet as was pointed out earlier,

13 there's really no data to substantiate this

14 particular policy. And, in fact, there is

15 increasing data to show that this is flawed.

16 The New York experiment just was

17 confronted by some very disappointing test

18 results this year, which is just additional

19 ammunition to the fact that the charter school

20 way is not a solution to the crisis of public

21 schools.

22 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

23 conclude.

24 MR. LAMME: Yeah, but I will talk

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 for a little bit.

2 Now, I think that what part of the

3 problem is here is that it's well-known that

4 the public school quality is not good. And,

5 therefore, we need -- the Board of Education

6 needs to have an explanation for this. And

7 this is the current explanation, we need to

8 use market performers. But this has been a

9 failure for decades.

10 What we've seen is a parade of

11 different administrations who go through

12 giving us change without improvement. There

13 is change -- in fact, there's change that is,

14 in fact, undermining civility, which -- and it

15 is not bringing us any closer to quality

16 schools.

17 Paul Vallas left after his scores

18 went down. Arne is going to fail on a much

19 grander scale.

20 (Applause)

21 And it's just -- it's an

22 unfortunate thing. And, I think, that the

23 real answer that's being avoided here, and I

24 think that perhaps some people in the CPS

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 administration would agree with this, is that

2 our number one problem is the failure to

3 adequately fund the schools and to have

4 smaller class sizes.

5 And we are not going to --

6 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please

7 conclude.

8 MR. LAMME: -- otherwise.

9 Now, they can get away without

10 adequately funding schools in Chicago

11 because -- in fact, we have two public school

12 systems. We have a small, elite public school

13 system, which you attested to. And we have a

14 neighborhood school system, which is for the

15 also rans.

16 And my kids went to one of the

17 elite schools. They went Whitney Young. And

18 I am glad they did. They had a good

19 education, but that's the kind of school all

20 our kids should go to.

21 (Applause)

22 I'm almost done. And what we are

23 seeing at the moment is those who have

24 influence are able to get their kids into

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 these schools, not just because of

2 connections, but also because of their

3 economic and educational advantages, the kids

4 are going to test in to those school.

5 And they're going to avoid -- be

6 able to avoid reforming the rest of the

7 schools for the rest of us.

8 So we stand here with the desire

9 to sweep away and change the entire

10 prospective of the board. And it's the

11 policies that there should be a uniform school

12 system for all children. No privileged, no

13 special prestigious schools, but all quality

14 schools for all the kids. That's what we

15 want.

16 (Applause)

17 THE MODERATOR: John Moran. And

18 following John Moran is Phyllis Smith.

19 MR. MORAN: John Moran.

20 Woe-be-known elementary music teacher, soon to

21 become special ed teacher, thank you to your

22 budget. And CT delegate.

23 I speak against the passage of

24 this budget. I'm appalled at the arrogance

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 that there is not one Board of Education

2 member here tonight to hear these comments.

3 I'm appalled that there is not one Board of Ed

4 member or you willing to answer our serious

5 questions concerning the CPS budget, the

6 stakeholder that would be affected by this.

7 I'm appalled by this.

8 I'm appalled that we're having

9 budget hearings after the budget year has

10 already started. I'm appalled by the fact

11 that there is not enough written copies.

12 Everyone does not always want to use a

13 computer. Especially, when something like

14 this comes available.

15 Now, my first point is when we

16 have almost a $7 billion -- a billion with B

17 dollar budget, that year after year after year

18 you can never balance your budget without

19 threats and cuts. Everyone -- anyone that

20 works with this budget should be fired. If

21 they were in the private industry, they would

22 be fired.

23 (Applause)

24 And if you cannot do a better job

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 of allocating resources, you don't deserve

2 your very highly paid position.

3 In that $7 billion budget, you've

4 got priorities for consulting services, almost

5 a billion dollars. You've got capital

6 development for private schools called charter

7 schools. And I'm not speaking against the

8 parents here who made those choices. I

9 respect that.

10 What I don't respect is that if

11 they're a private school, let them get their

12 own funding for their own buildings. Why

13 should that be taken away from our students

14 that are being put into second rate buildings

15 or even third rate buildings because of this?

16 The lawyers -- I can't believe

17 that I spent the last couple of years studying

18 the budget. You have well over a hundred

19 lawyers in one department. You got lawyers in

20 this department, lawyers in that department,

21 and you still bring in outside lawyer firms.

22 Why? How many lawyers do you need?

23 Is this the Chicago Lawyer System,

24 is that what this is? Are we here to give

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 lawyers a job?

2 THE MODERATOR: Mr. Speaker, please,

3 conclude.

4 MR. MORAN: No, I will respect your

5 timeline when the Board of Ed respects the

6 people that are here to answer our questions.

7 When you're here, then I will give them the

8 mike. Until then, I will not give up the mike

9 because I'm not finished.

10 This just appalls me. I'm a

11 teacher. I'm a parent. My child has gone

12 through the CPS. And I'm a taxpayer. And I

13 think at some point you are bringing this

14 system totally out. Not us. Not the people

15 in the classroom every day busting our behinds

16 to do the best we can.

17 You people are arrogantly taking

18 salaries double and triple of ours. You ought

19 to be ashamed of yourselves.

20 (Applause)

21 THE MODERATOR: Phyllis Smith. And

22 following Phyllis Smith is Margaret Royzen.

23 MS. SMITH: I'm Phyllis Smith. I am

24 a --

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 THE COURT REPORTER: Please speak

2 into the microphone.

3 MS. SMITH: I'm a former educator

4 with CPS. I was dismissed last year, not two

5 months ago or three weeks ago like a friend of

6 mine who is a literacy coach. You don't have to

7 worry about her coming back because she's

8 passed. That's just one thing.

9 She got a notice a week before you

10 had your job fair. You can sponsor having

11 private job fairs, and you tell teachers who

12 have been off their jobs that they cannot

13 come? I thought this was a public school

14 system, not a private organization.

15 (Applause)

16 Mr. Huberman -- no, no. Stop.

17 Let me continue.

18 Mr. Huberman, Mayor Daley, who is

19 behind all three of the last three executives

20 have destroyed the public school system in

21 Chicago.

22 Daley had money to flash for the

23 Olympics. That money could also be used in

24 the public school system. Mr. Huberman came

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 in and after messing up the CTA with a salary

2 higher than Arne Duncan, like, $30,000 more,

3 to the destroy the public school system in

4 Chicago. Daley supports that.

5 Now, they're fighting because

6 Huberman wants to bring a former

7 teacher/principal to the top executive

8 educator's position. And Daley -- I'm not

9 opposed to Catholic schools, but Daley wants

10 to bring a Catholic teacher in to run our

11 public school system. I thought there was a

12 law in this country to separate public

13 education and religion. That's not supposed

14 to be mixed. That's one issue.

15 I would like to know where is the

16 money that the Board of Education has failed

17 to put into the pension fund for the last

18 three years? Why would you buy a system that

19 could not forward the money that is supposed

20 to be going to those teachers who have spent

21 their life educating me, you, and many other

22 people in this audience? Those people deserve

23 their full pension. Where is that?

24 Why isn't it that the Board of

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 Education cannot live by arbitration

2 decisions? The Supreme Court has even said

3 that when two people sit down with

4 arbitrators, that they are to abide by that

5 decision.

6 THE MODERATOR: Ms. Smith, please

7 conclude.

8 MS. SMITH: The next point.

9 Why is it that Mr. Huberman gets a

10 raise, and does not understand that that money

11 should go to children? And to educators who

12 have spent their life, their money every year

13 buying supplies and going back to school to

14 increase their knowledge base, and then be

15 penalized because our salaries go up? We have

16 invested -- we have student loans that we have

17 to pay back.

18 Now, many of those people who are

19 no longer employed, are going into default and

20 a million other problems. Where is the money

21 that we have put into this system?

22 I'm also one of those property

23 owners that you're talking -- someone

24 suggested that we raise that. That is not the

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 only place. Daley needs to take the money

2 that he has for all of his special projects,

3 and put it into the public school system.

4 (Applause)

5 THE MODERATOR: Margaret Royzen.

6 And following Margaret Royzen is Rolando

7 Vasquez.

8 MS. ROYZEN: Hi. I'm Margaret

9 Royzen, and I am a math teacher at Hyde Park

10 Academy High School.

11 And I was looking at this

12 summary -- the budget summary, page 35 of the

13 budget. And this said that teacher's salary

14 is projected in for 37 million, if you look at

15 the line. And that means that before the

16 amounts of about 80 million, that's 4 percent.

17 Then the kids -- increase all teacher for

18 80 million and there is -- 43 million, which

19 is about two percent of the salary.

20 Okay. Now, in 2010 we have 28

21 students in the class with probably 27. I

22 have 28, 30 in every class. Two percent of 25

23 is .5 students. Therefore, it should have

24 increased, you know, the students in our

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 classes from 28 to 29, not to 33.

2 So I would like to address this

3 question, you know, from my calculations our

4 class size should be 29. Thank you.

5 (Applause)

6 THE MODERATOR: Rolando Vasquez.

7 MR. VAZQUEZ: Hi, teacher at

8 Brighton Park Elementary.

9 Just a couple of suggestions. I

10 really like what the one gentleman said about

11 having a representative here. That's really

12 important. And I hope that you guys who are

13 looking at me and hearing my voice, put on

14 fresh ears right now and not just look at me

15 as just another angry person, even though I am

16 that.

17 I challenge you to listen to me

18 with fresh ears and communicate the following

19 message -- all right. There are two more

20 meetings this week, right, at Westinghouse and

21 also at Corliss yet. Have people be there to

22 answer the questions because this is

23 frustrating. Right?

24 (Applause)

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 Also this is worth reiterating

2 money from the federal government's recent

3 bill to restore teaching positions is supposed

4 to be used to put teachers back to work. The

5 suggestion is this: Guarantee -- that's the

6 key word. Guarantee that this money will be

7 used for its intended purpose.

8 Imagine this. Picture someone

9 that's you -- that's dear to you. Maybe you

10 have children and your child is an atmosphere

11 about this size and asks a question -- or, no,

12 better yet. Your kid's in a class room and

13 says, teacher, how do you find the common

14 detonator of two fractions? And the teacher

15 says, the answer to that will be posted

16 online, I'm not sure when.

17 That's -- I mean, that

18 respectfully, but I mean to use that as clear

19 as possible. That's it.

20 (Applause)

21 MS. HERZOG: I think that was our

22 last speaker.

23 So I just want to thank everybody

24 for your comments and your feedback. We

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 appreciate it.

2 And we'll follow-up, like we said,

3 to the commitment to put the answers to these

4 questions online. So thank you very much.

5 (Discussion with audience

6 member.)

7 THE MODERATOR: No. We called

8 everyone that I had on the list. I apologize.

9 MS. HERZOG: We have time.

10 MS. BOLIS: My name is Dee Bolis

11 (phonetically), and I used to be a teacher at

12 Social Justice High School until last week.

13 I'm a teacher. I'm a varsity

14 basketball coach. I got nominated for a

15 Golden Apple Award. I'm on the instructional

16 leadership team. Sometimes I stay until

17 9:00 o'clock and not being paid. And never

18 asked for it.

19 I just have a couple of questions.

20 I don't just serve students. I serve their

21 families. I serve their communities. And I

22 don't want to be anything, except a

23 neighborhood public school teacher.

24 And I don't want to work in a

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 charter school. I don't want to work in the

2 suburbs. I don't want to work in a private

3 school. But that's what I'm being forced to

4 do. I'm a highly qualified teacher. I have a

5 master's degree, and I'm working on a second

6 one. I want to know how much money you're

7 putting into Teach For America? And how many

8 of those teachers are guaranteed jobs?

9 (Applause)

10 And how many of those teachers --

11 or which one is going to take my position when

12 you play around with the positions on who

13 you're going to ask back?

14 I want to know why a selective

15 enrollment school that already has a building

16 is getting another one?

17 And then I want to know, once they

18 move into their new school, if you'll rent

19 that building to a chapter school, how much

20 rent you'll charge them, and where that money

21 will go?

22 I want to know why on the

23 e-bulletin you're advertising for people to

24 develop curriculum for upwards of $93,000 a

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 year? I develop curriculum. Why should you

2 hire people to do interventions? I do

3 interventions every day -- for upwards of

4 $93,000.

5 Why? If you had highly qualified

6 teachers in the classroom, you wouldn't have

7 to do that. I don't have insurance benefits

8 anymore. I wasn't tenured. And I want to

9 know why my position is done effective

10 August 31, instead of when I got the letter on

11 August 10th? Is that because you don't want

12 to pay me three weeks of unemployment?

13 Because I've already earned the

14 money that I made. I stopped working on

15 June 18th. So why am I being effective

16 August 31st?

17 That's all I got. It would be

18 nice to know these answers. It would be nice

19 to have someone here to answer them. I want

20 to know who is going to help the programmers?

21 I have one programmer in my school that serves

22 four small schools. Class begins in two and a

23 half weeks. Are there going to be teachers in

24 every room? Who is going to help the larger

Smith's Court Reporting Service

(312) 726-2266


1 schools, the 1200 students the programmer --

2 to program all those students?

3 Maybe, again, if you find more

4 money somewhere in a pocket. I just hope

5 there aren't unqualified teachers teaching our

6 children because since Huberman knows that

7 data is the only thing that matters, look at

8 our reading scores. Not highly qualified

9 teachers aren't going to bring those reading

10 scores up. And neither is a curriculum

11 developer, who doesn't know my students from

12 the main office.

13 I hope you guys get it figured out

14 at the expense of thousands of students who

15 are already and have already been left behind.

16 (Applause)

17 MS. HERZOG: Thank you.

18 THE MODERATOR: This concludes our

19 hearing for the evening. And we thank you all

20 for joining us this evening.

21 Tomorrow our next hearing will be

22 at Westinghouse High School, and our last

23 hearing on Thursday will be at Corliss. We

24 invite you to join us there as well.