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OPT OUT NEWS: Salaries of principals and assistant principals (like those at Douglas Taylor Elementary School) are public information... The Board publishes them as part of its 'transparency' policy...

Anyone who wanted to know that William Truesdale, principal of Taylor Elementary School, is being paid $149,399 this school year didn't have to read Substance, but could simply go to the Chicago Board of Education website (www.cps.edu) to learn this and lots of other information. As a result of Substance's reporting on the bizarre behavior of administrators at Douglas Taylor Elementary Schools (and "Network 13") on Chicago's far South Side, we have gotten a couple of complaints from readers and members of the public. They object to our publishing the salaries of administrators (and others) who have been going around violating the rights of teachers and children since the PARCC tests began. Our opinion is that these highly paid public servants have been bullying those teachers who support Opt Out -- and those children who are trying to Opt Out during the PARCC testing season of 2015. "Transparency" isn't only for City Hall during this election year, Chicago style.

Chicago Public Schools finally began publishing the "Position Files" listing all the salaries of all full-time workers at the nation's third largest school system while Ron Huberman, a former cop, was "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS from 2009 through 2010. Like many of the "chiefs" at CPS since the mayoral dictatorship began in 1995, Huberman had no educational background or administrative experience in public school teaching or princpaling. Thanks for the "Amendatory Act" of 1995, the CEO of CPS did not have to be an educator. Some of the current "Network Chiefs" in CPS are as underqualified as Huberman was, or have been imported to their $151,000 per year jobs from out of state. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Apparently, some people don't want Substance to publish the fact that Taylor Principal William Truesdale is being paid $149,399 this school year, and that his assistant principal, Urbano Adriannfen is being paid $117,763 (note: earlier we published that the APs salary was only $109,000 and we regret the error, which we are correcting here).

Nor do some readers want the public to know that an administrator without a title (Mary Rosen) at the "Network 13" office who has been harassing teachers since PARCC began is being paid $50 per hour as a "consultant." Or that Rosen's boss, Network 13 "Chief of Schools" Karen Saffold, is being paid $151,131 this school year. Don't blame us: Blame Illinois and Chicago laws, and the Chicago Board of Education.

Anyone who wants to know the salary of any of the 41,393 individuals who are currently employed by the Chicago Board of Education can go to the CPS website and find this information by Searching for the "Position File" (which CPS calls the "Position Roster"). It's in Excel format, so you can search it easily. The reason is simple: If you are paid by the public's taxes, the public has the right to know how much you are being paid. If you want your pay and benefits to be SECRET you have to work in the "private sector." (Or in some cases, at a charter school, which have been trying to keep that information secret because they try to pit teachers against other teachers vying for "performance pay" bonuses based on test scores).

CPS declares: "In a commitment to transparency, Chicago Public Schools has posted the District's full Employee Position File which lists the names, job, titles, departments and salaries of all full-time CPS employees. This gives the public access to the Employee Position File, as well as the CPS' budget book, which provides an overview of all spending for the year..."

And so the most recent "Position File" published by CPS is dated December 30, 2014, includes 41,393 full time employees, and is available on line at: http://cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Pages/EmployeePositionFiles.aspx

Chicago Public Schools has been trying to be more transparent with this kind of information since 2008, when pressure from the Chicago Teachers Union's joint union board committee on budget and finances (of which this reporter is a member) and Substance finally got CPS, during the Ron Huberman years, to publish these data on line. Substance had been obtaining the Position files, sometimes via a torturous Freedom of Information Act route, since 1989 and kept all that information in our research files. But thanks to public pressure, CPS has now agreed to put those data on line.



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