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Lindblom protesters undermine Claypool 'STEM coding' publicity stunt...

DNA Info reported that students at Lindblom protested against Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool when Claypool tried to stage a publicity stunt at the South Side selective enrollment college prep high school on December 9, 2015.

As DNA Info reported:

CPS CEO Greeted With Student Protest On Way Into Lindblom for Media Event

By Andrea V. Watson | December 9, 2015 3:26pm | Updated on December 9, 2015 5:43pm

@andreavwatson12

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Makaylah Mnyofu (r.) and Haille Minor (l.) stand with Lindblom students to protest proposed budget cuts.View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

WEST ENGLEWOOD At least 200 students greeted Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool with a loud protest as he came for a pre-planned visit to Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

Im out here because I believe education is very important, said Makaylah Mnyofu, 13, as she stood outside the school, 6130 S. Wolcott Ave.

No need for budget cuts. We need to save our schools and our teachers.

They shouldn't cut budgets, said Haille Minor, 13. She worries that laying off teachers will create larger classrooms. Students wont learn at the same pace if the classes get really big.

Claypool visited the school in a planned event to observe how Lindblom students are teaching elementary students from Henderson and Nicholson Elementary how to do computer coding. After speaking with students, he answered questions from the media about the student-organized protest and a possible teachers strike that could happen as early as March.

He said that instead of the Chicago Teachers Union considering a citywide strike, they need to work with CPS and lobby in Springfield.

Its sad the teachers are more interested in a strike than a solution, Claypool said. The solution lies in Springfield and thats where we need their voices. A strike is not a solution."

A strike vote is scheduled for Wednesday to Friday.

Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the union, was upset by Claypool's comments.

"It's actually the opposite," he said. "We do want a solution, but we actually are looking for a solution that's more than just cutbacks. We want a solution that's gonna provide high-quality education for students.

He said CPS is seeking "over $650 million worth of cuts out of the pay of frontline educators over the next three years."

Claypool wouldnt say how many teachers could lose their jobs under budget cuts being considered by CPS.

Were still working on that," he said. "We have some time.

He said hes hopeful Springfield will give the district equal funding so they'll operate like the schools downstate and in the suburbs.

Were asking for equal funding in the state of Illinois, not more, not a bail out, just treat us equally, treat us like all the other schools in the state of Illinois, Claypool said.

"We said that if Springfield doesn't act, we would have to do mid-year cuts in the classroom and more unsustainable borrowing," he added. "As you know we have a $1.1 billion deficit, our credit card is maxed out. ... We do not have the resources to fight our way out of this unless Springfield treats us fairly, unless Springfield at least gives us equal funding with the rest of the state."

Sharkey agreed that seeking help from Springfield is "part of the picture here. That doesn't excuse CPS and the leadership in the city from doing their part and playing a positive role in trying to reach that solution. And right now I just think their ... contract position is stuck on stupid. And if we're gonna be serious, then they have to be serious, too."

DNA INFO ON LINDBLOM...

CPS CEO Greeted With Student Protest On Way Into Lindblom for Media Event

By Andrea V. Watson | December 9, 2015 3:26pm | Updated on December 9, 2015 5:31pm

@andreavwatson12

TwitterFacebookEmailMore

Makaylah Mnyofu (r.) and Haille Minor (l.) stand with Lindblom students to protest proposed budget cuts.View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

WEST ENGLEWOOD At least 200 students greeted Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool with a loud protest as he came for a pre-planned visit to Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

Im out here because I believe education is very important, said Makaylah Mnyofu, 13, as she stood outside the school, 6130 S. Wolcott Ave.

No need for budget cuts. We need to save our schools and our teachers.

They shouldn't cut budgets, said Haille Minor, 13. She worries that laying off teachers will create larger classrooms. Students wont learn at the same pace if the classes get really big.

RELATED: New South Side School Budgets Have Lindblom Losing, Charter Schools Gaining

Claypool visited the school in a planned event to observe how Lindblom students are teaching elementary students from Henderson and Nicholson Elementary how to do computer coding. After speaking with students, he answered questions from the media about the student-organized protest and a possible teachers strike that could happen as early as March.

He said that instead of the Chicago Teachers Union considering a citywide strike, they need to work with CPS and lobby in Springfield.

Its sad the teachers are more interested in a strike than a solution, Claypool said. The solution lies in Springfield and thats where we need their voices. A strike is not a solution."

A strike vote is scheduled for Wednesday to Friday.

Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the union, was upset by Claypool's comments.

"It's actually the opposite," he said. "We do want a solution, but we actually are looking for a solution that's more than just cutbacks. We want a solution that's gonna provide high-quality education for students.

He said CPS is seeking "over $650 million worth of cuts out of the pay of frontline educators of the next three years."

Claypool wouldnt say how many teachers could lose their jobs under budget cuts being considered by CPS.

Were still working on that," he said. "We have some time.

He said hes hopeful Springfield will give the district equal funding so they'll operate like the schools downstate and in the suburbs.

Were asking for equal funding in the state of Illinois, not more, not a bail out, just treat us equally, treat us like all the other schools in the state of Illinois, he said.

"We said that if Springfield doesn't act we would have to do mid-year cuts in the classroom and more unsustainable borrowing," he said. "As you know we have a $1.1 billion deficit, our credit card is maxed out. ... We do not have the resources to fight our way out of this unless Springfield treats us fairly, unless Springfield at least gives us equal funding with the rest of the state."

Sharkey agreed that seeking help from Springfield is "part of the picture here. That doesn't excuse CPS and the leadership in the city from doing their part and playing a positive role in trying to reach that solution. And right now I just think their ... contract position is stuck on stupid. And if we're gonna be serious, then they have to be serious, too."



Comments:

December 13, 2015 at 8:41 AM

By: Rod Estvan

Mr Claypool doesn't understand downstate schools

It seems that Mr Claypool does not grasph that just having its teachers in the state funded pension fund does not fix the weak fiscal situation of school districts.

Illinois has one of the largest absolute rural student enrollments, but rural students make up only one in seven public school students in the state. Rural students in Illinois have one of the nations highest rates of rural students qualifying for special education services, Only West Virginia spends fewer dollars on instruction per dollar spent on transportation. Teacher salaries are below average and rural schools in Illinois rank near the bottom on state revenue per local dollar. More than one in four rural students in Illinois qualifies for free or reduced priced lunches.

If one looks exclusively at school districts in deep southern Illinois the situation is even worse than for rural districts as a whole. This 2013 article summaries the bad situation http://www.stlmag.com/news/Troubled-Illinois-School-Districts-Consider-Dissolution-Consolidation/

The fiscal problems of school districts are not driven just by pension funding. They also are based in tax rates, low property tax values in many areas,low income tax rates in our state, and numerous other factors. The problems are not driven by the high wages of teachers either, because if that were the case rural schools in Illinois would be doing just great because compared to CPS teachers or many suburban teachers they are very under paid.

Rod Estvan

December 13, 2015 at 10:59 AM

By: Jimmy Higgins

Clueless Claypool about Chicago schools, too

Every action taken so far by Forrest Claypool since he was anointed "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS in July 2015 has indicated that he is clueless about everything except clout. He hired a large group of cronies, the most expensive of whom is being paid $225,000 per year, while claiming in Springfield that the Chicago system is "broke." Then he made sure that the most expensive of his cronies got a residency waiver, thus undermining the entire residency requirement for most CPS people -- overriding the objections of the Inspector General.

But the biggest damages done by Claypool are ongoing. His decision, based on a Big Lie about "savings", to finagle the staring times of some schools, has more dangers for the kids, while also depriving some of the kids of the ability to be in sports or to have after-school jobs. Busing was what he knew, bus people was who he hired, to run a school system, and so he went about the busing thing as if that were the BIG DEAL for the entire system.

Now that he is entering into the time of major cuts, things will only become more Clueless from Clueless Claypool.

Instead of ending the pending confrontation with the Chicago Teachers Union by agreeing to a hold-in-place contract, which the union's negotiators were ready to agree to in June and July, he insisted on the confrontation that is now before us.

Instead of working on the budget to learn what's really going on, he lies, cheats, steals and provides opulent jobs for his bus cronies --

and people complain about Bruce Rauner.

Forrest Claypool has been as reactionary in relation to public services -- whether at the Park District (where he destroyed much by privatizing, then had to un-privatize), the CTA (where he got lucky when a lame and corrupt union surrendered its members' pensions to his demands), and now with his privatization and anti- public worker agenda at Chicago Public Schools.

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