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Teachers and parents testify critically on Board's latest 'Amended Budget'

More than a dozen teachers and parents, at two locations, testified critically of the Board of Education's latest "Amended Budget" at hearings held November 5, 2012, at Payton High School and King High School in Chicago. The criticisms included the fact that the budget was difficult or impossible to decipher and that the budget is once again providing more and more for privatization and less and less to the city's real public schools. [Disclosure: This reporter was one of those testifying at the Payton hearing].

Kurt Hilgendorf testified for the Chicago Teachers Union, pointing out that the Board of Education's own charts show that the Board is refusing to improve its revenue while claiming that it is facing massive deficits in future years. Hilgendorf is holding the chart from the Board's March 2012 meeting which shows radically increasing expenditures in future years, while revenues remain flat or decline. He noted that the Board has much control over its revenue picture and is failing to provide a plan to improve it for the benefit of the city's public school children. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Kurt Hilgendorf and Sarah Hainds testified on behalf of the Chicago Teachers Union at Payton. Hilgendorf, who now works for the CTU combining his research skills with lobbying, noted that the Board had mendaciously projected the budget trends in a dishonest way as early as the March 2012 Power Point presented by Tim Cawley (who was not at the budget hearing) and Jean-Claude Brizard (who was gone on a quarter million dollar golden parachute by the time of the November 5 hearing). Hilgendorf noted that the Board was presenting a "deficit" for future years by positioning a lurid increase in expenses (in red) while positing no increase (or even a possible decrease) in revenues. He noted that revenue increases were necessary to improve the public schools, and that a one percent county income tax would raise $600 million.



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