Claypool continues insults to schools, teachers, parents and communities by scheduling all the budget hearings on the same night -- August 18... Budget of nearly $6 billion released to public in secret meeting with Tribune editorial board and then selected corporate reporters...

The fourth "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, Forrest Claypool, continued the Board of Education's suppression of public participation in the annual budget hearings by scheduling all of the hearings on the same night, August 18, 2015. The hearings are scheduled to take place at Schurz High School, Malcolm X College, and Oliver Harvey College.

Working as usual in secret and relying on the cronyism of some City Hall reporters and corporate editors, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Forrest Claypool issued the school systems FY 2016 Proposed Budget virtually in secret on August 10, 2015, first doing a private briefing with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune and then hosting a corporate-style phone briefing for certain reporters selected by administration propaganda specialists. Substance photo by David Vance from the July 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education.The hearings on the FY 2016 budget mark the fifth year that CPS officials are refusing to schedule the hearings on successive nights, as had been the situation for decades in the nation's third largest school system (until Rahm Emanuel became mayor in May 2011). Prior to Emanuel's time as mayor, CPS scheduled its budget hearings over three successive days. The reasons was that the public had the right to expect that the hearings would be held by the Board of Education's top budget officers (the budget director and the Chief Financial Officer). Since 2011, the hearings have been hosted by hacks who cannot answer any questions about the budget because they don't know anything -- all have been rehearsed in Power Point, but not in the contents of the budget.

The school system's communications department has also refused to hold press conference for all the city's reporters with the release of the huge Proposed Budget. Instead, CPS officials met secretly with the editors of the Chicago Tribune on Monday, August 10. Then CPS officials hosted a semi-secret press "briefing" by phone. Both events were closed to most reporters who traditionally cover Chicago's vast public school system and indicate that under the newly appointed CEO (Forrest Claypool) and the new Board President (Frank Clark), the cover up of key events will continue until more of the city's corporate media stop dancing to the mayor's tune.

All of the hearings on the 2015 - 2016 (FY 2016) Proposed Budget will be held on August 18, 2015. According to the CPS website, Registration to testify at the hearings will be 5:00pm - 6:00pm, with the hearings from 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

Malcolm X College Theater, 1900 West Van Buren, Chicago IL

Olive- Harvey College, Gymnasium, 10001 South Woodlawn Ave Street, Chicago IL

Schurz High School Auditorium, 3601 North Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL

Although the budget is supposed to be presented to the public prior to the end of the fiscal year, which ended on June 30, the last time hearings took place in June instead of at the last minute in August was nine years ago, in 2006. Since then, CPS officials have claimed that the lack of full financial information from Springfield has precluded them from developing a budget, another thing that has not been true. (Nothing has changed financially in Springfield for CPS between June and the beginning of August in any of the years since the last June budget hearings).

A CPS press release purporting to explain the budget raises more questions than it answers, but Claypool and CPS budget officials refused to hold a general press conference and take questions. If past practice since Rahm Emanuel's election holds, the CPS officials who do the budget hearings will refuse to answer questions during the hearings, tell people they will "get back to" the public with answers, and then simply ignore any questions.


CPS Proposed FY16 Budget Lowers Expenses on Budget Categories In Districts Control ... Budget Relies on Springfield Treating Chicagos Children Equally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 10, 2015 For more information, contact: CPS Office of Communications Phone: 773-553-1620

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16), a plan that puts students education first. In all three expenditure categories that CPS can control operating, capital and debt service spending is down over last year. However, the district cannot cut its way out of the fiscal crisis and as a result, this budget relies on a partnership with leaders in Springfield to stabilize the districts finances by ending years of pension inequity and declining state funding.

Chicagos students are making real progress from higher attendance and record graduation rates to higher test scores and more students going to college. Yet all that hard-earned progress is threatened by a budget crisis that can be solved if our leaders come together, said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. This budget reflects the reality of where we are today: facing a squeeze from both ends, in which CPS is receiving less state funding to pay our bills even as our pension obligations swell to nearly $700 million this year. We look forward to continuing to work with our leaders in Springfield to prioritize education funding reform and finally end the inequity that requires Chicago alone to take scarce dollars from the classroom to pay for teacher pensions.

If Springfield doesnt reach a resolution during this legislative session, CPS will be forced to close the $500 million gap in its budget with a mix of additional cuts or more unsustainable borrowing.

The District begins the year with a $1.1 billion structural deficit. In addition to relying on $500 million from a comprehensive budget solution, CPS budget includes about $255 million in scoop and toss borrowing that prevents classroom cuts today, but puts a greater burden on future generations. The districts budget also uses a combination of TIF surplus funds and raising property taxes to the cap.

Finally, this budget includes $200 million in painful cuts that CPS announced earlier this summer. CPS has made nearly a billion dollars in cuts since 2011, and anticipates streamlining the Central Office further, but it is clear that the District cannot cut its way out of this crisis. The proposed FY16 budget will be made available for public comment and review on Aug. 18 at three meetings around the city. The final budget is expected to be presented to the Board for a vote at its August meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 26. For additional information on the FY16 budget, please see the attached fact sheet, background overview below or view the detailed Districts budget at:

In addition to releasing the FY16 budget, CPS is also sending notices today to teachers and support staff who have been impacted by changes in enrollment and budget cuts, in accordance with the districts labor contracts. As in the past, CPS will offer affected teachers the opportunity to reapply for positions within CPS. As CPS works to keep classroom cuts to a minimum, fewer teachers will be impacted this year than any point in the past five years, with 479, or less than 2 percent, of teachers impacted. A fact sheet detailing staff impacts is available, and all processes and procedures associated with these layoffs are done in accordance with the districts agreements with the Chicago Teachers Union and other unions.

Historically, more than 60 percent of laid-off teachers have been rehired with the district, and the district has 1,450 open teaching positions that must be filled before school starts. All laid off employees will be invited to a career fair on Aug. 14 that will be attended by CPS principals who are also looking to hire teachers and staff, per our agreement with CTU.

Finally, since CPS announced the painful $200 million in cuts, the District has worked with educators and parents who have expressed concerns about some of the changes in school bell times. As a result, earlier today CPS announced changes to schedules that restored 34 schools to their bell times from last school year, while 40 kept their new bell times and eight agreed to other changes. CPS will preserve approximately $5 million of the planned $9.2 million in savings from transportation streamlining and changes.

Budget Background

In order to protect dollars for classrooms, the District made a $634 million pension payment for FY15 and cut $200 million in spending.

In FY16, the Districts state-mandated pension contribution will be $676 million, the largest single-year pension obligation the District has faced. Other districts receive $2,266 per pupil in funding from the state; CPS receives $31.

The FY16 budget includes an austerity approach to capital spending, allocating $178 million for repair, improvement, and modernization. The funded capital projects are limited to previously announced projects and emergency maintenance and repairs that immediately impact student safety and comfort.

Approximately 96 percent $5.486 billion of the Districts proposed FY16 $5.687 billion budget is directed toward schools, ensuring that students have the tools, resources and supports they need for college, career and life.


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