Claypool and Jackson team up to push phony budget analysis to principals and network leaders during semi-secret meetings... Claypool declares war on CTU sick day 'abuse' and continues false claims about CPS budget... Jackson repeats her support for charter schools' continued expansion...

During the week of October 12, 2015, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool held meetings with principals and network staffs to go over the official CPS talking points. Claypool presented the principals with a Power Point which was only available on paper to repeat the claims that have continued in all CPS discussions of the budget since the August 2015 vote on the deficit-ridden vote on the "Final Budget" for the 2015 - 2016 school year. Above, the opening page of Claypool's Power Point, which reflects lies in just about every paragraph, from the claims of "gains" since Rahm Emanuel became mayor to the charge that the only solution to the CPS financial problems must come from "Springfield" rather than tax reform in Chicago.The "Chief Executive Officer" and "Chief Education Officer" of Chicago Public Schools held meetings across the city during the week of the Barbara Byrd Bennett guilty plea to provide principals and network chiefs with the official CPS version of financial reality, repeat the claims that all the money to "save" the schools must come from Springfield, and add a few endorsements for charter schools and other privatization schemes in the process.

According to principals who attended the meetings (but who asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons), Forrest Claypool, the current "Chief Executive Officer" of the nation's third largest school system, presented an eight-page Power Point to the meetings, which were organized according to networks and were referred to by one principal as "quickies." The two top executives of CPS ran through their talking points, answered as few questions as possible, and then left for the next meeting. No one was allowed to challenge the claim that the CPS "budget hole" could only be fixed by more money for CPS from the State of Illinois.

During his presentation, Claypool revealed to the principals that he was almost completely ignorant of recent CPS history, or the history of the contract negotiations. For example, Claypool claims in 2015 that teachers and others are "abusing" sick days, while ignoring the fact that it was CPS, under one of Claypool's predecessors, that insisted on taking away accumulated sick days from teachers and others. Claypool even told the principals that he was going to hire another executive, this one to investigate the "abuse" of sick days by current teachers and others.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Forrest Claypool (above during the September meeting of the Board of Education) is the fourth person to be "CEO" of the nation's third largest school system since Rahm Emanuel was inaugurated as mayor in May 2011. Claypool was Emanuel's "Chief of Staff" immediately before becoming the latest CEO of CPS. But Claypool's model for collective bargaining and dealing with unions comes from his successful attacks on the transit workers unions while he was head of the Chicago Transit Authority during a period when those unions were weak. Claypool hasn't even bothered to learn the history of recent CPS contract negotiations, and does not know that CPS union people have been barred from accumulating sick days since Rahm Emanuel's first contract was negotiated in 2012. Substance photo by David Vance. Claypool also told the principals that he was going to reduce the number of sick days per year for teachers from the current ten days to seven days. According to one principal, Claypool was waxing rapsodic about his victories over the unions during his time as chief of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Calypool told his audience that if CPS doesn't get $480 million from Springfield by November, CPS will begin issuing orders to schools to make further cuts.

"The CEO says he will hire a new administrative person as a 'head or manager," one principal told Substance. That person will be someone who has "expertise on employee attendance," Claypool continued. He told the principals that "sick days are not automatic -- just there to use if you need them." He said they should only be allowed if the employee shows "with proof" that they were needed. One of the principals tried to remind Claypool and Jackson that CPS can save on subs by rewarding teachers who do not use their sick days, noting that until the first Rahm Emanuel contract teachers and others could accumulate more than 200 sick days.

As usual, Forrest Claypool's Power Point version of the CPS budget reality didn't provide details of how it came to the pie chart above. The claim that "96 % of CPS spending is in schools" deserves a second look, but CPS administration continues to refuse to provide details, continuing to point all eyes at "Springfield" even when the largest percentage of CPS revenue comes not from the State of Illinois but from local property taxes."They [Claypool and Jackson] were not interested," a principal who was there told Substance. The principals said that Claypool wanted to make a "big change" in how CPS handles sick days. Claypool also answered a criticism of the schools' custodial work by telling the group that Aramark will get at least one more year on its custodial contract.

Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson told the group that she was a supporter of what is called "choice" -- in this cases, the charter school version of it. She said there is nothing wrong with charters and sounded like a charter supporter to the audience.


October 21, 2015 at 7:03 PM

By: Taylor Martin


I have this sneaking suspicion that CPS is going to announce layoffs and layoff all the the current Unsatisfactory Rated teachers. Every school will cut the "fat" and no one will complain. Even though some of these teachers were victims of politically motivated ratings. The public will not care because it will look like CPS is just cleaning house of the "bad teachers" CPS took a long time to get those ratings out. They seem to make sure everything was in place

Just my prediction. Anyone agree?

October 21, 2015 at 8:59 PM

By: Ed Hershey

Layoffs and Claypool

I agree with your layoff prediction. However, I don't think "no one will complain." I think Claypool may be playing with fire -- if he has a mass layoff, he may get a stronger reaction than he anticipates.

He's complaining about sick days. . . well, if he goes through with what he's talking about, he may discover that teachers may have some creative uses for their sick days.

I don't think the public will believe this layoff (the third or fourth round this year, depending how you count) is justified.

Claypool pulled the same ISH when he was at CTA -- attacking sick days, attacking prep time to get on trains, painting teachers as lazy etc.

October 23, 2015 at 3:58 PM

By: John Kugler

Bye Bye Crony

BBB cronies gone - getting reports Markay Winston and Lynn Moore Nelson are out. both came on the gravy train from Ohio. created chaos with Special Ed services in CPS.

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