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Emergency summit on CPS structural deficit, funding shortfall

Emergency Revenue Summit: 8:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 29
CTU Headquarters, 1901 W. Carroll Ave., Chicago

Emergency summit will address persistent CPS structural deficit as neighborhoods brace for continuing funding shortfall

“Hold harmless” claims by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked top school administrators do not hold up in the face of deepening underfunding at neighborhood level

CHICAGO, September 28, 2017To unpack the complex finances of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), including a growing debt burden and the impact of years of deep cuts, grassroots groups are inviting foundation officials and civic organizations to a revenue summit at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 at CTU headquarters, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. Summit presenters will explore patterns and practices of CPS budgeting over the last decade, dive into fiscal shortfalls and cuts baked into CPS’ new budget, and outline impacts on local schools.

While Illinois’ new school funding formula drew praise for addressing one of the nation’s most unfair public education funding scenarios, acute financial shortfalls will continue to plague Chicago Public Schools without new revenue. That chronic structural deficit will fall once again fall hardest on the city’s poorest students, requiring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to move immediately to remedy the shortfall.

The ‘evidence-based funding’ model embedded in the new school funding bill fails to address the chronic budget challenges that CPS confronts, leaving the district in need of upwards of $500 million in revenue from the city for this school year alone. Equitable funding advocates vigorously dispute school officials’ claims that CPS’ budget is built on “holding schools harmless,” and note that CPS’ historically unfair and inequitable budgeting has actually meant deep annual cuts to schools—particularly those that serve African-American and Latino students.

Chicago students will be unable to reap the full benefit of the state’s new funding formula because of the inequitable manner in which student-based budgeting impacts schools, especially those in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has refused to fully fund the new formula, committing only $350 million out of the $5 billion required to meet the law’s mandate, much of which would accrue to CPS and its largely low-income student population.

“The mayor must step up to provide progressive sources of revenue in the short term, instead of continuing to inflict harm on school communities by withholding valuable funding, driving up class sizes and precipitating another round of potential school closings on South and West sides,” CTU VP Jesse Sharkey said.

Summit presenters will explore the impact of CPS budgeting patterns and practices over the last decade on neighborhood schools, and outline fiscal shortfalls and cuts baked into the district’s new budget. Groups convening the summit include the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Action Now, Parents 4 Teachers, Northside Action for Justice, Raise Your Hand, the Grassroots Collaborative, the Grassroots Education Movement and the Chicago Teachers Union.

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.

 
Chicago Teachers Union