Lots of confusion around school budgets!

Due to the way CPS shared information about school budgets this year, there's been a lot of confusion about the amount of money cut at individual schools and across the district as a whole. WBEZ and DNAinfo are now reporting that schools lost $140M (despite CPS saying classrooms will be protected) but many schools are telling us that the numbers still don't reflect what was actually lost. It’s important to note that CPS is still short roughly $300M to balance their budget.

CPS Finally Releases School Budgets

School budgets are finally out and LSCs will have until 7/22 to approve budgets. While CPS made the announcement that there will be no cuts to classrooms, many schools will, in fact, have to make cuts, due to a roughly 7% cut to student-based budgeting from fall 2016 and lower enrollment projections for many schools, as well as what appears to be a 4% across the board cut to special education funds. Special education positions will no longer be allocated from central office but funds will be rolled into school budgets.

IL Drops PARCC for High School Students

In a surprise announcement yesterday, the IL State Board of Education said it would replace PARCC with the SAT, which would be given to high-school juniors. The state still plans to use PARCC for 3-8th grades.

This is good news and shows that organizing can make a difference. High-school students opted out in large numbers across IL after parents, teachers, and school administrators pushed back heavily against the use of PARCC. Colleges that require standardized tests for admissions use the SAT or ACT, not PARCC.

Testimony by Cassie Creswell at State Assessment Review Committee Hearing on PARCC- 7/7/16

on behalf of the More Than A Score and Raise Your Hand

PARCC is a deeply problematic test. The organizations I am speaking on behalf of today have concerns about (1) the validity and reliability of the PARCC test and the automated algorithms used to score it, (2) the interpretation and use of PARCC scores and (3) the cost of PARCC, especially given the proposed expansion of the PARCC testing program.

K-12 Funding Package Gives Partial Relief to CPS

After a year of deadlock, our state passed a stopgap budget that will partially fund services for the next 6 months. They also passed a K-12 package for the year that will offer some relief to CPS. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that school funding won’t be held up from the state, and there will be some increase to CPS and other low-income districts this year, but the amount is not sufficient to meet the full deficit at CPS and we won’t know the true outcome until budgets come out likely mid-July.

CPS Draft Update to the Ed Facilities Master Plan and Upcoming Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) Meeting

UPDATED July 11:
Agenda for the meeting is attached.

From an email sent from CEFTF on July 11:
As always, the CEFTF will ask for Public Comment at Thursday's meeting.

The public is also invited to submit written comments to the Task Force via email to:


ACTION ALERT: Legislators in session today- tell them to support SB 2054

The deadline of Thursday at midnight is fast approaching for the state to pass a stopgap budget, and a Pre-K-12 budget to allow schools to open in the fall.

CPS must receive funding from the state and city to avoid catastrophic cuts.
Today, the Senate will vote on SB 2054, which will bring about $400M to CPS, $286M more in state aid and $112M for pensions. It will also add money for many other high-need school districts. Ask your Senator to support this bill using this link:

State budget deadline is this Thursday- let’s keep pushing for fair funding for CPS and for a budget for IL families!

IL families cannot wait to go another year without a state budget and CPS students will not be able to thrive without fair education funding from the state!

The deadline to pass a budget is this Thursday and Governor Rauner is still digging his heels in, saying the state shouldn’t “bail out” CPS.


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