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Monday, June 14, 2010

CPS to borrow $800M, boost teacher pay 4%

CPS announced plans for a special School Board meeting Tuesday to take up the borrowing, teacher raises and a controversial plan to raise class size for the first time since Mayor Daley's 1995 city school takeover.

One resolution at the meeting will indicate that the system "will be unable to balance its budget'' unless it increases class size from, on average, 30 students to "up to 35.'' About 2,700 teachers would be laid off as a result, at a savings of $125 million.

However, in another resolution, CPS officials say they expect to have the money to pay promised 4 percent raises to teachers and seven other unions, for a cost of $100 million.

If School Board members do not pass such a resolution by June 15, the teachers union could open talks that might lead to a strike.

"We can't risk the uncertainty of putting our kids in a situation where they may not be able to go back to school because there's a strike," a CPS official said. "You take that off the table by saying, 'We're going to fund the 4 percent [raise].'"

The union has not struck since Daley's school takeover. One CPS official said many parents still remember "how many strikes there used to be. ... We can't put our students through this."

Also Tuesday, board members are expected to approve a resolution allowing them to borrow up to $800 million to cover late payments from the state. A CPS official said the line of credit is intended to help pay bills in the face of $437 million in late state payments this school year and the possibility of similar problems next school year.
This was news before the Chicago Teacher's Union voted to elect their new President this weekend.

Via Progress Illinois!

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