Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel's School Board Votes to Raise Taxes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "I have no tolerance for an overblown bureaucracy," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday, "and I have no tolerance for inefficiency in the city budget, and I'm glad (CPS) followed the cut and invest strategy." (Published Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011)

    Rahm Emanuel's hand picked Chicago Public School board Wednesday voted 7-0 to approve a 2.4 percent property tax increase to help fund an the ailing system.

    It means that owners of homes valued at $250,000 will pony up an extra $84 per year to the city.

    Brizard, Emanuel on Charter Schools

    [CHI] Brizard, Emanuel on Charter Schools
    CPS Chief Jean-Claude Brizard and Mayor Rahm Emanuel say there are lessons to be learned from the city's charter schools. (Published Thursday, Jun 23, 2011)

    The increase will lead to $150 million in new revenue for the system, which began the year with a $712 million budget defecit.

    Emanuel defended the hike earlier this month as a last resort, after his schools chief Jean Claude Brizard cut more than $400 million from administrative costs.

    Emanuel: No Discussion on Longer School Days

    [CHI] Emanuel: No Discussion on Longer School Days
    Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on Friday said there's no question that school days will get longer, adding that the teachers union needs to come to the table to help make it happen. (Published Friday, Apr 15, 2011)

    "I have no tolerance for an overblown bureaucracy, and I have no tolerance for inefficiency in the city budget and other agencies, and I'm glad they followed the cut-and-invest strategy. I think they've made the touch choices," the mayor said

    Brizard said he exhausted every option before turing to the tax payers.

    "Before we actually we went to taxpayers, we did everything we could first to scrub as much as we could from central office, from back office operations [and] from everything we thought was not as essential to students," CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said at a separate event Tuesday.

    The budget includes provisions for: 

    Even while cutting and reforming, the mayor said CPS had budgeted every dollar possible to investing in children, including:

    • Expanding full-day pre-kindergarten to an additional 6,000 kids
    • Expanding the charter program to another five schools
    • Opening up 2,500 magnet school slots to children
    • Expanding the number of teaching academies in the city
    • Dramatically increasing the level of security at 14 schools
    • Holding the line on class sizes
    Meanwwhile, Brizard continues to negotiate with the Chicago Teachers Union over longer school days.
     

    If teachers agree to work the longer day, CPS schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard said he would consider a 2 percent raise for elementary school instructors.

    Brizard said he is willing to "trade off" on raises for this school year in exchange for the longer day. The raises would cost about $30 million.

    An advisory committee will be created to figure out how longer school days will be implemented.

    But Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said she would decline an invitation to serve on the committee, stating that schools days and school years will not solve the real issues that Chicago students face in the public school system