On December 8, 2015 over 50 Payton parents packed the school’s library in the evening. This was the first of two meetings held by Friends of Payton (FOP) set to take place throughout the week. Meetings were specifically targeted to inform parents on the need and urgency for monetary pledges to the school, in order to avoid the looming budget cuts threatened to commence second semester.
During the meeting’s opening remarks, Principal Tim Devine reiterated the devastation a potential budget cut, resulting in a 12-teacher reduction to Payton’s 58-teacher personnel, could cause. He clarified that these cuts would be 12 teachers from all six academic departments. These cuts result in a tedious and near impossible rescheduling of the school’s 888 students, increase in class sizes, and decrease of elective course blocks.
Principal Devine walked parents through a solution laid out before. A solution calling for equitable funding across the state. Currently the state of Illinois pays $31 into the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund compared to the $2,266 paid to suburban school district. This, along with allowing property taxes to stay local, could alleviate the fiscal disaster surrounding public education. These remarks arose a wide spectrum of questions by parents.
One Payton mother characterized the reform of state funding equability as an uphill battle, for Chicago representatives downstate barely make up one-third and for that reason it will be difficult to sway downstate politicians to agree with comprehensive reform that could possibly negatively affect their district.
Many parents nodded when comments or questions surrounded the possibility of Payton and other CPS schools being in a similar financial crisis in the future. And that the need for fundraising or pledges will create a “ping” of privatization around public schools because the funds raised will be for teacher salaries.
Friends of Payton introduced a pledge campaign to raise $1.1 million within the next couple weeks. FOP members said that 49% of Payton families can financially contribute to the desired $3,000 pledge per family within the next couple of weeks.
Do you agree?
Please contribute to the conversation by writing in the comments section below:
- Does fundraising for teacher salaries create this ‘ping’ of privatizing Payton (schools)?
- Is it worth contributing $3,000 if schools will face a similar crisis in the near future?
- Commentary on the $3,000 desired pledge.