Second semester cuts became a reality for many CPS Principals today. After the threat of layoffs due to the district’s place of blame on the union’s rejection of a “good” contract, principals attended a doomsday budget meeting this afternoon. Many principals became aware of today’s meeting last week, sending out emails to faculty speculating on a budget reduction’s impact. One near south side principal, whose name we will not disclose, sent the faculty a projected impact on their Level 1+ elementary school. The school’s budget reductions prompted the elimination of a half gym position, forcing teachers to forfeit a prep period. With many schools facing similar or far worse, the overall reaction from local teachers was a sigh of relief? (any reduction to a school’s operational budget impacts the school community).
With the $120 million in cuts planned by CPS, schools like Walter Payton College Prep, face a 3% reduction of its overall budget, amounting to approximately $174,000. Fortunately, due to the generosity and ability to give pledges, Friends of Payton [FOP] is rumored to be “picking-up” the budget shortfall. This immediate availability to give is in part due to FOP’s pledge drive back in December.
However, CPS continues to face financial hardships with an anticipated budget shortfall of $800 million for the next school year. The question then becomes if and should parent organizations continue to pay for the district’s poor spending habits.