Follow the Money at CPS
Re: "Less Is More at CPS: Schools CEO Ron Huberman says he's cut 50 administrators from the central office. But records show he's added almost as many—at higher salaries," by Ben Joravsky, May 27
The Office of Performance keeps adding Employees to do Performance Sessions. Check out how many of these sessions have been cancelled? Adding employees during a hiring freeze—nice trick.
Sick of the Lies
We need a forensic audit. As taxpayers, we deserve to see where ALL the money is going. Huberman prides himself as a data wrangler, so whipping out the financial books should be no problem. The quote in the article "But that information was pre-layoff. So it had to be re-created" is very troubling. You don't "re-create" data. The data is chronological. Again, for folks who pride themselves as being efficient and on point with "data," their operation looks quite the contrary. The easiest act of transparency that Huberman can do for us all is open the books to a forensic audit. Mr. Huberman, quit stalling and open the books. Have some integrity!
Also, investigate all monies lost to charter schools. These monies would really help CPS.
Who is looking into what is happening in CPS's special ed classrooms as a function of this budget slashing? It's no secret that parents of special ed students in the city's poor and immigrant neigborhoods often don't know what their children are actually entitled to by law. [Signed,] a concerned special ed teacher who has witnessed alarming and various reductions of services for our most vulnerable students.
With regard to the concerns of some who believe CPS teachers are paid too much, many of the suburban districts have more generous pay scales, although usually not at the start. As a CPS teacher, though, I sometimes agree that we are paid too well.
I do see teachers who seem to be a waste of a paycheck, but that has been true in other places I've worked as well. What compounds our problem is that the system is so huge and abuses can easily go unnoticed. Additionally, it is apparently difficult to document and successfully pursue incompetence in the classroom; so I believe it rarely happens in CPS.
The district is too large to effectively deal with its problems. Breaking up the district could—I repeat, could—create more manageable, more responsive and more successful educational systems.
Oh for god's sake, Huberman's hiring people that Daley wants hired. As long as the voting citizens of Chicago continue to elect Daley this will continue. There are endless examples of this. Either the people vote him out OR we have no one to blame but ourselves. Terms limits may not be the perfect solution, but it's a start.
The "Guns Don't Kill People" Crowd
Re: "How to Distract a Press Corps: Mayor Daley's incendiary comments did just what they were probably meant to: bury the lead," by Mick Dumke, May 27
Chicago PD's own murder analysis points out that about 88 percent of murderers have previous records. About 75 percent of murder victims have previous records. About 50 percent of murders take place during organized crime activities. Most of the murders in Chicago take place in less than a half dozen police precincts. So, what solution does Daley, Cullerton, and Madigan offer up? Well, restrict firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens, of course! Good people have a God-given right to defend themselves, handguns are the most effective means of exercising that right.
What is missing here is the connection between Democratic mayors and violence in large cities across America. City after city has Democrats running things and city after city has high crime, low employment opportunities and decaying infrastructure. You wonder when people are going to wake up.
Peter Courtenay Stephens
Former Illinois resident
TIFs for Housing
Re: "Who Wins in Daley's TIF Game," May 20
Once again, Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky bested the dailies with comprehensive, timely, and understandable TIF reporting. The headline asks 'who wins' but it's pretty evident that everyday people without clout are the losers. The proposed Sweet Home Chicago (SHC) ordinance pending before the Chicago City Council designates that 20 percent of TIF funds be allocated toward very-low-income affordable housing. Encouraging the city and aldermen to creatively pursue affordable housing throughout the city will provide crucial funding, jobs, and viable housing at a time when foreclosures, unemployment, and budget cuts are causing homelessness to increase in our city. The city must be proactively collaborative and not complicit in addressing the issue of very-low-income affordable housing.
The SHC ordinance ensures that TIF funds support affordable housing for those that need it most. This fundamental principle will restore the original purpose of TIF-funded affordable housing that was intended to prevent displacement of residents in TIF districts as the neighborhood develops and housing prices rise.