Protest over CPS funding cuts

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A protest over Chicago Public School closures and funding cuts at the Thompson Center on Friday.

The group, “Raise Your Hand,” organized the event after it compiled a list of more than 100 CPS school budgets for next year. It says CPS will slash more than $77 million. The group marched from the Thompson Center to DePaul University as a show of disapproval over plans for a $55 million stadium at McCormick Place for DePaul University’s basketball teams. The group says this money should be used to prevent cuts in CPS spending.

At this event, demonstrators were also asked about a $500 fee students at Whitney Young High School may have to pay for an optional, seventh period class. The fee isn’t mandatory, but it would help raise money to cover some of the deficit.

“This is an absurd proposal that we have to start charging parents in a public education system while taking money out and giving it to places like DePaul and Vienna Beef and all these places,” said Wendy Katten, Director of “Raise Your Hand.”

CPS says central office has cut nearly $600 million since 2011 to protect investments in the classroom.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

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    • Guest

      Moron? Moron? oooohhhhh, you must also be a dropout yourself. Did you even take the time to read and/or watch the newsclip? The ones interviewed were PARENTS……not teachers…….and out of the huge turnout (less than 200)…I would be willing to be 10% would have been educators. And for you, MORON, that would be about 20.

      I hear McDonalds is looking for a few more good MORONS like you so why not apply :)

      • higherground13

        Guest, Raise Your Hand is a group of concerned parents. Knowing many of these parents, their careers and advanced education, I find your assumption that they are unemployed, well, revealing. Good to know ahead of time, you can't fix crazy. Also, if some of them are stay-at-home parents, what is wrong with that? War on families kinda guy, are ya?

  • joe

    So DePaul university should give 55 million to CPS?? The money for this arena is coming from DePaul, so they can use 18 days a year.Not a great deal for Depaul, but CPS problems has nothing with a new arena in Chicago.

      • higherground13

        Joe, not sure where you get that DePaul would give the money to CPS? It's the other way around. The money goes from the school tax revenue stream into at TIF that the mayor can spend at will. TIF's are only for blighted areas but the mayor gives most of it to his donor base. The TIF needs to be abolished. It's blatantly corrupt.

  • Confused

    The system is broke. There is not enough money. What are thy supposed to do? If they can't afford progrms what should they do? It's a free education. If stuff can't be paid for than you don't get it. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

    • higherground13

      Your name kinda sums it up. There IS the money. Rahm WANTS to ruin public education so he can hand it over to his corp ed profiteer buddies. So much for the Jeffersonian idea of a free and fair public education.

      • Confused

        Are you serious? What proof do you have for any of this? Rahm is a tried and true liberal and has spent his entire political career pushing the cause of a liberal agenda. Public education is ruined because in Chicago the system does not work. The system is fat, bloated. The number of children in the system declined and because of that the system has to shrink. This unfortunately will lead to needing less teachers and less schools. Moreover, while the graduation rate is up to roughly 63%, it is still far below the national average of roughly 79%. Your last sentence hit is right on the head when you used the word free. When people are used to getting something for free, they do not appreciate it because they do not have to work for it. When you take something away that is free, you get the type of backlash that Rahm is facing. Many people are lambasting the folks who are part of the 100 billion dollar pension shortfall. Well many of these people actually paid in to the system and deserve their benefits. The only issue is that the legislators that they continued to support who run this state, failed by not properly funding the pensions. As such, they will have their pensions impacted. It will happen. I just find it laughable that when someone tries to fix something, even a liberal like Rahm, people react with venom and assume he is doing it to line his pockets. What happened if he is really right and the for profit schools do a better job at educating? Have you ever thought about that? I also found it hilarious that Karen Lewis brought race into the equation when the school closures were announced. Especially with the fact that the two main decision makers are Jewish and an African American Female. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure, if you are closing schools, that minority kids will be impacted. Roughly 90% of all CPS students are minority so they will feel the largest share of cuts simply because of math.

  • Timothy Meegan

    Because education CAN be paid for, but instead the city is running a TIF scheme to funnel property taxes to corporate interests and the politically connected instead of the public school system for which they were intended. There is 1.7 Billion in the TIF fund, by declaring a surplus hundreds of millions will be returned toi the schools. In 2011 for instance $454 million in property taxes was diverted to TIFS. TIF money was supposed to revitalize blighted neighborhoods but instead it goes to a new arena for DePaul, Penny Pritzker's Hyatt hotel, a new high rise in River North, Vienna Beef…there is even a car dealership that is it's own TIF district. The more money that goes into TIFS the more they can raise property taxes to compensate and the more state aid the schools get to make up the difference. It's totally corrupt.

    Also the system is not broke. Every year since 2005 (with one exception), the CPS has cried budget deficit, laid people off, closed schools, then at the end of the FY over the summer they reveal a budget surplus. The endless cycle is extremely damaging and stressful for educators, principals, students, and parents. For example last summer the "deficit" was $750 million but we ended up 6 weeks later with a $500 million dollar SURPLUS. The deficit is a complete lie.

    • Confused but agree

      There is valuable lessen in this post. Politics sucks and is corrupt. However, the TIF program is important because it causes companies that would not otherwise be here to either stay or build. This adds jobs and tax revenue. The biggest thing though I think everyone should remember is teaching people to rely on government to help them is wack. Shrink government, you shrink the potential of corruption. The more people understand that they must take control of their destiny and not wait for the government or someone else to give them a handout the better they will be. Self reliance is the best thing we can teach people. As long as the government has access to our money, the more corrupt it will be. A good portion, but not all pols from both sides of the isle are the same. It just right now the democrats in Illinois are the leading party.

  • Timothy Meegan

    The TIF program is a handout! It’s corporate welfare! How can you argue that TIFs are necessary then tell people to take charge of their destiny and not wait for a handout?

    • Confused but agree

      No actually it is a tax break. Basically the companies are not forced to pay taxes that quite frankly they should not be paying anyway. Illinois currently taxes corporations basically higher than every other state. What you are asking them to do is pay taxes so the money can go to other people. This is called wealth redistribution. Now, I am not suggesting that corporations should not pay taxes and most CEOs would tell you they absolutely want to pay taxes because they need infrastructure, security and a highly educated work force to draw employees from. The issue, which your first point made, is that the government is not good at managing money. It is simple why. There is no accountability. For the past two decades people have won elections in this state and now at a national level by telling everyone that its not fair that others have stuff that they don't. Our state and government are allowed to spend money they do not have. This alarming trend started under W and continues through to today. Once again both sides are to blame. When you have people that can spend what ever they want without any consequences you have system failure. Then when you go to the people who you've over promised things to and tell them you can not give it to them, they become rightfully upset. So when a company takes advantage of a situation like a TIF they are making a financial determination that not paying as much in taxes is a good thing, so they accept it. The honest truth that you seem to be ignoring is that without a TIF incentive the corporation would likely choose somewhere else to open shop and thus you loose out on jobs and other benefits that happen when a corporation opens up shop.

      Finally, I agree about people waiting, but what you are getting to is a question of fairness. My point on this is that life is not fair. If the people sit and wait for their turn to come, they will get brushed under and screwed. Our system is not set up for fairness and that is a good thing. People who work hard, educate themselves and put a plan in place still have chances to succeed. When you tell people to blame a corporation, Rahm or somebody else, you weaken their ability to look in the mirror and say unless I do something, I will not attain a place in life that I want.