Despite High Taxes, CPS Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Fully Staff the Schools

July 13, 2015

A budget deficit is to blame for plans to layoff 1,400 more public school employees according to Chicago Public Schools officials. Mayor Emanuel said the layoffs would be part of a plan to cut $200 million in spending during the coming school year. 

To emphasize its alleged scramble for funds, CPS even tried to negotiate this month for an extension of its obligation to pay into the Teacher’s Pension Fund. The plan was rejected and CPS is hanging the prospect of even deeper cuts over the heads of the teachers and other CPS employees. 

The effects of the policy of using taxpayer money to pay charter school operators and other private sector “educational entrepreneurs” are being felt.  Layoffs which put needed teachers out of work have been ongoing for several years. The consequent understaffing and overwork hurts both students and teachers as well as other staff. So too, taking large sums out of the city treasury in order to contract out services to for-profit companies robs the schools of needed funds for future budgets.  

The issue is not one of resources but of rights and priorities.  Everyone knows that our country creates more than enough wealth and has far more than enough resources to guarantee the best possible education for all. The real issue is: “Whose claims are recognized?” The real issue is: will the social system recognize and guarantee the RIGHT to education? Or will this right be trampled underfoot so that big business can continue to steal the funds earmarked for public education?