Chicago Teachers Strike Prelude To Larger Crisis?

By now, many of you have probably heard about the teachers strike going on in Chicago. Day 4 and counting. While many Chicago public school teachers are probably worth every red cent of the $71,017 median salary they command- and more- when all things are considered, considering the precarious financial situation of the Chicago Public Schools, a larger crisis looks to be right around the corner. Rosalind Rossi wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday:

As school and union leaders wrestled over a new teachers contract Tuesday, a huge, nagging question loomed in the background:

Once they finish, how will Chicago Public Schools pay for any new contract they forge?

There’s no easy give in the budget, because CPS already depleted its rainy day “reserve” fund to help plug a $665 million deficit this school year.

And if officials eke out enough cuts to pay for the cost of teacher raises this school year, a $1 billion deficit — and no “reserve” cushion — awaits them next school year, when a pension relief package expires.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

$1 billion deficit next year and no reserve funds left?

Besides significant cuts, there’s already been talk of massive teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and higher taxes being required in the near future.

Time will tell how this all plays out.

Source:

Rossi, Rosalind. “How will CPS pay for a new contract after strike ends?” Chicago Sun-Times. 12 Sep. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/15092327-418/paying-for-teacher-raises-could-require-cash-strapped-cps-to-get-creative.html). 13 Sep. 2012.

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012 Education, Employment, Taxes

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