The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district announced Wednesday that it will increase funding for school budgets next year by $70 million. But education experts and activists stopped short of calling it a big boost for schools.
"It's really not an increase. It's less of a decrease," said Eric 'Rico' Gutstein, faculty associate with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education.
CPS plans to reduce central office spending and use a one-time accounting adjustment so it can allocate the extra $70 million, which will be used to increase its base per-student funding amount by $250.
It looks like a good chunk of the extra per-pupil funds sent to schools would help to offset inflation and contractually-required pay bumps for teachers, CPS spokesman Joel Hood told the Chicago Sun-Times. Next year, the Chicago Teachers Union is owed a 2 percent teacher pay hike, which will reportedly come out to be no less than $50 million.
West Side education activist Dwayne Truss with the Raise Your Hand education coalition called the per-student funding increase "just a wash."
"You're not gaining much from last year other than being able to just hold on to what you already have," he said. Read more »