Oct 26 CPS Board of Ed Meeting from CNC
Written by: Crystal Yednak
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Expect more drama Wednesday in the debate over a longer school day as the Chicago Board of Education acts on a resolution allowing charters in on district incentives offered to schools that stretch out their school day.
The resolution would allow charter schools to benefit from the financial incentives that were offered to the city’s elementary schools. If approved, the district would create a $4.4 million grant fund for charter schools that choose to extend their day. Individual schools would be eligible to receive up to $75,000 and individual teacher stipends of $800.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a longer school day one of his top priorities since taking office. In June, his newly-appointed Board of Education voted to not give teachers their annual 4 percent raises, citing a $712 million deficit. Just before school started, Chicago Public Schools chief executive Jean-Claude Brizard went on Chicago Tonight and offered a 2 percent raise to the city’s elementary school teachers if they agreed to a longer school day. Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” to Brizard’s offer. Days later, Emanuel and Brizard took their campaign to individual schools. Any school that voted to waive a portion of the union contract and add 90 minutes to their day would receive up to $150,000 in discretionary funds and a roughly 2 percent raise for teachers. To date, 13 schools have taken the district up on the offer.
The union, meanwhile, filed a complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, accusing district officials of coercing teachers and circumventing the union. Last week, the labor board sided with the union and unanimously decided to ask a circuit court judge to block the district from allowing additional schools to adopt a longer day.
The Board is also expected to vote on three school renovations totaling roughly $50 million. The renovations are planned for Dunbar High School - $20.5 million; Henderson Elementary School - $14.3 million; and Peck Elementary School - $14.3 million
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