Sep 28 CPS Board of Ed Meeting from CNC

Written by: Crystal Yednak

NPN has partnered with the Chicago News Cooperative to help parents get answers to questions they have about Chicago schools. CNC education reporters will contribute posts about how CPS works and what's happening at the board of education. CNC will also weigh in about state funding issues and trends in education. If you have a question you'd like to see addressed, please send it to 

CNC is our eyes and ears at the CPS Board of Education Meetings. Preview: Chicago Public Schools Board of Education Meeting, Sep. 28, 2011

Classes are in full swing at Chicago Public Schools and the district is now moving forward with a number of layoffs and cost-saving measures that were approved last month as part of the budget for the current fiscal year. Here is a preview of today's board meeting, during which CPS board members will align the district’s policy on school closings and consolidations with recently-passed state law and vote on a policy to strictly limit who receives district-authorized credit cards. The district is also expected to release the full details of roughly 200 layoffs in central office and area offices that have taken place over the past week in order to save $16 million.

Here’s a look at the agenda:

Easing the closing and consolidation chaos in CPS

Last month, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that requires Chicago Public Schools to develop both a short-term and long-term master facilities plan. In the past, school closings and consolidations have drawn strong public outcry each year from teachers, parents and community members affected by such actions. Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has said a forthcoming portfolio analysis will help address facility issues. Tomorrow’s board action aims to avert controversy by requiring the district to do the following:

-   Announce all proposed school actions by December 1, for actions taking place the following school year.

-   Hold one public hearing at central office and at least two public meetings for each proposed closing or phase-out.

-   Publish a list of the district’s owned and leased properties, including any recent or planned renovations by January 1, 2012.

-   Develop and release a five-year capital improvement plan on or before May 2, 2012 and a ten-year educational facility master plan on or before July 1, 2013.

Cutting up CPS Credit Cards

Just before school started, an investigation by Fox News Chicago and the Better Government Association revealed that Ogden International School Principal Kenneth Staral racked up $17,000 in extravagant travel expenses on his district-issued credit card. CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley indicated the district would likely be eliminating district credit cards. On Wednesday, the board is expected to vote on a policy that would eliminate all school credit cards. The agenda item states that no more than five cards will be authorized for use districtwide and each will have a limit of $5,000. The board president and board members also will not be given cards.

Thanking Bob Runcie

The Board will honor Robert Runcie for his service to CPS. Runcie, currently the chief of staff to the Board, was recently chosen to run the Broward School District in Broward County, Florida. He is scheduled to start in mid-October, the Miami Herald reports. In 2003, then-chief executive Arne Duncan tapped Runcie to serve as Chief Information Officer, developing and expanding technology initiatives. In 2009, he was appointed to serve as Chief Administrative Officer under Ron Huberman, where he managed back-to-school initiatives and created the Family and Community Engagement department. He also served as a Chief Area Instructional Officer for a brief period under interim CEO Terry Mazany.

Fresh Food

Eleven CPS schools will benefit from a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s fresh fruits and vegetables grant. Those schools are: Edward Everett Elementary School, Harold Washington Elementary School, Paul Revere Accelerated, John A. Walsh Elementary, Carrie Jacobs Bond, Brighton Park Elementary, John Hay Community Academy, Thomas J. Higgins Community Academy, Academy for Global Citizenship, University of Chicago Charter School Donoghue Campus, and Rowe Elementary Charter School.

RECAP OF THE MEETING - Read all about it at CNC Schools

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM