Challenges Facing Education-Part V

Tradition and Non-traditional Schools
Part V
To understand the educational system here, it is necessary to talk about the two types of schools as they relate to the budget process in the system, which are tradition and non-traditional schools. Traditional schools represent 86% of the school budget. The budget is based on enrollment. They represent neighborhood schools, magnet schools, regional gifted schools, classical schools, special education schools and small schools. Responsibility for the budget is with the principals, teachers, and local school councils and is based on something called SIPAAA or School Improvement Plan for Advancing Academic Achievement.
Non-traditional schools are charter schools, performance schools and contract schools. These schools are all governed by a plan or agreement with the Chicago Board of Education. Performance schools are operated by CPS with CPS teachers and staff. Contract schools are managed by independent non-profits. Non-traditional school funding is based on enrollment also, but they are assigned a certain number of students and all operating costs are covered. Funding is not tied to positions. There is more flexibility in allocating budget dollars.
There are also additional resources for special education and English proficiency. Schools receive $400M to support childhood education, summer school, after school and desegregation programs.
Chicago is experiencing an alarming budget shortfall. This year it is approximately $1B. Last year it was $475M. One proposed remedy is to increase class size. It is presently about 25 students. It has been reported that the number may be increased to 37 students per class. If a teacher cannot produce good results with the present smaller class size, how will he or she cope with more? Are these scare tactics used to make the teachers more complacent with their present situation? Or, is this a serious option? Considering the misbehavior of some students, increasing class size could have a negative effect on teaching and learning.

Author: Janice Hypolite

I am also amazed that I am an author and publisher. “Disorder in the Classroom” is my first work. I have had to do a great deal of writing on the job, but never thought seriously about being published. In addition to writing, I worked as an accountant and a substitute teacher. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and have lived here most of my life. I attended public school throughout my elementary and high school years. Basically, I am a product of Chicago’s south side. Upon graduating from Roosevelt University, I began my professional accounting career. It was easy to get a job after graduation because I already had the experience needed to land a position in the field. Therefore, you could say that I was one step ahead of most graduates. I had worked in non-profit organizations and government positions and that is basically the area where I would stay for the next 30 years off and on. In accounting, I achieved the position of controller, which is just about the top of the line for one taking that career path. I learned very much about the accounting profession in attaining that goal, but I learned even more about on the job politics. I have met many people throughout my career and I will say that some of my experiences have been intriguing . Although I have not been able to exercise as much as I would care to, I believe in physical fitness. I have worked out at health clubs and have walked and jogged (before the broken ankle} for the past 30 years. I am the mother of two daughters, Donna Stone and Deana King and a grandmother. I am also a divorcee. This blog is dedicated to my position on education and politics in Chicago. I hope you find them relevant.

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