The Illinois state legislature passed the K-12 education budget this year. CPS then passed their budget that was $480 million over what was received from various sources, including state funds. Even if the state could find the funds, they would have to be convinced that CPS was the best use of those funds among all the other priorities, including all the non CPS school districts which appear to have their budgets balanced.
There’s also a huge deficit in the retirement plans for our teachers due to a long-ago legislative decision to take a “funding holiday” to the pension program. The lack of funding over many years would be a huge problem on its own, but was compounded by the market losses in 2008. Funding for this program must be addressed in both the short and long term solutions to balancing the overall education budget.
What can be done? Representative Ann Williams will be circulating an online petition soon to get Springfield's attention. Please sign it when available and have everyone you know sign it. She will be posting the PowerPoint presentation from last week's meeting soon on her website.