Chicago schools budget approaching the stimulus

Posted By John Myers On Thursday, February 25, 2010

In an unusual effort to solicit public input on the budget, Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday proposed $2 billion in cuts to education along with grim revenue estimates for a state awash in $13 billion of red ink.

Notably missing from revenues are some $3 billion in federal stimulus funds sent to schools since 2009, a loss that is part of what national observers call a “stimulus funding cliff” that threatens school districts across the country. In Chicago, where Quinn’s cuts would mean perhaps a $200 million shortfall, it’s unclear how well officials have prepared.

Officials hoped the one-time infusion of federal cash would be spent on efforts that would spark lasting reforms that wouldn’t require ongoing funding. Catalyst Ohio highlighted a few examples in its latest report, including a plan in Cleveland to buyout older, higher-paid teachers and the creation of a school improvement planning team in Columbus.

Here in Chicago, details on stimulus spending are somewhat murky. Yet, district officials are able to point out only a few examples of spending that will propel reforms.

via Catalyst Notebook :: Chicago schools budget approaching the stimulus.