Teachers, Activists Boo Chicago Schools' Budget

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chicago Public Schools'proposed budget for the coming school year drew boos and hisses from more than 200 teachers and community activists who packed a public hearing at Malcolm X College's auditorium.

Minutes into his presentation Wednesday night, CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley was laying out priorities that include spending on early childhood education and more seats in charter schools when the first round of boos threw him off course.

"I'm not surprised by your reaction," Cawley said. "I promise I won't shout at you when you talk. I would hope you would extend me the same courtesy."

CPS is proposing a $5.73 billion budget for 2012-13 with an estimated $665 million deficit. The plan raises property taxes, streamlines central office operations and drains the district's cash reserve fund. Even with those dramatic measures, Cawley said the budget hinges on CPS teachers accepting a 2 percent raise for next year, a fraction of the increase teachers have asked for during ongoing contract talks.

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