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Monday, April 5, 2010

CPS Makes Cuts for All but the Top

The Chicago Public Schools are asking for everyone to make cuts except for the administrators asking for the cuts.

And what about the CPS administration? They've already done their bit, according to Huberman. "Over the past year, we have worked to close the budget deficit by focusing on Central Office and Citywide departments," he recently wrote in a memo to schools employees. "These cuts were very difficult, but our primary goal was to minimize direct impact on schools."

Last week Mayor Daley weighed in, admonishing teachers to enter the "real world" and forgo their 4 percent raises. "Government has to diet," Daley told reporters on March 22. "You have to be able to cut back and start sharing the loss that people have."

Wow—that sounds like decisive leadership. But having spent the better part of the last week poring over the 350-page Chicago Public Schools budget, I can tell you there's little evidence that the central office has gone on a diet. In fact, top schools brass are enjoying something like a carbo-loading feast. The district's highest-ranking officials got healthy raises this year— and one of the biggest went to Huberman.

How can CPS dole out raises while claiming to be cutting back? Let this be a lesson about the difference between a press release, disseminated far and wide for mass consumption, and a governing budget, buried on a Web site and read only by insiders and a few really motivated geeks.

So, Chicago Public Schools CEO wants teachers to take a pay cut. He's even considering going with a four day work week. Everyone needs to get a cut but himself. He gave himself a raise.

This is the same Huberman that worked as a beat cop less than a decade ago before going through a remarkable rise through Chicago's bureaucracy.

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