The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chicago Public Schools:
Budget Cuts amidst Covid Cash

Apr 11, 2022

Students at public schools have great needs, coming off of a year-and-a-half where their education was disrupted by the pandemic. The federal government sent Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 1.8 billion dollars, to be spent by Fall of 2024. It’s by no means enough, but it is substantial money, even in a system as large as Chicago. But coming toward the end of the academic year, very little of that money has found its way into students’ classrooms.

CPS put 536 million of the Covid money into its budget this year. Only two months remain in the school year, and yet only 166 million was actually spent so far. The district promised to hire 850 tutors to work with students in the schools, but they only ended up hiring a little more than half of that. A member of the school board said she was "a little discouraged by the low amount of investment so far." That’s an understatement!

With school communities continuing to suffer the effects of the pandemic, the district is imposing budget cuts. 162 schools out of over 550 are losing substantial amounts for next year. Most of the schools slated for cuts are in working class communities like Pilsen, Little Village and Lawndale. This, when they have more than a billion extra for the next two years.

Like a broken record, year after year the politicians tell us: “There’s not enough money for schools.” Well, now there definitely IS money. And they most definitely are not spending it in our students’ schools.