Jun 24, 2013
Chicago Public Schools announced that it will lay off at least 855 teachers and staff for the coming year. This follows a week after schools received their budgets for the year: 10 to 20% was cut for funding in neighborhood schools.
To be sure, the School Board is claiming a billion-dollar budget deficit. But the city administration helps to decide how much money the schools get – or don’t get. And the city is not broke.
Two hundred fifty million dollars in Chicago property taxes are siphoned away from public schools every year, and put into so-called TIF funds – slush funds that divert property tax money, handing it over to politically connected developers or big companies. The TIF funds have 1.7 billion dollars right now, half of which came from the schools. That’s an amount which would more than cover the district’s supposed deficit for the year.
It’s not that there is no money – the problem is putting the money in the right place. Put it into the schools, instead of the pockets of private profiteers!