Challenges Facing Education - Traditional and Non-Traditional Schools, Part 5
To understand the educational system here, it is necessary to talk about the two types of schools as they relate to the budget process in the system, which are tradition and non-traditional schools. Traditional schools represent 86% of the school budget. The budget is based on enrollment. They represent neighborhood schools, magnet schools, regional gifted schools, classical schools, special education schools and small schools. Responsibility for the budget is with the principals, teachers, and local school councils and is based on something called SIPAAA or School Improvement Plan for Advancing Academic Achievement.
Non-traditional schools are charter schools, performance schools and contract schools. These schools are all governed by a plan or agreement with the Chicago Board of Education. Performance schools are operated by CPS with CPS teachers and staff. Contract schools are managed by independent non-profits. Non-traditional school funding is based on enrollment also, but they are assigned a certain number of students and all operating costs are covered. Funding is not tied to positions. There is more flexibility in allocating budget dollars.
There are also additional resources for special education and English proficiency. Schools receive $400M to support childhood education, summer school, after school and desegregation programs.
Chicago is experiencing an alarming budget shortfall. This year it is approximately $1B. Last year it was $475M. One proposed remedy is to increase class size. It is presently about 25 students. It has been reported that the number may be increased to 35 students per class. If a teacher cannot produce good results with the present smaller class size, how will he or she cope with more? Are these scare tactics used to make the teachers more complacent with their present situation? Or, is this a serious option? Considering the misbehavior of some students, increasing class size could have a negative effect on teaching and learning.
Tags: Education , Cps , Janice M Hypolite , Disorder In The Classroom , Chicago , Teacher , Substitute , Schools
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