Chicago Public Schools released its proposed budget this week, and it does several surprising things. First, it empties the reserve fund, leaving the system with virtually no money for unexpected situations. In addition, it funnels more and more money into charter and selective-enrollment schools, leaving fewer and fewer resources (and personnel) in the traditional neighborhood schools.
Art Golab of the Sun-Times and Mike Rodriguez of Enlace Chicago join us for this week’s discussion.
Rodriguez says a major concern in his Little Village community is that more resources are needed for enriching after-school programming to keep the kids engaged until their parents return from work. The longer school day, he says, is simply “more of the same” classroom time, and won’t have the same impact as expanded arts, music and cultural programming would have.
Both guests addressed the escalating murder rate in Chicago. The rising numbers, Golab reports, are predominantly on the southwest and southeast sides. In at least one place where the murder rate has been highest – Englewood – and where the police have been targeting gang activity intensely, the murder rate has not risen, he says.