Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chicago schools propose initiatives to balance budget

CHICAGO (ap) -- Taking a cue from the CTA, which last year threatened major service cuts if it didn't get more state money, CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan laid out budget challenges facing the school system next year and called on Springfield to significantly increase operating funding for schools to avoid damaging cuts in classroom programs.

"We'd really hate to do it," the 1987 co-captain of Harvard's basketball team said, "but we will make headline-grabbing threats -- things that will scare middle-class city residents who depend on the schools to keep the riff-raff off the streets -- until we get more money."

Under the new budget proposal, school lunches would be cut and students would take daily "field trips" to grocery stores for free samples. "This way, we can also cut our math programs, and algebra teachers can be replaced by store cash registers," Duncan said.

The CEO made other bold proposals for saving and making money, to show the public that, while their property may no longer be safe, their property taxes won't be going up.

He unveiled the new-for-2006 CPS swimsuit calendar, starring himself and the entire Board of Education. (Click here for a preview.) The low quality of the photos represents a DIY ethic at the city schools. "Yes, we had students take the photos of Board members," Duncan said.

Another money-making venture will be the reintroduction of junk food and cigarette vending machines in school hallways. "We figure the city and state will make a windfall from the added cigarette taxes, and then lawmakers can pass that money on to us," Duncan said.

"Before we ask taxpayers for any more, we need to see what we can get from the state -- and see what we can get from ourselves ... and our children."


Blogger art attack said...

Does this mean that I am going to have to buy more of those melty, mushy bags of m&m's every kid seems to be selling to support their baseball team or knitting club or whatever it is? Following your train of thought, maybe they should be out there selling packs of Parliments and Camels.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous The Mom said...

I think you need a disclaimer with this article....

8:53 AM  
Blogger ap said...

OK, here's a disclaimer: I am a graduate of a Chicago Public School: Lane Tech, class of '89!
And here's another one, found in the left column of the blog:
(ap) does not mean the Associated Press, but Andy Plonka (me!); in other words, it's probably mostly some weird attempt at humor.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous The Mom said...

I know, but that ap gets lost sometimes...

2:38 PM  
Anonymous the daughter said...

This is hilarious...I'm laughing out loud right now. I loved the calendar bit. Mama--relax!!!

2:51 PM  

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