I've written a little about this before. This article doesn't address the social issues or milieu of other complexities the situation entails. The Chicago Teacher's Union asked for a 19% raise as compensation for an extended school day, and as of Sunday night they rejected a 16% raise over four years. I know there are other issues at stake, I just want to figure out what this means monetarily for Chicago.
Chicago's budget this year (2012) is $8.2 billion while CPS's is $5.2 billion (2013 proposed), so over 63% of Chicago's expenditures goes to CPS. That's $1920 per resident (2.71 million people in the city). Of that $5.2 billion, $2.7 billion goes to teachers and support personnel salaries; $3.6 billion if you include benefits. The 19% raise comes out to $510 million a year in additional salary, $190 extra per Chicago resident, or an increase of over 6% to the City of Chicago's spending. If Chicago's budget doesn't change that would mean the remaining roughly 37% of expenditures would go down to about 31%. Other items on the budget would need to be reduced by about 16 or 17% to pay for this.
I'm not saying that each resident will have to literally pay that bill themselves. I'm using that measuring stick t bring it to a human scale.
What does all this mean (this is where the opinion part starts)? It means there's no way the city can be fiscally responsible and actually give the CTU what it wants. At the same time how can you ask the teachers to work a longer day without more pay? It's like asking them to admit they've been overpaid for years. The point is, I don't see either side walking away from this unscathed. It's another example of Americans wanting lots of services but being unwilling to pay the necessary taxes.
Here are the sources, I recommend the first one, it's the most interesting:
CPS 2012 Proposed Budget Overview
City of Chicago Proposed 2012 Budget Overview
CPS 2013 Budget Press Release
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