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The [Thursday] Papers

"Chicago Public Schools officials on Wednesday touted an increase in money to schools for each child enrolled next year, but the bulk of that new cash likely will just help keep up with inflation and teacher raises," the Sun-Times reports.

"The $70 million CPS earmarked as extra money for classrooms - in the same year as the mayoral election - will come from a combination of ever-shrinking central office spending, dividing up a $65 million chunk shared last year among certain hard-hit schools and an adjustment in accounting that drops 29 additional days into the 2015 fiscal year, according to CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett."

Okay, what?

As best as I can understand, CPS is selling money it is already required to pay to teachers - as in, you know, their salaries - as new investments in classrooms.

And they are saying that if they, you know, didn't pay teachers what they are contractually obligated to pay them, classroom cuts would result for some reason.

Thank God for the fantastical Central Office; what a wondrous place that is.

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"While Chicago Public Schools officials continue to say there will be a budget crisis until pension reform is achieved, the district Wednesday said cost-cutting and a one-time accounting maneuver will provide additional $70 million for school-based budgets in the coming year," the Tribune reports.

"District officials say more money will be available next year in part through an accounting adjustment that would make two additional months of property tax revenue available for the 2014-15 budget.

"Extending the 'revenue recognition period' to Aug. 29, 2015 for a fiscal year that ends June 30 would make several hundred million dollars available in the coming year, CPS spokesman Joel Hood said.

Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a government watchdog group, called the district's accounting "a financially risky maneuver" that offers only short-term relief.

"It's a questionable financial practice that relies on borrowing next year's property tax receipts to pay for this year's expenses," Msall said. "It's like using a credit card to pay for your groceries. You're borrowing for the future."

Chicagoland!

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"In addition to the accounting change, the district also cited savings from moves that include the move later this year from the district's current downtown headquarters to the Sears flagship store on State Street."

Those savings will derive mostly from extending the revenue recognition period on central office furniture, i.e., using layaway.

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"If only we were all CPS, and every time we were short on cash, a pot of one-time, never-to-be-available-again money appeared that would get us over the hump," Sarah Karp reports for Catalyst.

"School Board President David Vitale said this trick will only work once. 'The downside is that someone might say we are avoiding the problem,' he said during a conference call Wednesday.

"In each of the three years since Mayor Rahm Emanuel was elected, CPS leaders have announced a hefty deficit and then eventually found one-time pots of money to fill the hole."

On Chicagoland, the budget deficit is repeatedly described as a $1 billion hole that our city's leaders are heroically struggling to fill, even if it means making tough choices like screwing poor black kids.

Apparently CNN's local fixer doesn't read the papers.

For years CPS has issued a doomsday budget for the media that is always superceded by something approaching a real budget. It hasn't taken much for the better reporters in the city to catch on.

Back to the Tribune:

"Budget Director Ginger Ostro said the increase adds about $70 million to school budgets. Last year, CPS cut $80 million from schools."

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CPS also has a new media strategy: Brief reporters individually, not as a group.

Why?

My guess is so that reporters can't hear the questions asked by and answers given to other reporters. Better to keep them operating without collective wisdom.

CPS is apparently also trying to prevent reporters for preparing for their interviews.

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Remembering Big Glo
Keef crew rapper lost to the streets; had just signed with Interscope.

Medicaid Drowning In Backlog
I've been agitating this reporter for this story for awhile now; there's more to be revealed with what's going on in Illinois for any reporter who actually cares to dig in.

Our Chicago Sports Museum
Way better than theirs.

Guns, Worms & Trains
The best Midwest non-fiction of 2013.

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BeachBook
* Aliotta, Haynes & Binny's.

* Chicago Public Library: Sixth Floor.

* Sally Draper Lived In Lakeview.

* A Chicago Pinball Legend Has Died.

* FBI Memo On Mob Violence.

Over the course of the summer of 2013, some middle school-aged individuals from Chicago (names unknown) moved to Louisville and began attending Frost Middle School. It is believed that the individuals from Chicago encouraged the individuals hanging out at the roller skating rink to "beef up" their efforts at becoming an actual gang.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Safekeeping.



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Posted on April 10, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - FCC [Hearts] Sinclair.
POLITICS - Police Stood By In Charlottesville.
SPORTS - Why Colin Kaepernick Matters.

BOOKS - Windy City Blues.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Fish Unboxing.


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