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Chicago Mayor's $1 Billion School Funding Request Amid High Teacher Absenteeism - Analysis & Recommendations

Chicago Mayor's $1 Billion School Funding Request Amid High Teacher Absenteeism - Analysis & Recommendations

Chicago's Mayor Requests Additional $1 Billion for Schools Despite High Teacher Absenteeism

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner of Wirepoints

Chicago's Mayor's Plea for More Funding

Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago recently made a trip to Springfield, presenting a substantial list of requests to state lawmakers. Notably, he requested an additional $1 billion in funding for Chicago Public Schools.

Reasons for Rejecting the Request

There are several reasons why this demand should be outrightly declined. Firstly, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) already spends a whopping $29,000 per student. Secondly, Chicago teachers are among the highest paid in major cities across the nation. Furthermore, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has consistently refused to shut down the numerous failing and underpopulated schools within the district. Additionally, both CPS and CTU have consistently failed to hold themselves accountable to their students. A mere 20% of minority CPS students are reading at grade level, and the situation is even worse in mathematics.

Rising Teacher Absenteeism

Adding to these issues is the increasing rate of teachers who are consistently absent from school. The U.S. Department of Education defines chronic teacher absenteeism as 10 or more absences within a school year. In CPS, the percentage of teachers who are chronically absent has surged from 28% to 43% in just seven years. This increase cannot be attributed to the pandemic, as the absenteeism rate was already on the rise, from 28% to 36%, before the onset of COVID-19.

Impact of Teacher Attendance on Student Outcomes

The attendance of teachers significantly impacts student outcomes, as per the Illinois State Board of Education’s Report Card. According to the U.S. Department of Education, teacher attendance is a "leading indicator" of student achievement. Teachers who regularly attend school provide consistent instruction and attention to individual students. The National Bureau of Economic Research has demonstrated that when teachers are absent for 10 days or more, student outcomes significantly deteriorate.

Mayor's Responsibility

Rather than requesting additional funds, Mayor Johnson should ensure that his CTU colleagues are actually present in the classrooms. He should then establish significantly higher targets for reading and math proficiency, for which both he and the teachers are held accountable. Lastly, these targets should be made public.

Article by Tyler Durden

Published on Sat, 05/11/2024 - 22:30

Closing Thoughts

This article raises some significant questions about the allocation of resources and accountability within the education system. Is throwing more money at the problem the best solution, or should there be a greater focus on management and accountability? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Please share this article with your friends and engage in the discussion. Remember, you can sign up for the Daily Briefing which is delivered every day at 6pm.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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