Budget Vote

Written and published on June 21, 2013

Dear Edgewater and Andersonville Neighbors,

Last night, at the Senn High School Local School Council, I, as your community representative, voted against the proposed school budget.

The $6.8 million allocation this year, while representing a budget cut, is enough to keep our tremendous, out-performing faculty and staff employed for another year.  We did not have to cut a single instructional position.  The transformation of Senn High School, under the leadership of Principal Susan Lofton, can continue for another year.

Still, I found the budget unacceptable.

I voted against the budget because I questioned its sustainability.

Senn did not have as large a budget cut this year as many other neighborhood schools across Chicago– but that was this year, and I am concerned about next year, and the year after that.  My job and responsibility is the future of this great school.

If trends continue, which every indication supports, the per-pupil funding equation that this year’s budget represents will kill our school.  The overall administrative divestment of the Chicago Public Schools will mean that the teachers we can afford today, those making our school a world class school, will be out of our price range tomorrow.

I would rather let CPS central office know that this is unacceptable now, while our school is out-performing, than wait until we are not and we find ourselves in an even greater struggle to keep our doors open.

Senn High School is an emerging leader in our effort to improve Chicago’s public education.  Our composite ACT scores is growing every year, including this year’s jump of more than 1.5 points.  We are an emerging leader, and for posterity – it is time to lead.