Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CPS Wants $55,000,000 Dollars More

The Chicago Public Schools wants to raise property taxes in order to generate sufficient income to overcome their "yawning" deficits. I'm not sure that given the quality of the schools they can keep asking for more tax hikes. Sooner or later, something is going to break down.

Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart is unhappy. "Their central office is huge, huge, huge....They have 102 departments at Chicago Public Schools and there should be more cuts in those departments." Chicago teachers make an average of $61,178 per year.

CPS CEO Arne Duncan claims no more cuts are possible. "The only thing left to cut would have been teachers, and that's absolutely the wrong thing to do." I can't begin to imagine how much some of those administrators make. Having several times dealt with them en masse, I can't believe it is not too much.

The district also recommended a property tax increase that would generate about $55 million in revenue. If approved, it would mean a tax-bill increase of about $11.50 for every $100,000 of a home's assessed value, officials said.

How helpful of them to make a suggestion, but I wonder if rewarding a district that has so many structural flaws creates the proper incentives. Therefore, I will make a suggestion as well: a refund to taxpayers based on how many students are more than 10 percentile points below average on state assessments. Maybe a dime per kid per percentile point?

Now that's an incentive.

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