Earlier this month, Chicago Public Schools announced that it had made some changes to the calendar and budget for the 2019-20 school year to account for the 11 school days that were missed due to the teachers’ strike that ended last month. The district has agreed to make up five of the 11 days that were lost, CPS officials said. The first proposed makeup day starts Nov. 27.
“Schools throughout Chicago have picked up where they left off prior to the strike and are working to build on the progress that has made CPS one of the top big city school districts in the country,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson in a Nov. 5 press release. “Today, we are proposing an updated calendar and budget that will ensure we make the most of this school year and prepare all of our students for success.”
The district proposed the five makeup days as part of the agreement it hammered out with the Chicago Teachers Union in order to end the strike.
“The make-up days must be scheduled on days on which teachers and CTU staff would not otherwise be paid, which severely limited the district’s scheduling options,” CPS explained in the release. “The following proposed make-up days are spaced over a series of dates during the school year that were not previously scheduled as student attendance days and a small number of additional school dates at the end of the school year.”
The proposed makeup days include:
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019
Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (previously scheduled as a School Improvement Day for staff, which has been moved to June 19)
Thursday, June 18, 2020 (previously scheduled as a School Improvement Day for staff, which has been moved to June 22)
“We understand that modifications to the school calendar can create real challenges for our families, and we have worked to add make-up days in a manner that prioritizes student learning and minimizes disruption to the fullest extent possible,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade in the Nov. 5 release.
“Care was taken to schedule multiple days in advance of key academic milestones, including spring AP exams, while also preserving as many scheduled breaks as possible and not extending class beyond the final week of the school year. We believe this proposed calendar effectively manages those challenges and reflects the best compromise for our families.”
The district also released proposed amendments to it’s nearly $8 billion budget in the form of “additional revenue and cost savings” that are designed to “support additional investment,” CPS officials said. Those changes include $68 million in reduced costs resulting from the six school days that were cancelled due to the strike and that won’t be made up.
The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote on the calendar and budget amendments, in addition to the tentative contract agreements with CTU and SEIU, at a meeting on Nov. 20.