Charters want Chicago Board of Education to protect increase in funding

July 23, 2012

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The Chicago Board of Education won’t vote on its proposed budget until the end of August and charter schools are not happy about it.

That’s because charters already worked out a deal with Chicago Public Schools for an increase in next year’s funding.

Now, charter advocates fear the district may backpedal.

“We should not be used as pawns in a negotiation between the union and CPS,” said Juan Rangel, CEO of the politically connected UNO charter school network.

Charter school teachers are not part of the Chicago Teachers Union.

District spokeswoman Becky Carroll says the budget vote is being delayed in part because an agreement with the teachers union is still being discussed. 

Charter schools maintain that they have long been underfunded compared to neighborhood schools. Rangel and others say the district needs to keep their promise of equitable funding.

“If CPS is serious about charter schools being a strategy to improve the entire system, then they need to pay for it,” Rangel said.

But Carroll said the Board approved a resolution last month that allowed the district already send charters the increased amount CPS promised.

Carroll also noted that the budget would ultimately “reflect the outcome of contract negotiations.”