by Reena Nuygen
COVID 19 has hit many institutions hard, especially public schools, and CPS is struggling to stay afloat with substantial budget issues.
CPS is mainly funded by the people’s taxes, and with increasing unemployment, the government is struggling to get funding for schools. According to the Chicago Tribune, CPS’s original plan was banking on a rise in property tax collections to help in the next budget, but two main challenges arose because of covid. The money could arrive after the deadline since the county gave taxpayers two extra months to pay up without penalty this year. Even then, many people and businesses struggling financially amid the pandemic may simply not have the wherewithal to pay their property tax bills (Chicago Tribune). As quoted from ex-highschool principle, Paulette Savage, without proper funding, schools will be forced to make budget cuts to programs and social workers which will “desperately affect the students with the trauma of the pandemic.”(Paulette Savage 2020)
In addition to late tax money, federal relief funding is not enough to completely fix the impact on the CPS budget. The federal government passed the CARES act, also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in response to the economic fallout in April 2020, providing 13 billion dollars to elementary and public schools. However, as of now, CPS is in a lawsuit with the Trump administration because they want to give millions of dollars from the act to private schools instead of public (Statement from CPS). Lincoln park elementary school teacher, Danna Donofrio, says that giving the money to already properly funded schools tremendously impacts schools with underprivileged students since it doesn’t give enough “ to provide adequate education” (Danna Donofrio-Held, 2020).
Overall, as the pandemic continues to rapidly spread again, CPS needs to increase funding while struggling to stave off budget cuts for already struggling school districts. Without proper resources, it will be hard for districts to continue to stay open desperately affecting those in low-income communities.