Another good point in Alexander Russo’s post about school day length: "City Hall doesn’t have the money to pay the $72 million. (CTU should call their bluff and endorse the waivers at every school.)"
At Gapers Block last week, Matt Farmer looked deeper into the numbers, and noted that teacher bonuses would drive that up by about a quarter; the Chicago News Cooperative did a good analysis of the CPS deficit, which is obviously substantial, in June.
So what would CPS do if CTU went all in? Jean-Claude Brizard actually addressed that last night in his conversation with Karen Lewis and the Trib‘s Bruce Dold, as recounted by Catalyst‘s invaluable Twitter feed:
The 2011 CPS Budget Book (PDF) budgeted $619 million for all "educational support personnel," i.e. non-teacher salaries: "including security, janitorial, lunchroom, teacher’s aides and bus aides, as well as area and citywide school support, and central office administrators." Basically, the most broad possible definition of "administration." So $70-90 million would necessitate substantial cuts. It would be an interesting bluff to call.
Photograph: bradipo (CC by 2.0)