Logan Square Sees $4M in Slashed CPS Funds -- $1.6M at a Single School

LOGAN SQUARE — Of the nearly $100 million in Chicago Public School budget cuts citywide, approximately $4 million will come out of Logan Square.

Chicago Public Schools announced July 13 that neighborhood schools will see almost $60 million in cuts district-wide, while charter schools and other charter programs for at-risk students would see a combined $30 million in gains.

Of 11 Logan Square schools, only one — Brentano Elementary — will see a financial gain. A combined loss at the remaining schools comes to $4,015,710, according to CPS data.

In the long term, the cuts and gains could mean a loss of so-called neighborhood schools to charters, according to Stacie Gorfinkel, a Marine Leadership Academy teacher, Logan Square resident and soon-to-be CPS parent.

But, in the short term, the cuts could mean a school isn't going to get that new pair of tablets or science kit they had planned on.

“And if the principal has to cut people over materials then that means one or two less set of eyes looking out,” Gorfinkel added.

Despite a projected enrollment gain of 117 students at Marine Leadership Academy, the schools will lose around $10,000 — the smallest overall monetary loss of any Logan Square school. But at Kelvyn Park High School about a mile northwest, budget cuts for the 2015-2016 year will top $1.69 million — the highest loss of any school in the neighborhood.

Jennifer Velazquez

Logan Square Neighborhood Association

“One of the major cuts will probably be teachers,” said Jennifer Velasquez, a 21-year-old Kelvyn Park High School graduate, Logan Square Neighborhood Association youth organizer and Logan Square native now studying secondary education at Northeastern Illinois University.

There are already teachers who have left Kelvyn Park because of the instability, according to Velasquez — the school was saved from closure in 2013 but it's projected to see a drop of around 125 students in the coming year.

Despite the compounding cuts (Kelvyn Park's budget was slashed by 27 percent in 2013 when 17 school position openings were posted online, setting off a year of uncertainty at the school), Velasquez said she’s committed to continue working in the school where she eventually hopes to teach.

“I know enough to make me want to run the other way but I know the students and there’s a lot of potential there,” she said. "But what’s the message that’s CPS is trying to tell us?”

Logan Square schools receiving funding:

Logan Square schools losing funding: