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Vallas’ cure for N. Chicago schools — mass layoffs

Nov 29, 2013 by

SPRINGFIELD — Since landing work outside Illinois more than a decade ago, former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas hasn’t just focused on leading troubled school systems in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Conn.

Last summer, in a little-publicized $311,000 consulting deal with the Illinois State Board of Education, Gov. Pat Quinn’s newly named running mate offered a financial blueprint to turn around the nearly bankrupt North Chicago school district.

Teachers weren’t happy.

To avert insolvency in North Chicago Community Unit District 187 by 2015, Vallas recommended closing four of the district’s nine schools and laying off 130 teachers and staff — 39 percent of the district’s workforce.

Vallas, a longtime backer of charter schools, also singled out the financial drain caused by the lone charter school in District 187 but didn’t offer strategies in the report to address what he said “inequitably amounts to a heavy subsidy at the expense of the rest of the district.”

His consulting company, the Vallas Group, also urged a rewrite of the district’s curriculum, with more intensive teaching of literacy, math, social studies and science and longer class periods.

via Vallas’ cure for N. Chicago schools — mass layoffs — riles teachers union – Chicago Sun-Times.

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