The Chicago school district will tap into $21.5 million in surplus tax-increment financing funds to hire extra teachers for arts and daily physical education classes.
The money will be used to pay for 84 physical education and 84 art teachers. Many of those same positions were cut earlier this school year by principals facing budget cuts. The district will cover 75 percent of the cost next year and 50 percent the following year. After that, schools will be expected to pay for the positions themselves. The highest-needs schools will be prioritized for the funded positions.
For decades, the district has sought and received state waivers on the daily physical education requirements for high school juniors and seniors. The state did not offer waivers for elementary schools.
A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 2014 edition of Education Week as Chicago District to Provide Funds for Art, P.E. Teachers