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Andy Crosby | PACE UNIVERSITY

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"Politifact" featured Dyson Professor Andy Crosby in "Is CPS the most understaffed district in Illinois?"

06/22/2018

"Politifact" featured Dyson Professor Andy Crosby in "Is CPS the most understaffed district in Illinois?"

Double-take

LaRaviere sees that conundrum as evidence CPS is wasting money because of unsound financial policies that drain resources to pay for adequate staffing.

But experts also point to other, less politically fraught, explanations.

Andy Crosby, a professor of public administration at Pace University in New York said urban districts are more likely to serve students from low-income backgrounds who may require additional resources to educate. Districts in large urban areas, he said, typically pay teachers higher salaries to compensate for increased cost of living as well.

But he also pointed to U.S. Census data showing Chicago was far from the biggest spender among large urban school districts. In 2015, the data show, New York City spent roughly $22,000 per student while Chicago spent less than $14,000.

Illinois data, meanwhile, show that Chicago’s per-student spending may be above average, yet there are many districts in the state that spend far more.

Another factor to consider when weighing spending at CPS is the looming shadow of high pension costs. Prior to changes made by state lawmakers last year, CPS bore the entire expense of funding the employer share of pensions for its teachers and staff. All other districts in Illinois relied on state taxpayers to pick up their pension tab.

Rebecca Hendrick, a professor of public administration at the University of Illinois-Chicago, suggested the pension overhang could be putting pressure on the district to lower operating costs to free up funds for pension payments. Those payments ramped up significantly during Emanuel’s second term as a consequence of years of contribution deferrals that began under Daley.

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"Journal News" featured Dyson Professor Andy Crosby in "New Rochelle wants to know: Is there gentrification in the city?"

05/21/2018

"Journal News" featured Dyson Professor Andy Crosby in "New Rochelle wants to know: Is there gentrification in the city?"

What can be done?

Cities have a handful of strategies to combat gentrification, said Andy Crosby, an assistant professor of public administration at Pace University. 

Zoning policy is one option. Crosby said city officials can create policy that requires developers to set aside units for affordable housing.

Other options are rent control and stabilization. But, he said, those have led to mixed results.   

"Somebody can be quite wealthy, for example, and hang onto that rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan for $500 a month. Well, great. But what you’re doing then is, the remaining apartments on the market go up as that happens," Crosby said. 

For businesses, zoning policy can set a cap on the size of the development, stopping what he calls "big-box retailers" from moving in. Additionally, officials can create financial incentives to encourage business owners to buy their buildings.

"So you can imagine that, if you help a local business purchase their space, that’s going to lock them into it," Crosby said. "If you’re dealing with a lease with a landlord, the landlord could immediately raise the rent as gentrification is happening but, if the business owns that, the pressure might be less."

New Rochelle has a few strategies in place to mitigate the negative effects of gentrification.

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