Each school year, Chicago Public Schools publishes an updated organization chart along with the release of its operating budget.
This year, when the School Board approved its budget in August — a few weeks after Forrest Claypool was named CEO — it said there would be a delay.
On Monday afternoon, just a few days after laying off 227 Central Office staffers, district officials finally released a two-page, interim flow chart that shows a major reorganization of how the district performs its central functions. (See below for list of department heads.*)
It is the product of a months-long analysis by Claypool and a group of his trusted advisors, including many new CPS hires and consultants who had worked with him in past government jobs. The goal, CPS said, was to eliminate redundancies, clarify dual reporting and integrate duties that had been scattered throughout the district in order to cut costs.
District officials have said last week’s layoffs and elimination of vacancies – in addition to cuts made earlier this school year – will save $45 million annually.
While the organizational structure is expected to change even more in the coming months, district officials are meeting this week with network and department heads “to discuss function changes, consolidations and ensure that all critical functions will continue to be met,” said CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner in a statement.
Here are some of the changes:
A clear split of administrative and academic functions between Claypool and Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. When Claypool was named CEO back in July, he said Jackson would be in charge of education-related functions, although she still reports to him.
Under the interim structure, Claypool oversees some functions that will have a major impact on the educational programs, especially the offices of Talent, Planning & Data, and Public Policy. He also will oversee the offices of Finance; Facilities & Operations; Communications; Law; and Internal Audit & Compliance.
Jackson will oversee the offices of Network Support; Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment; Diverse Learner Support & Services; Language & Cultural Education; and College & Career Success. There are also two new offices under her purview, Education Operations and Education Policy, Research & Performance.
New offices run by Claypool’s former colleagues from the CTA. These include the Project Management and Change Management offices, which are run by Carol Rubin and Sally Csontos, respectively. Rubin and Csontos both report directly to Claypool’s chief of staff, Doug Kucia. All three used to work with Claypool when he was at the helm of the Chicago Transit Authority.
The Internal Audit & Compliance Office is another new creation. In August, Claypool named Andrell Holloway, another former colleague from the CTA, to run that office.
All of those offices were involved in deciding whom to fire last week and what a district reorganization would look like.
Last week Catalyst reported that Rubin was among a group of consultants who were brought in to help with this process. She was hired full time in November at a $170,000 salary, which makes her one of the most highly paid employees in the district.
In a statement provided to Catalyst over the weekend, Claypool said he has assembled a team of people he has worked with in the past in order to deal with the financial challenges at CPS.
“These veterans are part of a large, diverse team of managers with strong backgrounds,” he said. “Our success in overcoming an unprecedented financial crisis depends on the depth, experience and proven talent of this team.”
As expected, some offices are eliminated. These include two of the most controversial offices in the district — Accountability, and Innovation & Incubation, which oversaw charter schools. The chiefs of both of those offices, John Barker and Jack Elsey, resigned late last year. Last week district officials said they would not fill their vacancies.
The roles of the two offices will now be absorbed elsewhere, including the newly created Planning & Data Office.
In addition, the functions of the Families and Community Engagement (FACE) office have been absorbed by the new Public Policy Office, which is also responsible for intergovernmental affairs.
Also gone is the Office of Strategic School Support Services (known as OS4), which was created by former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in 2013 to support struggling schools. In the fall, district officials indicated they would phase out OS4, saying the schools would revert to the control of their geography-based networks.
OS4 had been run by Tracy Martin, whom Byrd-Bennett brought to Chicago and resigned soon after the federal investigation into the no-bid contract to the SUPES Academy came to light.
Plenty of new faces. The chiefs of nearly every department have resigned, retired or been structured out of a job since Claypool was named CEO. The only holdovers who remain in a similar position are Karen Garibay-Mulattieri of the Office of Language and Cultural Education, and Annette Gurley, whose department has been renamed Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment.
In addition, Denise Little, former Chief of Networks, will continue as a senior advisor to Claypool, a post she assumed when the new CEO took charge.
Such personnel changes aren’t unusual, as new CEOs often replace cabinet-level positions.
Catalyst has reported on most of the high-level administrative changes in recent months, including general counsel Ronald Marmer; College & Career Success Chief Alan Mather; Public Policy Chief Arnie Rivera; Communications Chief Hayley Meadvin; and Senior Vice President of Finance Ron DeNard.
DeNard was hired in August for a position that overlapped with that of Chief Financial Officer Ginger Ostro, who resigned in December. DeNard also was a colleague of Claypool’s at the CTA. With a salary of $225,000, DeNard earns more than did Ostro, whose vacancy was eliminated.
One relatively new face is Matt Lyons, who was quietly hired in December in an interim capacity as head of the Talent Office. Most recently Lyons worked for the Chicago Public Education Fund but he also has worked in CPS administration.
Here’s a current list of all the major department heads, arranged in alphabetical order.
Under CEO Forrest Claypool:
- Chief of Staff – Doug Kucia
- Change Management – Sally Csontos (reports directly to Kucia)
- Project Management – Carol Rubin (reports directly to Kucia)
- Communications – Hayley Meadvin
- Facilities and Operations – Jose Alfonso de Hoyos Acosta
- Finance –Ron DeNard
- Internal Audit/Compliance – Andrell Holloway
- Law – Ronald Marmer
- Planning and Data – Robert Boik (interim)
- Public Policy – Arnie Rivera
- Senior Advisor/Education – Denise Little
- Talent – Matt Lyons (interim)
Under Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson (who reports directly to Claypool):
- Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment – Annette Gurley
- College and Career Success – Alan Mather
- Diverse Learner Supports & Services – Kathleen Foley (interim)
- Education Operations – Pedro Soto
- Language and Culture – Karen Garibay-Mulattieri
- Network Support – Liz Kirby