First look at Lane’s 2022-23 budget given at LSC meeting


Alex Burstein

The Lane LSC Student Representatives at the March LSC meeting.

By Alex Burstein, Editor-in-Chief

Lane’s budget for the 2022-23 school year is going to be slightly bigger, but Principal Edwina Thompson and the Lane administration are looking for a little more money after a recent appeal.

While Thompson awaits the result of the appeal, the budget did offer a look at some positions that will be funded by CPS in the new school year, according to Thompson.

CPS will be paying for a full-time athletic director position at schools with 300 or more athletes (which Lane qualifies for). Additionally, the district budget will help fund time for department chairs and half of a case manager, which Thompson said will save the school $60,000.

The Lane Local School Council (LSC) was briefed on the newly-released budget during their March meeting on March 24. While the official budget review meeting is now set for April 18, Thompson was able to give the council a breakdown of how the initial budget looked at the March meeting.

Lane’s budget is set to be approximately $156,000 more for next year, with the current number coming in at $26,691,209. While this is an increase, Thompson is hoping that number will grow.

According to Thompson, CPS did not change the student population it based the budget on for Lane during the pandemic, meaning Lane was getting funding for about 4,500. Now, for the 2022-23 school year, Lane is set to receive funding based on a student population of 4,396.

Thompson said Lane’s goal is to grow the student population to around 4,450, so an appeal is out for Lane to get funding for at least 4,430 students for this upcoming year.

As of now, the budget equates to about $6,108 per student, a $200 increase from last year.

Schools in CPS receive some funds based on the number of students that qualify for free lunch. Thompson said that number has dropped to 31% of students at Lane in the most recent number she saw. It has been as high as 60% in her time at Lane.

Chairperson Emily Haite made sure to mention that less than 1% of the budget goes to things other than staffing at Lane Tech.

Thompson said that she does not see any drastic position cuts coming up, though she cannot promise no cuts will be made. The goal, she said, is to keep all staff members at Lane.

Thompson will hold a staff budget presentation for the first time, she announced at the meeting.

Lane did have multiple positions funded by the Moving Forward grant this past year. People in those jobs were informed when they got the job that the positions are funded only for a limited time. As of now, there has been no word if there will be any Moving Forward money next year, so Lane is trying to make the budget work without it. Thompson said Lane will try to keep those positions ( (another security guard, a community relations representative and a college and career coach), but the workers knew that may not be the case.

While the budget will be one of the main topics for the LSC over the next couple of meetings, the budget review meeting is also set to feature one of the LSC’s main functions — principal evaluation.

Prior to the LSC’s closed session evaluation of Thompson, her first one as principal of Lane, the LSC will do their annual community survey. The LSC announced the survey is being edited slightly to reflect the new principal.

Haite also said she wants to have student opinions. The LSC determined that the best way to do that would be through the quarterly student input surveys, which will be adjusted slightly.

Another survey, Lane’s first survey regarding the new symbol in 2022, was discussed at the meeting. Last week, the Lane community was given a survey to help determine the finalists for the new symbols. Bison, Lightning, Champions, Owls and no symbol were the five options, with people being asked to list their top three. Students will pick from the top two options later this year.

Some parents did not receive the survey, so Thompson said it will be re-sent. 

Earlier this year, the LSC moved control of the symbol process to the administration, so the LSC now does not have an official role in the process.

The LSC also discussed the newly announced 2022-23 CPS calendar, which features a new start date of Aug. 22 instead of Aug. 29. This was chosen after a district-wide survey. Thompson said she is happy that the first semester will be over before winter break for the sake of students and teachers.

Survey talk dominated the nearly two-hour meeting, but a few other notables arose throughout the meeting.

In her Principal’s Report, Thompson said that over 700 students took part in the SAT prep and SAT crash course programs at Lane during the past few weeks. She said that almost every junior took the SAT last Wednesday. 

Additionally 99.3% of seniors have applied to at least one college, and 88.7% have applied to three or more, numbers that Thompson was very pleased with.

The meeting offered the usual reports from school groups.

The PPLC said that they are still examining different schedule options for Lane. Teacher Representative Rebecca Daly said while it seems they are working slowly on this and making little progress, she promises they are making progress and that there are just many things to consider.

The student report, given by Dayana Bautista, Sean Groh and Dalya Lessem-Enclave, the three student representatives at Lane, brought forth a request for a gender neutral locker room or changing space. An unused locker room space near Gym 3 that the student representatives mentioned is not available because a mezzanine is going there, according to Thompson, but the principal said the school is looking at possible spaces in the building for this.

Lessem-Enclave, who told the LSC about the need for a gender neutral changing room, said they heard from a student that they are worried if a space like this is created, it will be abused by cisgender students.

Since Lane Tech Alumni Association (LTAA) President Michelle Weiner was unable to attend the meeting due to a LTAA meeting the same night, Haite gave the update for her.

The LTAA is hoping to give out $200,000 during this upcoming scholarship season, including two new scholarships, one for a student going to DePaul and one in dedication of a 2016 Lane alumn who died in 2019. The association is also working on the dedication of the Lane Stadium field after Lane alumnus Fritz Pollard.

Currently, the LTAA is looking for two people to join its NextGen Advisory Committee, which is open to Lane alumni aged 21-31.

Friends of Lane (FOL) gave the final report, noting $356,000 raised through their Annual Appeal so far. Additionally, they are selling graduation lawn signs through April 8, and any profit from senior graduation signs will go to prom. FOL has secured the funds for new Driver’s Education simulators, a new auditorium sound system and clock tower maintenance.

Additionally, the LSC approved 12 checks and two fundraisers unanimously.

The Lane LSC will convene next during their special budget review and principal evaluation meeting, which will be held April 18 and is set to start at 6 p.m.