Chicago School District to Lay Off 62 Employees, Including 17 Teachers
Chicago school district officials said on Monday that without the much-needed financial help from the state, they would make another $85 million in cuts.
Sixty-two employees, including 17 teachers, will lose their jobs in this latest round of cost-cutting, the district said. As a result of the $85 million in cuts, the per-pupil funding rate under the district's student-based budgeting system has been reduced by $214, to $4,176 per student from $4,390, according to the district.
The cuts' impacts were blunted by an additional $41 million in federal Title I and Title II aid to schools, the district said.
Chicago Teachers' Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey was expected to address the layoffs this afternoon. The district and the teachers' union are trying to reach an accord on a new labor agreement. The last contract expired last June.
The district passed its budget for the current year with a funding gap that exceeded $400 million. The district had hoped that the state would plug that hole, and district officials have also been pushing for Illinois to change the way it funds its schools.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has instead called for a state takeover of the school district and for CPS to declare bankruptcy.
The district said that the $85 million in cuts announced Monday will come through the layoffs, as well as closing vacant positions, reallocating reserve funds, and making some program changes.
"The fact that these cuts needed to happen in the first place is unfortunate for our principals, teachers and—most of all—our students," Forrest Claypool, the district's CEO, said in a statement.
"Our objective is to secure fair funding for our students, bring Illinois up from last in the country for education funding and work with Springfield to start treating students in poverty fairly, so our students get the education they deserve. These painful cuts are not what we want to do, but they are critical to keeping our school doors open."