CHICAGO (AP) — Nearly 850 Chicago Public Schools employees received layoff notices Friday, hours after officials said they had identified $52 million in administrative and operational cuts to help close an estimated $1 billion deficit in the upcoming fiscal year.
Eliminating almost 100 central office positions and adopting more efficient building maintenance will help save $20.7 million, on top of $31.6 million in cuts announced earlier this year, officials said. They did not estimate how much the district might save through layoffs — most resulting from a Board of Education decision last month to close 50 schools and programs — because some workers will be eligible to reapply for other jobs.
CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett called the deficit “historic.” She said the district will spend the next several weeks looking for more ways to trim expenses but will try to avoid cuts that would affect students.
“Next year’s budget will not come without painful decisions, which is why we are making tough choices at central office in order to minimize impacts to our classrooms,” Byrd-Bennett said in a written statement.
Officials say that since 2011, CPS has cut almost $600 million from the central office and programs that it funds.
The nation’s third-largest school district has been struggling to trim its deficit, which it said was inflated by a $400 million increase in its annual pension payments, salaries and flat or declining revenue.
The layoffs included about 550 teachers — both from schools that are closing and struggling academically — along with teacher assistants, bus aides, custodians and others.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel promoted the school-closure plan, saying the buildings were underused and that closing them it would save the district hundreds of millions over 10 years and improve education. Chicago Teachers Union Staff Coordinator Jackson Potter called the layoffs and closures “part and parcel of a very intense series of attacks on our schools that will undermine the academic growth and development and the safety of our most vulnerable students.”
He contends that Emanuel has refused to explore other options, including by demanding a more equitable state tax system and taking back tax revenue lost to tax-increment finance districts meant to promote development. Potter also said the union believes the layoffs “could be the tip of the iceberg” as individual schools assess their budgets.
Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett said CPS has 403,000 students in a system that has seats for more than 500,000. The school closures have sparked protests and lawsuits from opponents who say they disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.
Officials have said students will be moved to schools that are performing better academically and that CPS will work with Chicago police and community groups to ensure students can get to and from their new schools safely.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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