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 (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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