Tags: Chicago Teacher Layoffs May Just Be a Reshuffling of the Deck

Chicago Teacher Layoffs May Be Just a Reshuffling of the Deck

Image: Chicago Teacher Layoffs May Be Just a Reshuffling of the Deck
Craig Cleve marches with members of the Chicago Teachers Union as they picketed in July outside City Hall to protest planned cuts. (AP Photo/Christian K. Lee)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 11:17 AM

The Chicago Public Schools district announced on Monday it plans to lay off more than 450 teachers because of falling enrollment and budget problems, but then turned around and said many of the teachers being axed could be rehired before the school year starts.

School officials said the cuts are included in the district's 2016 fiscal budget that includes $200 million in cuts, according to WMAQ-TV, and added that the district has 1,450 open positions that must be filled.

"As in the past, CPS will offer affected teachers the opportunity to reapply for positions within CPS," said a Chicago Public Schools statement. "As CPS works to keep classroom cuts to a minimum, fewer teachers will be impacted this year than any point in the past five years, with 479, or less than 2 percent, of teachers impacted."

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis told the Chicago Tribune that even with the cuts, she does not have a lot of faith in the CPS budget, calling it "a lot more spin than anything."

"I think part of the problem (relies) on the monies they claim are there aren't really there," said Lewis. "And how do you budget when you've got a $500 million hole? So you're going to start school and in November run out of money? Then what?"

The teachers union and the school district were trying to come to term with a one-year deal but those talks ended last week without an agreement, reported the Tribune.

The district is now pushing for a multi-year agreement that could include teachers picking up the full share of pension contributions.

The Chicago Sun-Times said the riskiest part of the budget includes $480 million in aid from the state that has not been approved yet. If state funding does not come through by Jan. 1, school officials said it could lead to teacher cuts in the thousands.

The new budget is one percent less than last year's budget, with $1 million of that coming from the office of CPS's chief executive officer Forrest Claypool.

"There's lots of paths to a final solution, but all of them have to be worked," Claypool told the Tribune. "Springfield is still in stalemate. We need some time for them to get past their own issues to deal with this."

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The Chicago Public Schools district announced on Monday it plans to lay off more than 450 teachers because of falling enrollment and budget problems, but then turned around and said many of the teachers being axed could be rehired before the school year starts.
Chicago Teacher Layoffs May Just Be a Reshuffling of the Deck
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2015-17-11
Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 11:17 AM
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