CPS principals get first look at budget cuts and it’s worse than expected

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CHICAGO --  Principals at Chicago Public Schools are getting their first look at their budgets for next year, and it's worse than expected.

With no help from Springfield, CPS can expect to lose a quarter of their budget.  It would mean layoffs, larger class sizes and cuts in academic and fine arts programs.

Schools were expecting cuts but were unprepared for just how deep they would be.

The potential budgets cuts didn’t really come as a surprise to principals, what did come as a surprise was the  size of the cuts.

Doctor Gregory Jones is the principal at Kenwood Academy High School.  He spent his day informing teachers if additional funding from Springfield doesn’t come, the school will have to make do with 2.7 million fewer dollars compared to last year.

“Obviously it`s going to impact staffing,” he said.  “More specifically it’s going to impact special programs AP courses stem programs possible the arts.”

And it’s not just at Kenwood.  CPS says schools across the district can expect a 26 to 30 percent drop in funding as well.  T

he district says it started talking to schools earlier than usual in the budget process to identify ways to ease the blow.

Something Jones says will be tough.

“We are hopeful that we won’t be in a position this summer or fall that we want have to explain that we won’t be able to fund certain programs next year,” Jones said.

In statement CPS said, “Even as we continue to seek equal funding in Springfield, we must continue to plan for the worst - higher class sizes, loss of enrichment activities, and layoffs of teachers and support staff.”

The teachers union has yet to respond.  But despite the stalemate in Springfield, Jones is thinking positive.

“The way things are in black in white today, it doesn’t look good,” Jones said.  “But it is our hope in the coming weeks coming months we will see something different.”