CPS lays off more than 950 staff, including 356 teachers; new budget delayed

CHICAGO -- Chicago Public Schools announced Monday morning the district plans to lay off over 950 staff members, including more than 350 teachers.

According to the plan,  600 support staff positions will be eliminated, mostly in high schools. Additionally, 356 teachers will be let go, with 240 at the elementary level and 116 in high schools.

The Board of Education says this number of layoffs is actually the lowest since 2007, as last year the district cut more than 1,000 positions. And according to CPS, any teachers who are laid off will also be able to apply for one of 500 vacant teaching positions the district is trying to fill by the time classes start next month.

The district is also postponing presenting its operations budget despite plans to release it Monday, saying more time is needed for state lawmakers to sort out school funding after Gov. Rauner vetoed a bill last week, saying it was a bailout for CPS because it would have sent an extra $300 million to the district.

"CPS has been financially mismanaged for years and years, it's tragic for the families here; the children deserve better," Gov. Bruce Rauner said.

State law requires CPS to approve its operating budget before Sept. 1, but the regularly-scheduled Chicago Board of Education meeting August 23 has also been postponed until later this month, while the ongoing impasse over school funding unfolds in Springfield.

“CPS principals have worked tirelessly to plan for the year ahead under unusually tight deadlines thanks to Governor Rauner’s decision to stand in the way of historic education funding reform," CPS spokesman Michael Passman said in a statement.

The Chicago Teacher's Union was critical of both sides involved in this debate.

"Bruce Rauner is clear he is going to try to starve Chicago Public Schools the same way he's done to the state since he's been in office," said CTU Political Director Stacy Davis. "And for our mayor, who is in control of CPS, to allow that instability to fester within our school community and families that depend on us is absolutely irresponsible."