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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Education

Chicago lays off almost 500 teachers, another 500 school-based workers

By Juan Perez Jr. Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools is laying off almost 500 teachers and another 500 school-based staff members, the district said Friday.

The teachers being laid off will be eligible to apply for jobs in the district, which has about 1,000 teaching vacancies, officials said. The majority of affected personnel are expected to be hired into open positions at other schools, CPS said.

In past years, about 60 percent of teachers who have been laid off have been rehired in full-time positions in the district, CPS said.

The district said 280 of the 500-plus district-run schools will have no teacher or staff impacts in the coming year.

The layoffs broke down this way: 302 high school teachers and 192 elementary school teachers for a total of 494; and 352 high school support personnel and 140 elementary school support personnel, for a total of 492.

The Chicago Teachers Union criticized the layoffs, saying in a statement that “the gutting of experienced educators and other school employees only weakens schools and puts children at a disadvantage.”

The district says the $2.8 billion it has budgeted to spend at schools this year is about $140 million less than schools got last September and reflects unprecedented mid-semester budget cuts CPS made in February.

While CPS has said budget changes are driven by enrollment, about 70 schools are set to receive less money compared with what they were left with in the middle of last year despite increased or flat enrollment.

Funding reductions for some of those schools are quite small, but district data show about 30 schools with flat or growing enrollment are projected to lose $50,000 to $200,000.

At the same time, about 50 other buildings with enrollments projected to decline or stay flat actually received more money compared with what they spent after the midyear reductions.

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