The continuing budget impasse in Illinois has forced the Chicago school district to announce another round of layoffs--62 employees, including 17 teachers, will receive notices that they are being let go.
The layoffs come less than six weeks after the school system, the largest in Illinois and the third-largest in the United States, announced the elimination of more than 400 administrative positions. Earlier this month, school principals were given mid-year budget reductions to carry out.
The midyear cuts—layoffs, closing vacant positions, reallocating funds held in reserve, and changing programs—are part of an effort to eliminate $85 million from school budgets.
“The fact that these cuts needed to happen in the first place is unfortunate for our principals, teachers and—most of all—our students,” says schools CEO Forrest Claypool. “Our objective is to secure fair funding for our students, bring Illinois up from last in the country for education funding and work with Springfield to start treating students in poverty fairly, so our students get the education they deserve. These painful cuts are not what we want to do, but they are critical to keeping our school doors open.”
Of the 62 layoffs announced Monday, 43 are full-time employees and 19 part-time employees.
Claypool and district leaders are trying to develop long-term structural changes that will help close the school system's $1.1 billion deficit next fiscal year and address more immediate cash flow challenges.