The financially teetering Chicago public school system is eliminating more than 400 administrative positions, a move that is expected to reduce district costs by $45.1 million a year.
The cuts, which targeted positions "that don't support the day-to-day operations of schools," represent a small fraction of the $480 million shortfall in this year's budget. District leaders had hoped the state legislature would provide additional funds to close that gap, but lawmakers have not done so.
"There is no doubt these cuts are painful," says Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool. "However, with limited resources and a budget crisis not just this year, but into the foreseeable future, we had no choice."
The 433 central office cuts announced Friday include 180 positions that already were vacant, and a net reduction of 61 positions that were eliminated prior to Friday. A total of 227 employees received layoff notices Friday—but many of those are eligible to reapply for 35 open positions.
Claypool called upon state lawmakers to provide the funding that he contends city schools are entitled to.
“We are also pressing Springfield to wake up to the injustice that Chicago’s students face a separate but unequal education funding system," Claypool asserted. "Chicago students get only 15 percent of the state’s funding despite making up 20 percent of the state’s enrollment – a difference of nearly $500 million. This inequity must end."