CPS Holds Meetings to Prepare ‘Difficult Budgets'

With Chicago teachers working without a contract this school year, the future outlook looks bleak.

Chicago Public Schools spokesperson Emily Bittner confirmed Thursday the district has begun “the painstaking process of preparing difficult budgets.”

The doomsday scenario will certainly impact teachers.

“CPS officials have been meeting individually and in small groups with principals to discuss the District’s $1 Billion budget deficit and get their feedback on how schools can manage,"Bittner said. 

At least one CPS grammar school has been told the best case scenario is a 20 percent budget cut that would translate into a loss of four or five teachers. At these private sessions CPS has included finance and auditing department heads.

Earlier Thursday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the Chicago Teachers Union's $502 million revenue recovery package for CPS.

The mayor claimed that CTU’s plan is inaccurate in its explanation of how the proposed revenue source would affect Chicagoans, and placed blame on the state’s school funding formula.

CPS officials called for a revamped funding formula from lawmakers in Springfield.

The CTU’s governing body announced Wednesday that the union would not move forward with a May strike, but left the door open to a future strike as contract negotiations remain in impasse.

Bittner also noted that the district was working with the CTU to prevent a strike.

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