CPS Lays Off Nearly 1,000 Employees Ahead of New School Year

With the state's education funding battle continuing in Springfield and the start of the upcoming school inching closer, Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that more than 900 employees would be receiving layoff notices. 

The layoffs include at least 356 teachers and 600 staff members at schools across the city, according to district officials. 

"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. “As part of the annual school budget process, principals are moving forward today with staffing changes, which are at their lowest level since at least 2007 due to concerted efforts to direct as many resources as possible to the classroom."

Officials added that they expect more than 500 teaching vacancies will be filled before the beginning of the school year, encouraging impacted teachers to apply for those positions. Three career fairs will also be held for teachers, on Aug. 11, 15 and 16. 

CPS has been at the center of a debate in Springfield surrounding education funding, with Rauner vetoing a bill sent to his desk in part because he considered it a "bailout" for Chicago. 

Rauner has requested removing a Chicago block grant from the funding formula, removing a minimum funding requirement and removing both Chicago Public Schools pension considerations from the formula, among other things. 

Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, warned that Rauner's changes would jeopardize money for schools statewide. That's because if legislators can't muster enough votes to either approve or override the governor — scenarios that appear unlikely — the legislation dies, and there's no backup plan ready to go.

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