CPS Restores Bell Schedules at 34 Schools

Chicago Public Schools, in addition to announcing more than 450 teacher layoffs Monday, said it would restore bell schedules at nearly three dozen schools in the district following concerns from parents and staff.

Thirty-four of the 82 schools initially set for dismissal and start time changes will return to their normal bell schedules, the district said. Forty schools will continue with their new schedules while eight schools have implemented other changes.

CPS said the changes mean the district will save only $5 million, a decrease from the planned $9.2 million, in savings from transportation changes.

Last week, several CPS students protested the changing start times.

Most high school start times were expected to switch to 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m., and elementary schools would move to 7:30 a.m. or 7:45 a.m.

"Think of the students who have to help their families economically. These students have jobs and will be affected by the time change," one student protester said.

Others worry about after-school activities, like sports practice.

"We hear those concerns, and they are very legitimate concerns, and we're listening to those schools, but we're just trying to make sure we're doing everything we can to save money without impacting children and without impacting class size and teachers," Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said at the time.

In addition to the bell changes, CPS announced 479 teacher layoffs as part of their proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

The budget includes $200 million in what the district calls “painful cuts that CPS announced earlier this summer.”

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