Chicago mayor and union spar on second day of teachers strike (Photo : Reuters)
The Chicago Public Schools announced the layoff of around 2,100 teachers and support staff, which brings the total number of pink slips to 3,000 in two months.
CPS officials said Thursday they will notify 1,036 teachers and 1,077 non-teachers of the layoffs. They blame the move on the failure of the Illinois Legislature to enact pension reform.
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"As a former principal and teacher, I share the frustration felt by many of our principals, teachers, and parents about the difficult decisions our schools are being forced to make because of the historic $1 billion deficit facing our district," said schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, according to NBC Chicago. "Driven by the lack of reform in Springfield, the pension crisis has arrived at our schools."
Chicago Teachers President Karen Lewis said she was surprised by the number of layoffs, saying she expected the number to be closer to 800. She called the cuts "unnecessary and shameful for a system that prides itself on providing a high-quality education for our students." She added that the cuts will have a direct effect on the district's quality of education.
A total of 262 people were cut from support staff and food service employees from closing schools, while 1,723 are teachers and support staff cut by budgetary decisions from school principals. In addition, 123 are teachers impacted by changes in enrollment at CPS schools.
The layoffs announced late Thursday added to the approximately 850 layoffs in June the district attributed to the closing of about 50 schools it considered underutilized, reports CBS News.