The state legislature did not pass a measure before the spring session ended that would have let the city of Chicago get out of paying a portion of
the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) pension payments for two years. As a result,
CPS is up against an extra $412 million in pension payments.
on top of CPS' plan to shut down 50 public schools in June, among other
concerns, has the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) worried more layoffs
may be on their way.
CPS will have to pay a total of $612
million in pension payments in the upcoming budget year, which starts
July 1. And CPS has said it is facing a looming $1 billion budget deficit.
officials say they are looking at other ways to save money, such
as reductions in the central office, as a result of the pension
payments. The district says class sizes will not grow due to the possible cuts, which will remain "as far away from the classroom as possible," according to a CPS spokeswoman's interview with the Chicago Tribune.
still needs to issue budgets for individual schools, however. CPS has
yet to release its 2013-2014 budget, which has to be approved by
CTU estimates that more than 130 to 350 teachers alone
could be cut due to the school closings. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said he is
concerned more jobs will be lost once principals start going through
their individual school budgets.
"This is the kind of uncertainty that makes the whole project of providing urban education so much harder," Sharkey told the Chicago Tribune.
"The suburbs have done their hiring already. We're still a month away
from knowing how many teachers laid off from closing schools will
transfer with their students. We don't even know if there's going to be a
drastic increase in class size and mass layoffs."