Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday provided more information about the $200 million in budget cuts, including 1,400 layoffs, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) plans to implement following the $634 million teachers' pension payment it made Tuesday.
Elementary sports and coaching stipends will be cut, and spending reductions will target network offices, repairs and maintenance, teacher development initiatives and money for new charter schools. High school start and end times will also be pushed back by 45 minutes. Class sizes will not increase, Emanuel said.
The approximately 1,400 impacted staffers will be from various areas of CPS, including employees working at schools and the central office.
CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey told the Chicago Sun-Times, "It'll be a mix of cuts -- not all teachers is what it comes down to."
Upon hearing more details about the CPS cuts, Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said, "While much remains unclear, it is clear that what cuts have been specified would do real damage to our schools."
Emanuel had this to say about the $200 million in cuts at his press conference today: "In my view, they are intolerable, they are unacceptable, and they are totally unconscionable."
"They are the result of a political system that sprung a leak, and now it is a geyser," he added.
The mayor said additional CPS cuts could happen in the future if the state legislature fails to help CPS tackle its financial issues. The mayor, for example, wants Springfield to put a stop to the "dual taxation" of city residents as it relates to teachers' pensions. Chicago taxpayers provide funding for two teachers' pension funds -- one for Chicago teachers and another for suburban and downstate educators.
"I want Springfield to get off their duffs . . . and remedy the decades of inequity that have brought us to this place," the mayor said today, reported Crain's.
The mayor also said he favors having teachers cover the 7 percent that the district pick ups for their pensions, a proposal the union says would amount to a pay reduction. Paired with such a pension change for teachers, Emanuel said he would support a city property tax increase of up to $225 million.