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The Chicago Public School system has already overseen a record number of school closings and on Thursday the system announced that it would be laying off over 1,000 staff members.
In total CPS is sending approximately 1,150 employees to the unemployment line due to a drop in enrollment. About double that number were let go last year when Chicago embarked on its extraordinary school closings.
Officials began calling staffers to alert them to the firings but also said that they believed many of the teachers would be rehired by other CPS schools.
“The staffing changes are driven by declining student enrollment at each of the affected schools,” said schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The school system allots money based on the number of students and when enrollment drops, it’s imperative that the number of people on staff be reduced accordingly.
Byrd-Bennett also pointed out that this most recent layoff is the lowest number of teacher layoffs in the past five years.
The Chicago Public Teachers Union noted that these sorts of layoffs have been a regular occurrence and that it further underscores the “decimation” of Chicago Public Schools.
“There are an ever-increasing number of charter schools siphoning students out of public schools and contributing to a system of dysfunction and instability that leads parents to seek other options for their children,” union president Karen Lewis said in a statement. “This decision further demonstrates the disdain for public education and the lack of leadership and vision for the city from our mayor and his handpicked Board.
“Do we want ‘Star Wars’ museums or public, neighborhood schools? Do we want presidential libraries or librarians for every child?” she asked.