Chicago schools budget calls for borrowing, teacher layoffs

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Public Schools officials have proposed a $5.7 billion budget that includes nearly 500 teacher layoffs and banks on $480 million in new state funding that might not come.

Officials announced details Monday for what was already expected to be a tough budget.

CPS officials acknowledge the budget is an “unsustainable” mix of borrowing and cuts, but say it’s necessary to make a required $676 million teacher pension payment.

The budget outlines 479 layoffs, though most teachers are rehired and over 1,400 teaching positions must be filled before school starts.

School CEO Forrest Claypool says he hopes legislators will help, though attempts have been unsuccessful.

Chicago Teachers Union officials criticized CPS for including the $480 million, along with the proposal to stop picking up a percentage of teachers’ retirement contribution.