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CPS Layoff Notices Go Out to Nearly 100 Teachers, Support Staff

By Sam Cholke | November 4, 2013 3:02pm | Updated on November 4, 2013 5:52pm
 King College Prep is one of many schools reporting teachers being laid off on the 20th day of school.
King College Prep is one of many schools reporting teachers being laid off on the 20th day of school.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

KENWOOD — As many as 94 Chicago Public Schools teachers and support staffers received layoff notices late last week, officials said.

A total of 54 teachers and 40 teaching assistants were told late last week that their last day would be Nov. 20, CPS officials confirmed Monday.

According to an email from a CPS spokesman, the cuts are a result of reductions in state and federal funding.

Among the layoffs, 33 were in teaching positions funded by grant-based poverty funding that are based on enrollment, while 11 of the teaching positions were closed over the summer but kept staffed temporarily "due to unfinished transition work," the email said.

All 40 teaching assistants were eliminated because they failed to obtain necessary certifications, the spokesman said.

The email did not say which schools were impacted by the layoffs or specify which subject areas they worked in.

But teachers at King College Prep said the school will lose one teacher and two support staffers who work with special education students.

And Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said he expects special education and English-as-a-second-language teachers and staff to be hardest hit.

He said the union was still attempting to get a full accounting of which teachers and staff received layoff notices Friday, which were on top of the 3,129 teachers and support staff laid off this year. Some 1,851 of those were because of budget cuts at under-enrolled schools.

“This is adding insult to injury because there already were massive layoffs over the summer,” Sharkey said.

CTU spokesman Michael Harrington said layoffs in special education would be a "travesty" and said the cuts contradict a district promise not to make layoffs this year based on enrollment through the 20th day of classes.

"This is yet again contrary to what the Board [of Education] said," Harrington said. "They said there would be no 20th-day layoffs" tied to enrollment on the 20th day of classes.

But the CPS email said the limits on layoffs based on enrollment only applies to positions funded by the general education fund, not positions supported by federal and state grants.