WEST RIDGE — After Chicago Public Schools announced last month sweeping district-wide cuts to special education, Stone Scholastic Academy's Local School Council said it appealed CPS' cuts at their school — and won.
Stone, an elementary school at 6239 N. Leavitt Street in West Ridge, was slated to lose two special education teachers and two aides, according to a spreadsheet of potential budget "adjustments" released by CPS in October. Though CPS said the adjustments district-wide were linked to student enrollment, the school only saw a two-student drop.
Vito Greco, chairman of Stone's Local School Council, said the school was "lucky" to be spared of losing staff after its last-minute appeal.
But now Greco said the focus is on potential cuts in December.
"It’s hard to imagine the legislative session bringing any resolution this month," Greco said.
If there is a move to cut teachers next month, Greco said it will likely mean positions that teach subjects like art and music, as well as reading aides and language and technology roles, would be first on the chopping block.
He acknowledged that many schools have already faced difficult cuts, and that Stone has been relatively "fortunate" compared to other neighborhood schools. On Friday, Swift Elementary in Edgewater held a "walk-in" to protest staff cuts, saying it, too, "couldn't afford" to lose between six and eight positions in their school.
For now, Greco said the school and council will continue advocating for their students, staff and resources — but will remain on edge until it's clear whether or not schools will need to cut more staff.
"It’s all a confusing roller coaster and we feel we’re constantly battling for resources," he said.
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