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CPS Lays Off Two Science Teachers at Whitney Young

By Stephanie Lulay | March 2, 2016 6:12am
 Whitney Young Magnet High School cut two teachers this week.
Whitney Young Magnet High School cut two teachers this week.
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DNAinfo/Chloe Riley

NEAR WEST SIDE — Faced with a state budget impasse, a high-profile CPS selective enrollment school on the Near West Side has been forced to cut two teachers mid-year. 

Whitney Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St., will lay off the two teachers, and the cuts are expected to be extended into next school year as CPS deals with an estimated $1.1 billion budget deficit.

Blaming $85 million in "unprecedented" midyear budget cuts on the state budget impasse, the head of Chicago Public Schools announced 62 layoffs Monday. Among the 62 layoffs announced Monday, 43 were full-time positions and 19 part-time. 

The two Whitney Young teachers were among 17 teachers let go citywide. 

Whitney Young employees said the two teachers let go were science teachers.

CPS did not confirm which teaching positions were eliminated and Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner could not be reached for comment Tuesday. 

In February, Whitney Young parents, students and teachers staged a walk-in at the school to protest the latest round of CPS budget cuts and fight for a new teacher contract. 

A full list of layoffs by school is available here. 

CPS budgeted for $480 million in additional state funding this school year that it has not received because of the budget impasse. CPS CEO Forrest Claypool originally threatened 5,000 layoffs in the fall if the funding was not forthcoming, prompting teachers to vote to authorize a strikeClaypool made deep cuts at the district's central offices in January before moving ahead with principals to designate more positions to be slashed.

Whitney Young, named after prominent Civil Rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., opened in 1975 as the city's first public magnet high school and consistently ranks among the top in the country. Alumni include First Lady Michelle Obama, star basketball player Jahlil Okafor, and Lana and Andy Wachowski, the sibling creators of "The Matrix."

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