District CEO Forrest Claypool told principals that each school would not be allowed to spend all of the funds in its accounts, according to a principal who attended the web-based meeting but was not authorized to speak to the news media.
The cuts — which Claypool referred to as "suggested savings" in the meeting with principals — come a month after the first round of mid-year cuts that forced schools across the city to cut programs and layoff teachers help fill a $480 million budget deficit.
For some schools, the newest cutbacks are roughly half as big as the first round of cuts, sources said.
The schools that are the hardest hit by this round of cuts will be those whose principals saved the most money in an attempt to insulate their teachers and students from the district's financial crisis.
In addition, principals may be unable to purchase textbooks and other supplies this spring for use starting in September. That may make the start of the 2016-17 school year chaotic, sources said.
One principal called the latest round of cuts "aggravating" and "disheartening."
Under new rules announced by Claypool Wednesday, district supervisors must approve principals' purchases greater than $5,000, officials said.
CPS spokesman Emily Bittner said the district "must be as conservative as possible with available cash" because of the looming pension payment.
District officials anticipate that as much as $45 million can be saved by a "spending slowdown."
Wendy Katten, the leader of parent group Raise Your Hand said principals had been told by Chief Education Officer Janie Jackson that the district used to spend "what is best for students, and now we need to spend only on what's absolutely necessary."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: