CHICAGO – The troubles continue for the financially distressed Chicago Public Schools.
About a month after Chicago school officials announced the closing of 48 schools and 850 employee layoffs, they “announced late Thursday that 2,113 teachers and other employees would be laid off Friday,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The 1,036 affected teachers represent “about 4 percent of the last year’s total faculty of 23,290,” the Sun-Times reports.
Out-of-control employee pension costs are the culprit for CPS’ latest round of downsizing.
“In fiscal year ‘14 we’re facing a historic deficit of $1 billion that is driven primarily by a $400 million increase in our annual teacher pension payments,” CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said, according to the Sun-Times. “Absent pension reform in Springfield, we have very few options available to us to close that gap, and that has resulted in bringing this crisis to the doorsteps of our schools,” Carroll added.
In an attempt to deflect the blame from her union’s role in creating an unsustainable pension system, Chicago Teachers Union President blamed the layoffs on Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “There’s just absolutely no interest on the part of the mayor of this city to appropriately fund schools or work with us to get funding from Springfield,” Lewis said….To Read More…..My Take - In times past when a Chicagoian was asked what state he was from they would say -Chicago! They didn't claim to be a part of Illinois. I told this to a relative who was raised in Illionois. He said - "and the rest of Illinois wish they would leave". Does anyone wonder why?