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State Supreme Court: CPS Doesn’t Have To Rehire Laid Off Teachers

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois State Supreme Court has sided with the Chicago Public Schools, saying the district does not have to rehire tenured teachers it had laid off.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, in a 5-2 decision, the justices said state law does not require CPS to recall laid off tenured teachers as it does in the rest of the state.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

CPS laid off almost 1,300 teachers in 2010 due to budget cuts, but rehired 715 when more funding became available.

The layoffs came after the Chicago School Board gave then-CPS chief executive officer Ron Huberman the power to lay off teachers without following union contracts.

Huberman then introduced a resolution to lay off teachers with poor evaluations first, without regard to tenure or seniority, and hundreds of teachers were soion laid off. CPS did not provide a count of how many poor performers were ultimately among those laid off.

The Chicago Teachers Union sued, saying the experienced educators should have been given first shot at any openings.

A lower court sided with the union. CPS appealed, leading to the state Supreme Court ruling. Officials also said just a few months after the 2010 layoffs that most of the tenured teachers had found new jobs within the CPS system anyway.

Justice Charles Freeman wrote the 14-page opinion, which counters previous court rulings.

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