CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Public School System has not yet released its budget for the coming school year, but property taxpayers are already going to pay more.
As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, school district officials intend to impose the maximum allowable increase in their property tax levy for the second straight year in FY 2013, to help pay for the longer school day and cover a deficit of nearly $700 million.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports
School district officials say the increase will mean an additional $28 will be added to the property tax bill of the owner of a $250,000 Chicago house. It is expected to generate $41 million, less than half a $114 million cut in federal and state funding.
Chicago School Board President David Vitale said the increase will help preserve the district’s “commitment to class size, the full school day and early childhood development.”
Meanwhile, CPS tells the Chicago Tribune that 850 teachers are expected to be laid off this year – 21 percent fewer than last year. Among the hardest hit schools is Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave., which has laid off 22 teachers – largely in the history department – as officials move the school into the International Baccalaureate Program.
All of this comes among an ongoing labor dispute between CPS officials and the Chicago Teachers Union. Teachers voted earlier this month to authorize a strike, largely over complaints that CPS was only offering a 2 percent raise when they would have to work longer hours due to the longer school day.
The union has been calling for a 24 to 30 percent raise.
Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey says the pace of contract talks has picked up since the strike authorization vote, the Tribune reported.