CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools officials have offered lunchroom workers severance packages to get them to vacate their jobs, and help the district close its estimated $1 billion budget deficit.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports school officials said they want to do two things besides cutting staff: bring cafeteria staffing in line with industry standards, and prevent cost-cutting from directly affecting classrooms.

The district has offered special severance packages to lunchroom workers who are 50 or older, and have at least 10 years of service.

Officially, CPS was calling it a “one-time voluntary separation opportunity.”

The district said it is hoping the move will save CPS $11 million in the next school year, and $18 million a year after that.

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