CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools officials have announced nearly $21 million in new cutbacks as it continues work to close a $1 billion budget deficit. The latest cuts come on top of more than $31 million in central office cuts earlier this year.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the latest cuts were limited to the CPS central office, other administrative areas, and operations programs – and did not directly affect classrooms or teachers.

The move comes less than two weeks before 49 elementary schools are set to close to cut the costs of keeping open half-empty school buildings.

The district said it has cut more than $52 million in non-classroom spending so far this year, and plans to announce further spending cuts as it finalizes the budget for the 2013-14 school year.

CPS officials blamed the estimated $1 billion budget shortfall on $400 million in increased pension payments, higher salary costs, and flat or declining revenues.

The latest $20.7 million in cuts include:
–$10 million in savings through a new, more efficient custodial service model;
–$8.9 million through the elimination of 96 central office positions;
–$1 million from negotiated savings on landscaping costs;
–and $800,000 from relocating the central office to a smaller space.

Earlier this year, the district announced another $31.6 million in cuts at its central office.

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