CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s back to class today for 400,000 students at the Chicago Public Schools, and the new year is bringing a new bell time for some students, and plenty of controversy for the cash-strapped district.
CPS changed the start times for 48 schools this year. The changes range from as little as 15 minutes to as much as 1 hour 15 minutes; some schools start earlier than last year, while others start later. For a full list of the changes in start times, click here.
The district has said the changes are meant to save money on school buses. It will be able to stagger bus routes, and use fewer buses to get kids to and from school.
Originally, the district had planned to change start times for 82 schools, but scaled back that plan after a wave of complaints from parents, students, and school administrators. The original plan would have saved the district $9 million, while the current plan will save about $5 million.
That’s barely a drop in the bucket for a school district that is facing a $1.1 billion budget shortfall. Over the summer, CPS cut $200 million in spending, in large part through more than 1,400 job cuts, including nearly 500 teacher layoffs.