UPDATED: 6:17 p.m. 2/9/16
CHICAGO (CBS) — Principals at the Chicago Public Schools learned Tuesday how much money they must cut from their school budgets Tuesday.
Principals stopped by CPS regional offices to find out how much money they will have to slash from their budgets, and how many employees they might have to lay off to do so.
Some schools face larger cuts than others. It appeared most of the layoffs would be support staff, like clerks and secretaries, but teachers don’t necessarily have the all-clear.
A CPS spokeswoman said that no school sees a reduction of more than 3.5 percent, with cuts averaging 1.4 percent per school, not including charters.
To see how the cuts are affecting each school, click here.
The district is seeking to trim $120 million in spending this school year through layoffs and other budget cuts at schools if the contract with the Chicago Teachers Union isn’t settled soon.
In a statement, the Chicago Teachers says the cuts are, “completely retaliatory, and not at all evident of some urgent crisis in our schools.”
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports many principals were cautiously optimistic when they went into the district’s regional offices. Many were pleasantly when they walked out holding single sheets that detailed their reduced budgets.
One of the few willing to share details, Dr. Dennis Sweeney, principal of Grissom Elementary School, who is losing $50,000 of his $3 million budget. He says he’ll save his teachers’ jobs but the message to students won’t be good.
“We might need to reduce our afterschool program,” he said. “There might be funds for computers, for example, that we budgeted, funds for textbooks.”
Some expect to make little or no cuts.
“We knew this happening and so we were careful,” said Karen Boran, principal of John Hancock High School.
Some Chicago aldermen have suggested using surplus tax increment financing money to bail out CPS.
All told, TIF funds add up to more than $1 billion in Chicago, but most of it is committed to projects to improve the city’s neighborhoods, such as new libraries, parks, and even athletic fields for schools.
Aldermen are divided on whether they should sacrifice their portion of surplus TIF money.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) said 34 aldermen are backing his proposed resolution urging Mayor Rahm Emanuel to use more nearly $1.4 billion in TIF money to ease the financial crisis at CPS.