After facing fierce backlash from parents and educators over special education cuts, the Chicago Public Schools announced Tuesday that it is "conducting a month-long process" to review the proposed funding reductions.
The district said it will give principals until November 2 to appeal the latest special education cuts, after principals were reportedly told they would have only a few days to make such an appeal. CPS said no additional special education positions will be cut during the review and appeals process.
"Delivering services to Chicago diverse learners is a critical part of CPS' mission to ensure all of our students have the tools and resources they need to be successful in school," CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. "We will work with principals at all our schools to make sure that all issues have been resolved and that every principal has an opportunity to go through the appeals process if they wish."
The school district on Friday announced $12 million in special education cuts, which works out to be a reduction of 69 teachers and assistants. In announcing the special education cuts, CPS pointed to declines in the latest 10th-day enrollment numbers.
"Because of budget constraints, for the first time this year, CPS can no longer hold schools harmless when enrollment falls below projections," CPS said in a statement.
Those announced funding reductions come on top of the $42 million in special education cuts the district outlined this summer, though CPS said Tuesday it has since "allocated an additional 21 special education teachers and 61 paraprofessionals to schools to meet student needs" after reviewing with principals the special education funding contained in their initial school budgets released in July.
Also on Tuesday, the Chicago Board of Education approved an agreement to sell the former Lyman Trumbull Elementary School building on Chicago's North Side to Svigos Asset Management for $5.25 million. The company's development plan involves partnering with the TimeLine Theatre Company, currently located in the Lakeview East neighborhood, and bringing the theater to the first floor of the school building. Housing units would be created above the theater.
Trumbull, located in Andersonville at Ashland and Foster Avenues, was one of 50 schools the Chicago Board of Education voted to close back in 2013 due to the district's reported underutilization crisis.