Bargaining talks continue on heels of CTU rally

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Thousands of Chicago Teachers Union members and their supporters rallied downtown on Thursday to protest district plans to cut $100 million in school-level funding, which union officials say could translate into 1,000 educator layoffs.

Chicago Public Schools officials announced the cuts earlier this week: $75 million would be eliminated from school budgets by the end of June, while the rest would be cut from next school year’s planned spending.

CPS initially told principals they’d be given more details about the cuts within 48 hours. However on Thursday night, officials sent principals a letter telling them to keep their calendars open for an in-person meeting on Tuesday, when they’d be given more specifics.

Principals were told they’d then have one week — until Feb. 16 — to revise their budgets.

CTU and CPS officials have a formal bargaining session planned today. “We are hopeful we can rescind these cuts by swiftly reaching an agreement,” CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a statement.