Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the schools' chief executive officer, Jean-Claude Brizard, made the announcement while visiting a South Loop elementary school Thursday morning.
"Every child is precious, and every dollar we have is precious to make sure that it gets to the classroom, and make sure our kids are our number one priority," said Emanuel.
$44 million in savings would come from lowering debt costs by scaling back capital projects in 2012. In the central office, $16 million would be saved by not filling job vacancies, limited layoffs and delaying equipment upgrades.
Emanuel stressed that the schools $720 million deficit would be much lower if Illinois paid $300 million in education funds that it owes the schools.
He pounded the lectern as he urged the state to pay the money it owes.
"Not owes the public school system--owes the children and the parents of this state, and this city," said Emanuel. "And I hope that they would do that, so we can insure as we're making the tough decisions, we have the resources we need to ensure that our children are getting the education they deserve, because as I said at the beginning, every child is precious."
Brizard says his compensation will be tied to student achievement.
"We have inherited this budget. But my commitment is to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible," said Brizard.
His base annual salary is $250,000.