CPS crisis: What's next for teachers, students, city

ABC7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools officials announced $100 million in new budget cuts Tuesday that could include teacher layoffs.

Following the rejection of a contract between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool is directing schools to prepare reduction plans to save money.

The I-Team has learned that both sides are preparing for two important, separate meetings Wednesday, both of which could define whether there is a resolution, an eventual strike or a move by the state to takeover CPS operations.

The decision to reject the latest contract offer was a vote by just 40 of CTU's 27,000 members, assigned to this group within the union. They're known as the "big bargaining team."

But when all of the bargaining team members stood up against the contract proposal, it wasn't necessarily the end of it.

On Wednesday at a union hall on the South Side at a regular meeting of the CTU's House of Delegates - nearly 800 teachers union members - could vote to override that big bargaining team.

There would have to be a motion for a fresh vote on the rejected contract and, of course, no guarantee it would pass.

Chicago Public Schools officials will also try to find some money to operate.

"We're going back to the bond market tomorrow to raise the necessary resources to restore the financial stability of the district. We have good momentum with our investors," Claypool said.

With inexplicable optimism, school officials say they will try to secure the full $875 million from bond sales, a borrowing plan that had to be scrapped last week when bond houses jacked up interest rates in response to shaky CPS finances.

It isn't at all clear why the Chicago Public Schools would face better bond rates Wednesday after a teachers contract settlement was just stalled.
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