In the next few days, Chicago Public Schools officials are expected to lift the curtain on how the district hopes to fill a projected $1 billion budget chasm for the fiscal year that just started. For context: That shortfall equals roughly one-fifth of the district's operating budget for the 2012-13 school year.
CPS has already taken some painful steps to shrink that chasm: Almost 3,000 teachers and school-based staff have been laid off in recent weeks. Principals have slashed programs because their schools' budgets have cratered. Class sizes are expected to rise. Dozens of elementary schools have been shuttered.
We don't know how much of the $1 billion the district's decisions to date will save. But the CPS money crisis is here and — despite district officials' hopes and vows — it will hit students and classrooms.