From The Chicago Tribune: The Chicago school board has granted schools chief Ron Huberman authority to lay off teachers and increase class sizes, a procedural move that was met with fierce resistance from union groups. It will not result in immediate firings. The threat of class sizes of up to 35 students next fall has loomed for months because of an estimated $600 million budget deficit. However, more than half of the deficit comes from state cuts to education funding, which could be restored when the state legislature passes a final budget.
EARLIER...from The Chicago Tribune: The Chicago Teaches Union says it will file a lawsuit contending that a proposed increase in class size would violate city municipal codes by creating excessively crowded classrooms. The planned action comes after school board officials sent the union a letter stating its intention to raise class sizes to as many as 35 students per class in light of a massive budget deficit. Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart says that in addition to posing a safety hazard, the larger classes will jeopardize children's ability to learn. Class sizes now range from 28 to 31 in city schools.