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Public hearings planned this week on CPS budget

Updated: August 31, 2013 6:18AM

In order to vote on its $5.6 billion budget proposed for the upcoming school year, Chicago’s Board of Education is holding three hearings later this week to let the public weigh in.

Anyone may speak at any of the hearings, but must register an hour before it begins. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes.

Two hearings are being held 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday — one at Truman College in Novar Hall/Room 3426, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., and the other at Kennedy King College in the theater, 740 West 63rd St.

The third one is Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Malcolm X College in the Bruce K. Hayden Center, 1900 W. Van Buren Ave. Registration at all three begins at 5 p.m.

The Board of Education is required to hold at least two hearings before voting on the budget, which is expected at its scheduled Aug. 28 meeting.

To close a $1 billion deficit, mostly from skyrocketing pension obligations, Chicago Public Schools plans to slash total classroom spending by $68 million, raise property taxes to the maximum allowed, cut central spending by $112 million and tap into another $700 million in one-time reserves, which includes county and state money that came in early, according to the district.

The school year is already starting with 48 schools shuttered and nearly 3,000 staffers — 1,456 of them teachers — laid off.

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