Chicago principal calling it quits due to school funding crisis

- A high school principal on Chicago’s Northwest Side is calling it quits because of uncertainties created by the school's funding crisis.

Several other Chicago principals have also announced they won't be back next year.

“The word I can think of is just frustration with the state and the budget cuts we've been faced with,” said Daniel Zimmerman, principal of Foreman College and Career Academy.

Zimmerman's been the principal at foreman college and career academy on the northwest side for five years. But next fall, he'll be running an elementary school in Reno, Nevada. He does have family there, but that's not why he's leaving.

“I've been very frustrated by the budget situation here in Illinois, and not knowing whether there will be a pension, and not having a budget to plan for the upcoming school year,” Zimmerman said.

Other principals are bailing too. Lane Tech's principal is leaving for Deerfield High School. She says its programs are "Innovative, creative and supportive of all learners."

The principal at Lake View High School, Scott Grens, is headed for Lincolnwood. He told FOX 32, “I found an exciting new opportunity."

Neither Grens nor Lane Tech’s principal mentioned the funding crisis as their reason for leaving.

CPS officials say that so far, they haven't seen what you could call a mass exodus of principals or teachers from Chicago schools. But they are keeping a close eye on the numbers.

“Obviously anytime somebody leaves the district it's something that we're concerned about. but the numbers right now are no different than what we've seen in the past,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson.

Jackson says it's not ideal for a school like Lane Tech to have its third principal in three years.

“As a lifelong educator, any time there's a principal transition, a school is at risk,” Jackson said.

And CPS CEO Forrest Claypool admits there is concern about losing some of the school system's stars. 

“We're not seeing statistically a difference from last year. However, it is a concern and the lack of funding from Springfield, the lack of equal funding, the lack of certainty obviously puts us at risk of losing top talent,” Forrest Claypool said.

School officials say it is already clear that the funding crisis has created a lot of anxiety among principals and teachers.

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