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Testing, Evaluations Focus Of Negotiations Between CPS, Teachers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Public Schools and its teachers are up against a deadline face as their three-year contract expires at midnight.

CPS also had another deadline Tuesday on a $634 million pension payment which was due at the end of the day. The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that they received the payment.

Last week, the district and the Chicago Teachers Union had been in meaningful discussions on a one-year deal with no pay raises for teachers, but talks broke down when they could not agree on non-financial issues – such as teacher evaluations and standardized testing.

CTU President Karen Lewis initially expressed optimism a one-year agreement would be reached before the current contract expires, but the union has since said that's unlikely.

CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey has said the likelihood of layoffs, with the district facing near-certain need for deep spending cuts, makes the system for grading teachers a major concern.

Meantime, the Chicago Board of Education has approved borrowing more than $1.1 billion to help the district get through the next fiscal year.

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