A new state law restricts school districts from just letting go of first year teachers in favor of saving teachers with more seniority.
It's what many districts have done in the past, especially at the height of the recession.
For District 87, Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly said Tuesday people working in every department and every building of the district are vulnerable.
"We will probably have to cut staff, and it could be seen at pretty much every level," he said.
An exact number of potential layoffs has not yet been determined, but if they are enacted they will likely be voted on by the school board in March of 2013.
District 87 is at the beginning stages of formulating a deficit reduction plan. School board members meet Wednesday night to begin the initial discussions.
They're trying to find a long-term solution to fill a $2.7 million deficit in the district's education fund, which is one of the largest in its overall budget.
Reilly said the district is being driven by losses in four revenue sources.
"We've had a drop in our property value. There was an error in how much money we get from our poverty map. There's less corporate tax income, and there's less money from the state and federal levels," he said.
As a result, District 87 is relying on its reserves and reigning spending in some areas as a short-term solution.
But Reilly cautioned the deficit reduction plan is needed as a guiding principle for the future and to help the district better understand its financial position once more tax levy and enrollment information and public feedback is available.
"You can't live that way forever, and so we will have to make some adjustments on how we present that budget in future years. And that of course will necessitate a deficit reduction plan," he said.
The plan takes several things into account, including student security and instructional services.
It also says it is preferable to reduce programs across all grade levels rather than cut them all together, and grant money would be used to the greatest extent possible to keep teachers on staff.
Board members are scheduled to continue negotiations through the winter, then vote on the proposed deficit reduction plan in February. Any layoffs would take effect in March.
The public will have an opportunity to chime in.