Officials with Chicago Public Schools say they're sending layoff notices to 227 administrative employees and closing up another 180 positions that were already vacant.

The nation's third-largest school district said in a news release that notices were being sent Friday, though 57 employees will be able to reapply for 35 positions.

The district has been scaling back on administrative positions for months. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said that his goal has been to "protect the classroom" from cuts as the district grapples with a more than $1 billion budget deficit.

District CEO Forrest Claypool says the layoffs are painful, but financial problems left the district with little choice.

The announcement comes the same week top Illinois Republicans called for a state takeover of the district, a plan Democrats blasted.