What a strange bureaucracy is Chicago Public Schools. Also, like many bureaucracies, cold and heartless.

CPS fired veteran Chicago teacher Xian Barrett by informing his mother. The principal called his mother and read a script. It’s not like Barrett is a minor. Why wouldn’t they have the nerve to call him directly?

The mass layoffs follow an unprecedented mass closing of 50 schools.

Could this be payback for last fall’s teachers’ strike? Or just Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s determination to starve public education and call it reform?

“In one of the city’s largest teacher layoffs ever, the district pink slipped 2,113 teachers and other employees.

“Of those laid off, 1,036 are teachers and 1,077 are support staff, with the laid-off teachers accounting for about 4 percent of last year’s total faculty of 23,290.

“Budget cuts are to blame for 815 support staff, 398 tenured teachers and 510 non-tenured teachers; school closings for 68 support staff employees and 194 food staff employees, and changes in school enrollments account for rest, the district said.

“Another 161 highly-rated teachers from the 48 schools that closed permanently in June also learned later Friday they will not follow their students to new schools — there aren’t enough open jobs in the receiving schools, according to CPS spokeswoman Kelley Quinn. Their positions have been cut, but they’re not technically laid off since they continue to collect full pay and benefits in a teacher reassignment pool for the first five months of the school year, and slightly lower pay in the cadre substitute pool for the next five months, Quinn said.”