Aldermen to Be Briefed on Mayor’s Plan to Keep CPS Open

Officials on Friday are expected to reveal Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to fund keeping Chicago Public Schools kids in class until the end of the school year.

Twice in the last two weeks, briefings on the mayor’s funding plan have been postponed, but city staff are expected to reveal details to aldermen Friday, which may include a plan to borrow millions of dollars.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the mayor plans to use $467 million in block grants owed to CPS by the state as collateral. If the loan goes through, CPS is expected to have enough money to keep schools open until June 20 and make the bulk of a more than $700 million teacher pension payment due by the end of that same month.

So far, City Hall has not said exactly how much money the mayor plans to borrow, or what the interest rate would be. Adam Collins, a spokesperson for the mayor, noted that cuts at CPS are “not part of the conversation” Friday.

Meanwhile, Chicago continues to look to Springfield to change the education funding formula.

“We will also outline the importance of Gov. Bruce Rauner finally proposing a budget that adequately and fairly funds education in this state,” Collins said in a statement.

Illinois has been without a budget for nearly two years.

A spokesperson for Rauner, however, said state funding is not to blame for the current issues facing Chicago schools.

“Instead of engaging with leaders and lawmakers to find solutions to this crisis, the mayor continuously chooses to lay blame on others instead of taking responsibility for his own massive failure of governance,” Eleni Demertzis said in a statement.

Ald. Scott Waguespack said he may support the mayor’s potential borrowing plan, but said it “depends on the terms of all the borrowing.”

“There’s a high level of frustration with the lack of leadership at both the state and City Hall and mayor’s-appointed CPS board,” he said.  

Published 4 hours ago | Updated 2 hours ago

Published in: Local News

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