It was expected that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not follow up on Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool’s threat to close the schools three weeks early when he made it his No. 1 priority to ensure a longer school year for the city children.
Except now the mayor has a problem – how to pay for it. Media are reporting that the state of Illinois still owes the public schools about $467 million due to an impasse that has left Illinois without a budget for two years.
Emanuel says they are looking at everything to ensure the classrooms are in session until the end of the year and pay its employees’ pension fund $721 million by June 30. That could include dipping into the Tax Increment Financing or TIF surplus accounts and taxing big firms for each employee.
We’re still waiting for the specifics.