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CPS Blasts Lawmakers Over State Budget

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Chicago Public Schools leaders are blasting state lawmakers for backing away from an overhaul of education funding.

The district today implored legislators to reach a compromise by the May 31st budget deadline.

Chicago Public Radio’s Jay Field has more.

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The district faces contract talks with the Chicago Teachers Union, rising health care and teacher pension costs, and five billion dollars in deferred building maintenance.

So Chicago Public Schools has backed a flurry of proposals to cut property taxes in exchange for higher sales and income tax rates.

Arne Duncan is district CEO.

Duncan: The Democratic leadership of the state has an opportunity they haven’t had in decades. It is the moment of truth for them and we will see whether they can work this out—and I remain hopeful that there—but it has to happen. Failure is not an option.

But House Democrats are showing little appetite for a tax incease and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has vowed to veto one.

This afternoon, Senate Democrats introduced a alternative plan to raise millions for schools. The want to build four new casinos—including one in Chicago.

I’m Jay Field, Chicago Public Radio.

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