On Monday, Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Forrest Claypool said the district might end classes almost three weeks early to save money if it doesn’t get help from Springfield.
On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the decision to put that option in play wasn’t taken lightly, and that he did not like it.
“It is one option. It is not the right option, not the right choice,” Emanuel said. “The right choice is for Springfield to fix what they have broken.”
Emanuel blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner for vetoing legislation that would have sent more than $200 million to help CPS pay for teacher pensions. Rauner has said that money was contingent on passage of state pension reforms, which haven’t happened.
The district also has filed a lawsuit, claiming the state’s school-funding formula and pension-funding systems shortchange the city’s schools.
Rauner’s blames CPS’ financial problems on decades of mismanagement.
“Instead of blaming someone who’s been in office for two years, it would be helpful if the mayor was asking why his district’s chief created a budget that depended on revenue that hadn’t been appropriated by the General Assembly,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis.