Emanuel Blames State Government For Aggravating School Budget Deficit

CHICAGO (CBS) –- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his new schools CEO took a knife to the Chicago Public Schools budget Thursday, but they also took a shot at state government for making the financial crisis worse.

Emanuel says the state of Illinois owes the Chicago system $300 million, nearly half of CPS’s $720 million budget deficit.

The mayor’s remarks came as he and his CPS boss, J.C. Brizard, announced $75 million in budget cuts, ranging from central office lay-offs to a reduction in custodial services. Emanuel said he was trying to avoid taking money from the classroom.

Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who writes the checks, says her office is sitting on $4 billion in unpaid bills. She’s not sure when Chicago will get that $300 million in school aid.

“I’m gonna try within the course of maybe six months if I can,” Topinka told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn had an animated conversation at Millennium Park on Thursday, with the governor admitting they were talking about money for education, among other things. Quinn insisted that the money is there to pay Chicago’s school bill.

“I have a plan to do that, we have the revenue to cover that – it’s called restructuring,” Quinn said.

Topinka scoffed at the idea.

“’Restructure’ is another word for borrowing, and borrowing is just an easy way out and it basically cannot go on because it gets us deeper into debt,” she said.

Lawmakers in Springfield rejected the governor’s restructuring plan.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Topinka’s office says Chicago schools did get $100 million this past month alone. But the comptroller’s office says the timing of the rest of the money due will depend on several factors, including the economy and other bills that have to be paid first.

Contributing: CBS 2 Political Editor Ed Marshall

  • tom Sharp

    Once gain politicians cutting from the bottom–get rid of the janitors who make minimum wage and little or nothing in medical coverage, but keep all the clout-laden AIOs! Nothing new here!

  • xomaman

    I bet we’ll see the State pay the CPS bills VERY quickly INCLUDING THE TEACHER PENSION FUND, when more students drop out and roam the streets. Or perhaps they’ll need to build more prisons! Gee, THAT would be more cost effective.

  • Marvin the Mavin

    Judy, Judy, Judy! What bills? You speak and say very little. The Republican way?

    • jeffrey

      15 billion dollars in unfunded state pension liabilities to start. The Democrat way.

  • Juanita Walker

    Tell me how can our children compete in anything besides the streets when education keep being robbed and I guess soon we will hear about how unsantitized the schools are, can we get politians to donate a day or two of their salaries to pay the workers, just maybe, huh? Where do their grandchildren attend school.

  • Lyndia

    Yes, she should cut down town but also the contract that was given to Great West to act as a middle man concerning our annunities should be elmininated. If was fine when you could call your represenative and withdraw, increase or decrease your allotment. Now Great West puts your money into your account notwithstanding that your represenative and account is with med life, valic, kemper or whoever. Why are they acting as a middle man concerning your money? Hump a man gave them that contract before he left to take care of hubby and baby. Also, cut the pay for principals that are running failing schools. Many of them are liars, they are arrogrant, and think they are better than the teachers, parents etc. especially when they get the MA behind their name or heaven for bid, they get the Dr. in front of their name. Many of them think they are real MD’S or PHD’S

    s or PHD’S. most of them have Ed.D’ s which is a glorified masters and a watered down PHD. I know of one prinicpal that makes $150,000 to run a LOW performing school that does not offer gym or swimming

  • Right

    Make cps parents pay their fair share of taxes and the state will have much more money.

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