Chicago Schools Chief Blames Gov. Rauner’s ‘Trump Tactics’ For Budget Freeze

(CBS) — Chicago Public Schools is freezing spending by as much as $69 million at schools and the central office, officials announced Monday.

It comes as CPS copes with a $215 million budget gap it blames on Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Regardless, students will feel the immediate impact, CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports.

How will the freeze filter down to CPS students? For starters, it impacts expenditures on text books, field trips and part-time support staff.

“The harsh reality is we cannot run the school system the children of Chicago deserve with the funds that we are given,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool says.

The frozen monies come from individual school’s non-salary funds and none will be greater than 5 percent. Forty-six million dollars will come from CPS schools, another $18 million from charter schools.

Taking aim at Rauner, Claypool said: “He’s clearly adopting Donald Trump’s tactics of attacking vulnerable citizens in order to score political points.”

In December, the governor vetoed a bill that would have sent $215 million to CPS for pension payments. It was supposed to include pension reforms; it didn’t. Claypool says that victimizes the majority of CPS students.

“He’s attacking the children of immigrants. He’s attacking racial minorities. He’s attacking the poor,” Claypool said.

In response to Claypool’s strong comments, Rauner threw blame on Chicago.

“Twenty years of financial mismanagement by the city cannot be blamed on someone trying to put Illinois on the right fiscal path,” the governor said in a prepared statement.

Separately, the Illinois Senate president says he’ll present a balanced budget as soon as Tuesday with funds for CPS.

Sen. John Cullerton says he and says he and Republican leader Christine Radogno agree on a package of legislation that includes an income-tax increase and other revenue, a reworking of the school funding formula, pension reform, workers compensation and more.

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