CPS Administrators Concerned About Next Year With Budget Crisis

CHICAGO (CBS) — CPS closes the book on an eventful school year. And although their summer vacation is only a few hours old, teachers and administrators are already feeling anxious about next year.

Students at Ray Elementary School spent the final hours of the last day of school playing games.

“I’m very excited because I’m looking forward to summer activities and the summer camps I’m going to,” one student said.

Students aren’t the only ones looking forward to this summer. For teachers, Tuesday wraps up a challenging year, one that started with the threat of a teacher’s strike.

Teacher Jennifer Digacamo, however, is among those who are happy it was averted.

But there was no relief from the budget crisis that led to teacher layoffs, classroom cuts and talk of closing school as early as June 1st.

A last minute loan of $275 million kept the doors open this year. CPS turned to JPMorgan Chase in order to continue operating through June and to make a contribution to teacher pensions.

JP Morgan purchased “grant anticipation notes,” a short-term loan meant to be repaid with state education aid.

Chicago schools have plans to borrow close to $400 million. In addition to the JPMorgan loan, the school district officials say they plan to pursue another $112 million loan.

The district said the $275 million “creates sufficient cash” for CPS to meet its obligations to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

Parents hope next year will be better. “We have to figure out a better plan that helps benefit our students,” one said.

School resumes on September 5th.

Watch & Listen LIVE