CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously today to approve a controversial $5.4 billion budget for the Chicago Public Schools, including a property tax hike to fund teacher pensions.
The CPS spending plan for the upcoming school year includes more borrowing, and a $342 million property tax hike.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Illinois, Winter Storm Watch For Parts Of Indiana
“The budget we are presenting today does include a property tax levy to help fund teacher pensions, and we are very grateful to our Chicago taxpayers for shouldering this additional load, and for our leaders in Springfield for acknowledging that we must improve education funding for children living in poverty,” CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool said.
The school district and the Chicago Teachers Union have yet to agree on a new contract, but the CPS budget is dependent on concessions the union previously rejected in earlier contract talks.
Teachers and parents picketed outside CPS headquarters in a driving rain during the meeting, to protest a budget they claim doesn’t have enough funding, and includes too many cuts and layoffs. They said the budget the mayor’s hand-picked board plans to approve is a hatchet job that will hurt teachers and students.