With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, July 11, 2014

Byrd-Bennett's Folly

WHO BESIDES THE MAYOR and BBB thought this was a good idea? 

When CPS officials first announced the plan to borrow two months' worth of revenue from the 2015-16 school year to pay for 2014-15 expenses, Catalyst reported on the plan with skepticism and incredulity. Now the Tribune does the same:
The money grab would be a "bridge," they said, to "help us get to structural reforms." Among other hopes, they were hoping state lawmakers would save the district money by reforming public pensions.
What looked like a bad idea in April no longer looks merely bad. It looks like an all but certain path to financial catastrophe for Chicago's public schools — a catastrophe conveniently postponed until after the 2015 city elections.
With the latest version of pension theft apparently off the table, it seems the mayor's team would rather privatize, sell-off piece by piece or put the school district financially under water than raise property taxes before the 2015 election and ultimately implement a progressive revenue and taxing structure that would make their corporate patrons pay their fair share.

As budget expert Rod Estvan writes in the comment section of the Catalyst piece:
CPS and the city will also have to look at other methods of increasing revenues, including some suggested by the Chicago Teachers Union.
But to do that, we will need a new team in place. Karen? Bob? Toni?

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