Republicans and Democrats both say they want to pass education funding. But the politics are complicated. Republicans are on the attack, accusing Democrats of pushing for a bailout of Chicago Public Schools. For their part, Democrats say Governor Rauner is abandoning Chicago.
Without an assist from Springfield, Chicago Public Schools will face closed schools, 390,000 students with nowhere to go. Today, Democratic officials called out Governor Rauner.
"The problem lies with governor Rauner," said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.
"We’re talking about almost 400,000 kids, most of whom are black and brown, most of whom come from low income families," Ald. Ameya Pawar said. "The idea that you’re referring to them using corporate terms and calling that a bailout is disgusting."
Even though Mayor Emanuel is away in Washington on business, he took aim at the governor saying in a statement: “Right now schools across Illinois need a leader, and instead Bruce Rauner is following the Donald Trump playbook of demonizing one group of people for his political advantage."
The Chicago Teachers Union has a different view of the problem.
"We have clearly a failure on the part of leadership," said CTU President Karen Lewis.
The teachers say CPS has been mismanaged and the city should raise taxes to help fix district's problems.
"Running down to Springfield and begging for money is not a plan," said CTU Vice Presiden Jesse Sharkey.
Governor Rauner is pushing the Illinois General Assembly to pass short term education but he does not favor, in his words, a "CPS bailout."
"I’m all in for Chicago. I’m all in for the families there, but the key thing is I work for the families everywhere," Rauner said.
Governor says he's open to backing more money for CPS as part of a broader budget deal, but for now he supports legislation that would keep CPS funding at its current level.
CPS is facing a billion dollar budget deficit. It needs a solution and fast. Chicago lawmakers continue to push for extra CPS money in a short-term budget fix. We’ll see if they can convince their colleagues and the governor to sign on.