Chicago Board of Education officials considering borrowing plans

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools wants to borrow up to $500 million for the new fiscal year, in addition to nearly $400 million in short-term loans to finish out this year and make a pension payment.

The Board of Education is meeting Wednesday to consider the plans.

A spokeswoman for the nation's third-largest district says the half-billion dollars of bond debt would be used in the upcoming budget year starting July 1.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for the short-term loans last week. He blames lawmakers for putting CPS at a financial disadvantage.

Chicago taxpayers cover the cost of CPS pensions, while the state makes the payment for other districts. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes legislation to have Illinois pick up the cost, saying it's a "bailout" because CPS gets other grant funds.

The school board is also expected to approve a series of changes to high school graduation requirements that will make it compulsory for students to have one credit each in biology, chemistry, physics and a financial literacy course.