CHICAGO -- The Chicago School Board voted unanimously today to borrow more money through the issuance of bonds to keep system afloat. The Chicago Teachers Union picketed outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters before today's board meeting.
CPS is struggling to make pension payments, while being saddled with billions of dollars in debt. CPS announced a thousand layoffs and $200 million in cuts earlier this month.
Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz says CPS simply has no choice but to get more money through bonds for capital budget items for construction projects that are currently under way. He says CPS has to borrow to complete the projects.
CPS already has junk bond status and CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey says it does not make financial sense to borrow even more money in such a way.
"It's deeply troubling that the board is going to borrow $1.2 billion. They're voting on that today," Sharkey said. "It's akin to not being able to make your grocery bills and utility bills, so you put them on your mortgage. The problem, of course, is that you'll pay your grocery bills but you could lose your home."
CPS is pointing the finger at what is happening with the budget battle in Springfield. CPS says over the last 5-7 years, it has received less and less money from Springfield, so it has no choice but to try and borrow more money through bonds.