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The [Wednesday] Papers

"The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools said Tuesday 1,400 jobs will be 'impacted' after Illinois lawmakers failed to provide relief and the financially struggling district had to borrow money to make a $634 million contribution to its teacher pension funds," AP reports.

"Jesse Ruiz said in a statement that CPS must make $200 million in cuts, and he blamed Illinois lawmakers for 'driving the district further into debt.' Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking at a news conference earlier in the day, described the nation's third-largest district as being at 'a breaking point.'

"As we have said, CPS could not make the payment and keep cuts away from the classroom, so while school will start on time, our classrooms will be impacted," Ruiz said.

"Ruiz said only that the jobs would be 'impacted' beginning Wednesday, without further elaborating on how. A spokeswoman for CPS - which has about 40,000 employees - didn't respond to questions. A city official says Emanuel and Ruiz will lay out a plan Wednesday."

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Upon hearing the news of the last-second, full payment the Emanuel administration had said was not possible to make without legislative action, the Chicago Teachers Union released this statement:

"We are blindsided by reports that the district intends to lay off 1,400 public school educators, given that we just met with them yesterday and there was no mention of this action. These layoffs prove that the Board never intended to make the pension payment in good faith and that they are using this to justify more attacks on our classrooms," said Karen Lewis, president of the CTU. "Putting 1,400 people out of work is no way to balance a budget and resource our schools. This is going to hurt our students and the most vulnerable children in our district. These cuts are a result of a history of poor fiscal management by the Board of Education. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked board has led this district over a financial cliff.

"We are outraged at this deceptive action that only furthers the distrust teachers, parents and students have of the Board. We thought it suspect at the time that the Board was pressuring us to sign off on an agreement yesterday, before we had a complete agreement. This is retaliatory and unnecessary because the mayor refuses to seek revenue options to stabilize CPS."

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I don't know what to think of this - besides thinking that Rahm is exploiting a crisis to stick it to teachers and their union - without seeing more reporting, so I'll hold off on any analysis. I would like to know, though, why Rahm rejected the governor's offer of an advance to provide relief (unacceptable strings?) and what happened to legislative action that would have delayed the payment's due date.

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Also: Would the pension fund have been willing to compromise with, say, a payment plan? I know that's the sort of thing that got us into this mess, but maybe it could have also helped get us out of it - at least for now.

One thing seems clear: None of this was really coordinated with the fund or the union. It just came like a bolt from City Hall. That's so Rahm.

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Hidden drawer callback.

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They're Next To The Film Strips
Meanwhile, our noted anti-Semitic homophobic state education board chairman is an idiot.

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Fantasy Fix: Closing Arguments
A three-fer.

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BeachBook
* Legal Fireworks Are Rare - Unless Your Alderman Approves.

* DOJ: Ferguson Cops Escalated Protests, Violated Right To Free Speech.

* Illinois Teacher Fired For Stepping On U.S. Flag.

* The National Commission On The War On Terror Is Hereby Called To Order.

* Video: Endangered Wolf Pup Debuts At Illinois Zoo.

* It Took 10 Years To Build Logan Square's Masada.

* Redfin School Data Flunks The Accuracy Test.

Then again, relying on Redfin for school data would be like the U.S. Supreme Court relying on drugs.com for expertise.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: In a flash.



Permalink

Posted on July 1, 2015


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Complicit With Segregation.
SPORTS - USA Gymnastics Bans Illinois Coach.

BOOKS - The Randomness Of Harvard Admissions.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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