* From the Tribune…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school board on Wednesday unanimously approved a budget that relies heavily on borrowed money and the hope of a nearly $500 million bailout from a stalemated Springfield, with the specter of disruptive cuts in January if that help fails to materialize.
The $5.7 billion spending plan contains another property tax hike — an estimated $19-a-year increase for the owner of a $250,000 home — as well as teacher and staff layoffs. The Chicago Board of Education also prepared to go to Wall Street to issue $1 billion in bonds and agreed to spend $475,000 so an accounting firm can monitor a cash flow problem so acute that Chicago Public Schools mulled skipping a massive teacher pension payment at the end of June. […]
Expenses in the operating budget are projected to be about $64 million lower compared to last year, CPS officials said. Earlier this year, the district said it was making $200 million in budget cuts that included the elimination of about 1,400 jobs.
To explain both our headline and the added emphasis, that $64 million reduction is just 1.123 percent of a $5.7 billion spending plan.
Not much of a cut, if you ask me, and certainly not enough to win any respect at the Statehouse.