* April 21, 2015…
The Chicago Board of Education can’t catch a break as it tries to borrow to pay for upgrades to the third-largest U.S. school system.
First, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings cut it to one step above junk last month, delaying a planned $372 million bond sale. Then last week, before a pared-down $296 million version of the deal, set for today, Gov. Bruce Rauner said the system may need bankruptcy protection, an option that’s not legally open to it. […]
Given the system’s more than $9 billion in unfunded pension obligations and growing deficit, Rauner, a first-term Republican, raised the specter of bankruptcy April 14 at an education forum in Chicago. The governor, who supports giving Illinois localities authority to file for Chapter 9 reorganization, repeated his claim that union contracts are putting local governments in financial peril.
* And from a few days ago…
The Chicago Board of Education will sell $875 million of bonds on Jan. 27, according to Bloomberg data from J.P. Morgan, an underwriter on the deal. The deal is made up of $796 million of tax-exempt securities and $79 million of taxable debt, according to bond documents. The proceeds will cover capital projects, convert variable rate debt to fixed, fund swap termination payments and pay debt-service bills, bond documents show.
So, the governor played up the bankruptcy angle the last time CPS went to the financial markets and he’s doing it again just days before CPS sells more bonds.