* WBEZ’s Sarah Karp and Becky Vevea take a look today at how CPS could avoid closing classrooms early this June.
The district is suing the state for more money, but lawsuits are always iffy propositions. It probably can’t borrow the money because it’s pretty much locked out of the markets and borrowing would simply push the problem onto next year. It can’t really delay the coming pension payment, either.
* So, what about TIF money?…
Here’s the rub: TIF surpluses are not available at this point in the fiscal year, mainly because the city can’t surplus money it doesn’t yet have. The next infusion of property tax revenue will be in August, said Tatia Gibbons of the Cook County Clerk’s office.
And August is too late to make that $215 million pension payment by June 30th.
It could cancel construction projects that use TIF money. But it’s unclear how much that would free up by reading the article.
* It could also cut its budget and/or move money around…
Its current deficit amounts to just about 2 percent of its $5.4 billion operating budget. It also has a $1.5 billion line of credit.
CPS says its line of credit is being fully used, though the district still may be able to borrow more money in the short term or shift funds around and hold tight until its next infusion of property tax money in August. […]
The district refuses to say how much money it has on hand, what bills for this year are outstanding and whether it has any wiggle room when it comes to using its line of credit to manage cash flow.
CPS officials said cash flow information is not revealed for “market reasons,” offering only that CPS’ cash flow situation is precarious.
They need to open the books. Stat.