Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Lightford responds - Manar responds - Purvis responds - Lawsuit rejected *** The CPS lawsuit probably won’t solve anything right away
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*** UPDATED x4 - Lightford responds - Manar responds - Purvis responds - Lawsuit rejected *** The CPS lawsuit probably won’t solve anything right away

Friday, Apr 28, 2017

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Back to the drawing board…


*** UPDATE 2 *** From Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis…

“With this distraction behind us, we can move forward on working with the General Assembly to fix our state’s school funding formula. Governor Rauner’s bipartisan commission has recommended changes that will create an equitable school funding formula to better meet the needs of each student within every school district in our state. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming decades of fiscal mismanagement on a governor who has been in office for two years, CPS should be urging lawmakers to pass a balanced budget that includes changes to our education system that will better meet the needs of every student.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Sen. Andy Manar…

“Illinois school districts are in a state of emergency, and I’ve seen little evidence that the governor understands the magnitude of their crisis,” Manar said.

“Somehow, lawsuits, social media campaigns and thunderous rallies outside the doors of his office aren’t getting the message across to him. News reports about districts nearly missing payroll, cutting programs and laying off teachers apparently aren’t setting off alarms, either, because he’s done very little to move the ball forward on school funding reform.

“Superintendents and parents are sending a clear message to Springfield: their schools can’t survive much longer under the status quo. It’s up to Gov. Rauner to bring lawmakers together to get a balanced budget and to revamp the state’s school funding formula. Only then can we begin to ensure all students benefit from fair and adequate school funding in Illinois.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Sen. Kimberly Lightford…

“The General Assembly has a responsibility to make sure the academic progress of Chicago’s children is not disrupted due to our governor’s unwillingness to help them. His rhetoric has done nothing but alienate these children, and their education is not a political pawn.”

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* The Tribune looks at the CPS lawsuit against the state. A hearing will be held today at 2:30 and the judge is expected to announce his ruling at that time

CPS is asking [Cook County Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama] to bar state government from making new payments to any Illinois school district until it can show it will pay for education and teacher pension costs in a nondiscriminatory manner. It isn’t yet clear how such a move, if approved, would lead to a rapid solution for the district’s immediate financial pressures.

State government attorneys argue such a decision would have an outsized and harmful effect on the 80 percent of Illinois schoolchildren who do not attend CPS, a retort derided by the district as confirmation of the “precise evil” enabled by discrimination.

The state’s lawyers argue CPS has no legal basis to sue under Illinois’ civil rights law and have asked the judge to dismiss the case outright. […]

The district’s lawsuit argues that the state discriminates against its largely impoverished and minority students, and violates Illinois civil rights law, by contributing more money to teacher pensions in the suburbs and Downstate than Chicago.

* Sun-Times

CPS didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Thursday. But even if CPS scores a legal knockout Friday, a financial rescue can’t possibly come in time to stave off the early closing date of June 1 that Chicago Public Schools has threatened.

For one thing, Rauner could appeal an adverse ruling. His office declined to say for sure on Thursday, or to answer other questions. A spokeswoman sent a repeat of a prepared response telling CPS to “urge legislators to pass a balanced budget that includes school funding reforms that will better meet the needs of every student.” ​

And even if he doesn’t appeal, a rewrite of the school funding formula that has eluded the state lawmakers for decades won’t be easy or quick, particularly not as the state budget stalemate drags on.

That means if Emanuel hopes to preserve the longer school year that he endured a teachers strike to achieve, he will have no choice but to roll the dice and rescue CPS.

Yep. A favorable ruling will strengthen Emanuel’s hand in future negotiations, but it probably won’t in and of itself solve the immediate problem facing CPS.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Carhartt Representative - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    The 1995 amendatory act prohibited CTU from doing anything about the longer day. It was already in place before the 2012 strike ever happened. I guess I don’t expect better from Chicago newspapers anymore.


  2. - cdog - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    If CPS has ONE employee for every 10.5 students, it seems to me that their argument unsound.

    If not, I suspect that there are many school districts that would need to sue the state to attain that level of intense administration.


  3. - City Zen - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    CPS is a unique school district as they are the only one that contains both very wealthy and very poor neighborhood schools. It’s like Winnetka and Ford Heights wrapped into one, but they want to be treated entirely as a Ford Heights.

    If the north/northwest neighborhood schools were treated more like the suburban school populations they mirror, they would almost be entirely funded by property taxes, therefore freeing up state funds for the south/west sides. The wealthy neighborhoods are sharing state funds that should be going to the very students Rahm and Claypool purport are getting short-changed.


  4. - RNUG - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Be interesting​. Personally, I think it is a Hail Mary on the pension claim since it can be proven Chicago asked for local control of the teacher’s pensions. But they are coming at it from a unique angle.l, so who knows what the judge will say.


  5. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    =CPS is a unique school district as they are the only one that contains both very wealthy and very poor neighborhood schools.=

    Aurora and U-46 are identical to your description. There are others, meaning that CPS is not quite that unique. The size and scope are the biggest difference and the lack of local funding versus state funding. Per pupil, they receive a huge amount of state funding. They are under taxing locally.


  6. - NoGifts - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Controlling pension funds are a good way to direct business to friends and contributors…but now that they’re in trouble the costs outweigh the benefits. Are they offering to put the CPS pension funds under state control?


  7. - Ron - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    The state needs to push all school district pension obligations to the local government. And allow municpal BK.


  8. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    = And allow municpal BK.=

    Lol!


  9. - Carhartt Representative - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    Municipal BK would require a whopper of a compromise.


  10. - City Zen - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    There is a difference between allowing a municipality to declare bankruptcy and said municipality actually declaring bankruptcy.

    Allowing bankruptcy would be a valuable bargaining chip for taxpayers. One that doesn’t have to be played to be effective.


  11. - Rod - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    I agree that CPS has pockets of wealth. But really many north siders do not send their children to CPS schools. That is one reason why there are so few white students in CPS, 9.7% to be exact.

    The higher income CPS schools supplement their budgets with fund raising. During the 2015-2016 school year, the Friends of Lincoln Park High School raised about $150,000 to support the school. Ogden International Elementary School privately raised $130,000 in a day to supplement its budget after cuts. Friends Payton reportedly raised a million dollars to offset cuts.

    If you look at the ISBE data on poverty levels in CPS schools, there are only a relatively small number with the majority of their students above the low income line.


  12. - Not Again - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    Meanwhile, Barbara Byrd-Bennett got 4 1/2 years in federal prison.


  13. - so..... - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Another Rahm fail


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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