* From House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s post on how SB 1 is a “Chicago bailout”…
As written, SB 1 is a bailout for the decades of financial mismanagement at CPS. The bill directs millions of dollars to CPS and away from other deserving districts. Under SB 1, as compared to the Governor’s plan, the other 851 school districts in Illinois will receive less of the FY18 budget money while CPS receives credit for a $506 million historical pension payment. The CPS hold harmless includes both the $250 million block grant credit and $221 million for normal pension costs and retiree health care credit.
* Greg Hinz…
Part of that is misleading. For instance, in saying “will receive less,” Durkin implies some districts will get less aid than they get now, which is not true. One of the main points of the Democratic plan is a “hold harmless” for every district, spending truly new money on additional state aid without taking away any current money.
But Durkin is right about the $506 million—to a point.
Though Democrats in their comments have almost completely focused on the $221 million for CPS pensions, that only covers current, or “normal costs.” It doesn’t include another $506 million that city taxpayers are having to pony up this year to pay for old, unfunded, “legacy” pension costs. That’s money that doesn’t go to the classroom, and it reduces CPS’ available cash for classroom expenses.
Under the pending bill, as per Durkin’s note, some of that burden would begin to be shifted to the state. According to CPS, it would get up to $25 million or so in additional funds in fiscal 2018 because of that clause, a figure that chief bill sponsor Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, confirms.
Now, $25 million is real money. But it’s not the $506 million that by Durkin’s version CPS “would get credit for.”
That $25 million figure will rise with time. But CPS won’t get the full $506 million until and unless the new formula is fully funded statewide, something that would take $3.5 billion to $6 billion a year. That kind of money won’t be available in the strapped state budget for a decade, and possibly much longer.
More fact checking at the link.