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Fact checking the “Chicago bailout” claims

Friday, Jul 28, 2017

* 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.

* Also…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - unbelievable - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    They are all claiming other districts are short and complain about CPS. Parents from CPS should be complaining, because they are supplying schools with dry erase markers, paper towels, hand soap, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, tissue, copy paper, even some 2 rolls of toilet tissue per child. Someone needs to step up instead of complaining and fix the day old pension issues. Everyone knows it will not be an over nighter but it needs some repair.

  2. - Rod - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    Greg Hinz is correct about the money involved in pushing CPS into tier 1 status. Hinz also knows CPS needs the money, he also knows it will not be the end of the money CPS will need due to likely continuing declines in state funding based on per pupil payments.

  3. - Never Politically Correct - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    As a suburban school board member I don’t want to see any child not have access to a good free and appropriate education. That’s why we need to get SB1 done,but… I am adamently opposed to doing this and letting the administration of CPS off the hook, and this means the mayor. The leaders of CPS are the primary reason this district is in the mess it finds itself and if we don’t fix that the underlying problems will continue. CPS needs to be broken up into at least 4 districts and returned to elected, non-partisan school boards. Without that we’re just on the same old merry go round.

  4. - C Ball - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    “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.”

    Not sure quite how CPS comes up with that number for FY18. ISBE doesn’t have an FY18 model up, only F17. In FY17 nixing the $506m from the Local Capacity Target seems to make a $40m difference, but there might be other adjustments. Still, its is far cry from $506m.

  5. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:17 pm:


  6. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    I must have stumbled onto some sort of html trap.

    $25 million is less than $506 million.

    A lot less.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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