Chicago Public Schools

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'll meet with legislative leaders to negotiate a budget deal, and he's willing to include money he vetoed for Chicago Public Schools if it's part of a ''comprehensive package.''

Rauner said Friday that meetings are scheduled Saturday and Sunday with the four legislative leaders and ''I'm not taking anything off the table.''

cps.edu

In a sign the stalemate in Springfield is as strong as ever, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that once  had been held up as proof he and Democratic leaders were capable of working together.

The action leaves politicians divided, and it could leave the financially-ailing Chicago Public Schools short some $215 million.

Republicans got on board with sending CPS extra money, but Rauner said he'd only sign it into law if legislators passed another, even bigger bill by the New Year to reduce the state's pension costs.

cps.edu

A Chicago high school that would have been named after the nation's first African-American president is a casualty of the deal that prevented a teachers strike.

The deal that the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools reached late Monday includes roughly $88 million from a $175 million surplus from tax-increment financing, or TIF, funds.

The deal required several aldermen to sacrifice projects in their wards that would have been paid for with those funds.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded the debt of Chicago Public Schools on the same day district teachers threatened to strike.

The group downgraded CPS's debt from B2 to B3, and called the district's financial condition "precarious" and "acute."  Monday from B2 to B3, Moody's called CPS' financial condition "precarious" and "acute." The new rating is one level above C, which Moody's describes as "speculative (and) of poor standing, and are subject to very high credit risk."

Amanda Vinicky

The massive unfunded Illinois pension obligation has made reducing the state's costs a priority for years.

An overhaul of retirement benefits for state employees, public school teachers and university workers has been the subject of talks between state leaders in recent months.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said as much Wednesday, but he sounded uncertain as to what will come of it.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that a previous law cutting pension benefits was unconstitutional.

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