Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools has sold $725 million in tax-exempt bonds it says will help get the district through the rest of the school year.

Because the district has received a low credit rating, it must pay an 8.5 percent interest rate on most of the bonds sold yesterday.

Officials say the sale raised less than the $875 million the district wanted.

The district is rated three levels below junk status by all three major rating agencies.

Recent financial documents have revealed the district had barely enough cash to make it through the year.


Chicago school officials say they're ready to cut $100 million from school budgets and force teachers to pay more pension costs after the teachers' union rejected the latest offer in contentious contract negotiations that have lasted over a year.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said yesterday the union's rejection was “disheartening'' and cost-cutting efforts were necessary without a deal.

He says bargaining continues.

The district faces a $1 billion shortfall and recently laid off hundreds of central office employees.

The Chicago Teachers Union says it'll consider a “serious offer'' from the nation's third-largest school district by taking the contract proposal to a team of negotiators.

The news announced Thursday evening could signal a step forward in negotiations that have gone on more than a year.

CTU President Karen Lewis says a 40-member committee will convene Monday and deliberate.

Neither side released details of the office.

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Chicago Public Schools officials have decided to delay $875 million in planned borrowing as investors consider whether to bet on the cash-strapped district's bonds.

Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown on Wednesday said the district was asked by several investors to wait a few days and give them more time to decide whether buying the bonds is feasible.

CPS is rated three levels below junk status by all three major rating agencies.

And in recent weeks, CPS financial documents have revealed that the district has barely enough cash to make it through the year.

The head of the Chicago Public Schools is demanding his predecessor reimburse the financially troubled school district about $10 million.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty in October to her role in a scheme to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports schools CEO Forrest Claypool wants to use a state law allowing government agencies to go after corrupt individuals or contractors for triple the amount paid them.

The head of the Chicago Public Schools says the district will lay off some of its central office staff today.

District CEO Forrest Claypool's statement came a day after top Illinois Republicans called for a state takeover of the financially troubled school district.

The district has a nearly $1 billion budget deficit that could lead to thousands of teacher layoffs and a strike.

Claypool did not say how many people, including administrative staff, would be laid off, but teachers are not expected to be among them.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says Illinois won't help Chicago Public Schools avert a financial "disaster'' unless Mayor Rahm Emanuel starts pushing some of the Republican governor's legislative agenda.


Rauner repeated that position Monday, saying it won't change even if CPS begins laying off thousands of teachers.

CPS faces a $1 billion budget shortfall, due largely to increasing pension payments.

Emanuel wants state lawmakers to change how pensions are funded to reduce CPS' costs and make the system more equitable for Chicago taxpayers.

Tristian Ellis’ test scores in reading and math dropped dramatically this fall from last. The difference: the Ellis family had its own apartment last year. Now, the family of four stays in a shelter on Chicago’s far north side.

For the 8-year-old student, who attends LEARN Excel Charter on the city’s northwest side, distractions abound. His mother, Latoya Ellis, lost her job in August and moved into the shelter a month later. She describes being homeless as “a very devastating experience,’’ which is particularly hard on Tristian, her youngest child.

There's still a half a billion dollar hole in the Chicago public schools budget. It could mean thousands of layoffs in the middle of the school year.

A top Chicago Democrat says there is a solution, but some of the people standing in the way are the very people he wants to help.

Chicago Public Schools has had round after round of layoffs in the past couple years. Thousands of employees are gone and district officials say we're in the midst of even more financial pressure.


Chicago Public Schools’ financial future is in question after making a massive into its pension system.

The financially struggling school system paid a $634 million lump sum into its retirement fund. The district was hoping for a reprieve, but the House of Representatives -- led by Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan -- rejected CPS’s request.

The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools says about 1,400 jobs will be affected after the district had to borrow money to make a $634 million pension payment.