Chicago Public Schools

Illinois Policy Institute

Members of the Illinois House of Representatives twice expressed unanimous opposition Wednesday to expressions of racial animus.

In an official 105-0 vote, the House adopted a resolution -- sponsored by Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, and Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills -- which vilifies white supremacists. The proclamation specifically “repudiates and condemns'' neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and others that “espouse hate.''

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner expressed his reservations about two recent state bills.  One would raise the state's minimum wage; the other would allow Chicago residents to elect their own school board.

Both houses of the General Assembly approved a plan to step up the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years from the current level of $8.25.  Rauner said he was willing to support an increase to $11 per hour but attacked Democrats for seeking more without GOP support.

CPS

The Illinois Senate will consider a measure that would let Chicagoans elect their school board rather than have members appointed by the mayor.

House Bill 1774 would set the first school board elections in 2023. That means whoever’s elected mayor in 2019 still would be able to make appointments through that term.

 

cps.edu

Chicago Public Schools wants to borrow up to $500 million for the new fiscal year, in addition to nearly $400 million in short-term loans to finish out this year and make a pension payment.

  

The Board of Education meets Wednesday to consider the plans.

A spokeswoman for the nation's third-largest district says the half-billion dollars of bond debt would be used in the upcoming budget year starting July 1.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for the short-term loans last week. He blames lawmakers for putting CPS at a financial disadvantage.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's chief education adviser says the governor won't support an overhaul of the Illinois school-funding formula if it benefits Chicago Public Schools "at the expense" of others.

The Illinois Senate approved legislation Wednesday aimed at eliminating the disparity in spending between affluent school districts and those serving poorer communities. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House.

Both Democratic proposals would establish a funding target for each school district that reflects the needs of its students.

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