Chicago Public Schools

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.

Chicago Public Schools are laying off about 1,000 employees, including nearly 500 teachers. But officials expect most to be hired for other open positions.

Officials with the nation's third-largest school district said Friday that those affected will be eligible to apply for other jobs in the district, which has about 1,000 teaching vacancies.

The teacher layoffs include 302 at high schools and 192 at elementary schools.

The others include 352 high school support personnel and 140 personnel at elementary schools.

  With the current budget standoff, Illinois has no immediate plans to fund schools.


Governor Bruce Rauner has ridiculed Democratic plans for giving too much to Chicago Public Schools.