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Emanuel's Borrow Plan To Bail Out CPS Met With Mixed Reactions

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago aldermen are displaying mixed emotions about the borrowing plan to bail out the Public Schools and prevent them from closing early next month.

City Council Education Committee Chair Howard Brookins Jr. admits he's not comfortable with using $389 million in short-term borrowing to keep the schools open and teacher pensions solvent.

"It worries me, but there's no option at this point. There's no other reasonable option," he said.


Emanuel's borrowing plan would allow the district to make a required contribution of more than $700 million to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, due on June 30, while also keeping schools open through the end of the school year on June 20.

Ald. Anthony Beale attempted to shrug off feelings about this last minute rescue plan saying, "Sometimes you do have to look further down the road."

"But we would not be talking about this if the state does their obligation and does the funding like it's supposed to be done. We wouldn't have this problem," Beale added.

CPS has a $129 million budget shortfall, and the state is late in making $467 million in grant payments to the district due to the state's two-year budget impasse.

But Ald. Ricardo Munoz, a member of the council's progressive caucus, does not like Mayor Emanuel's solution.

"It's a proposal for a pay-day loan with bad fees and bad interest rates."

As for a long-term plan for addressing the financial crisis at CPS, the mayor has been holding out hope state lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner will come up with a plan to send CPS more money.

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