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Emanuel: Rauner's CPS Takeover Talk Cost Schools More On Bond Deal

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday said Gov. Bruce Rauner should be ashamed of himself if he was trying to thwart the Chicago Public Schools' $725 million borrowing plan this week by repeatedly pushing for a state takeover of the school system, and suggesting the district be allowed to file for bankruptcy.

The massive bond sale will cost the district a whopping 8.5 percent interest rate – nearly double what the state paid when it sold bonds earlier this month.

CPS initially planned an $875 million bond deal at a lower interest rate, before it had to be delayed amid Rauner's talk of taking over the district and possible bankruptcy.

The mayor didn't accuse the governor of specifically trying to affect deal, but he pointed out Rauner is familiar with high finance, and said the governor's words didn't help the high-interest transaction.

"I think if you go back and look at Bloomberg and other comments when the governor made it, it affected certain things, and I don't think it was helpful," he said. "If it was intentional, it's shameful."


Emanuel said city and CPS officials have done the tough work of trying to stabilize the public schools system in Chicago. He said no one is asking the state for a bailout – even though the current CPS budget relies on $480 million in pension aid from the state – they just want the governor and state lawmakers to be partners in solving the district's financial woes.

The mayor repeatedly has ridiculed Rauner's talk of taking over CPS, which he doesn't have the authority to do, and which leading Democratic lawmakers have said they won't give him.

"When you look around the state, would you actually look to financial leadership for a state under his leadership that is now up to $7 billion in unpaid bills and growing? That's not exactly who you would turn to for financial stewardship and leadership," he said Friday.

The governor has denied he was trying to sink the borrowing deal to force the district into bankruptcy.

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