Forrest ClaypoolCEO, Chicago Public Schools

I was disappointed to see yesterday that Governor Rauner said the City of Chicago can’t fund its schools properly.

Let’s get the facts straight.

The City of Chicago doesn’t fund Chicago public schools. The State of Illinois does.

CPS is dependent (as are all other Illinois school districts) on the state for the bulk of its funding, and the state cut education dollars to Chicago schools by $272 million in the last five years.

At the same time, the state legislature is requiring CPS to pay pension costs that increase by millions each year – this year totaling almost $700M – even though the state pays for teacher pensions in every other district in the state!

Our only other funding source is the property tax but state law puts a cap on it. This year, we were able to levy $19 million under the cap on existing property.

That’s why, despite record academic gains in the past four years, CPS has a $1.1 billion deficit and a $480 budget hole that has to be filled by Feb. 1 with potentially devastating classroom cuts.

Governor Rauner, you didn’t cause this crisis. But you can help solve it.

Chicago deserves to be treated like every other school district when it comes to teacher pensions.

We’re counting on you to protect our classrooms.