High-interest, predatory borrowing is not the answer to CPS problems
CHICAGO—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today regarding Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for a $389 million payday loan to fund Chicago Public Schools through the end of the school year:
“The self-imposed Chicago Public Schools funding crisis has gone from bad to worse with the mayor’s terribly irresponsible plan where he and the district fail to rise to the occasion of actually wanting to solve the problem. This deal is akin to a payday loan that will take years to pay off at the expense of our school communities, while bankers continue to profit off the school district—a scenario that has, in part, led us to where we are today.
“Instead of taking advantage of unused tax increment financing (TIF) funds or undoing a corporate tax break that the city can ill-afford, the mayor’s solution to CPS debt is to increase that burden through predatory loans from the same banks and investors that helped cause this problem. If the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, we have to wonder where we are headed under current city and CPS leadership.
“New, high-interest and predatory borrowing schemes are not an acceptable solution; nor is waiting on Springfield and a governor who has shown complete unwillingness to do anything for the nearly 400,000 children in our public schools. This problem lies with City Hall and CPS, and we need the mayor and his district leaders to take responsibility and find city funds for the schools our students deserve. We need a solution that protects families and communities, and not one that only protects the mayor's public relations and political needs.”