Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to the Chicago Public Schools’ teachers: “Give up some benefits” or risk “thousands and thousands” of layoffs

“Chicago Public Schools’ teachers will need to give up some benefits during upcoming pension system negotiations, or run the risk of ‘thousands and thousands of layoffs,’ Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Monday… ‘Chicago Public Schools have a problem and we need to act now,’ Cullerton said…” (Cullerton to CPS teachers: Give up benefits or risk ‘thousands’ of layoffs).

“[Even though] the financial challenges facing the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund can be attributed to nearly 20 years of short-sighted decisions involving diverted tax levies and General Assembly-approved skipped or reduced contributions by Chicago Public Schools -- not from benefits now paid to retired teachers or promised to future ones.

“That's one conclusion of a report issued… by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a nonprofit, independent research and advocacy think tank committed to ensuring that tax, spending and economic policies are fair. Founded in 2000, the organization is known for its objective analysis of budget-related issues to improve the fiscal health of the State of Illinois. Its bipartisan board of directors includes a mix of institutional money managers, academics, union representatives and business executives.  

“In its August report, ‘Analysis of Proposed FY2014 Chicago Public Schools Budget,’ CTBA noted that CPS made reduced payments or skipped payments to CTPF which resulted in chronic underfunding during the past two decades. The CTBA report concluded that had CPS not diverted the property tax revenue that - prior to 1995 - went directly to CTPF, the pension plan would have been nearly 80 percent funded in fiscal year 2011.  

“CTBA said that while the plan was 96 percent funded in 2002, years of neglect by CPS and the General Assembly had left it only about 60 percent funded in 2011.  The plan was 53.9 percent funded at the end of its 2012 fiscal year…” (CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire).


  1. Does that mean less money for charter schools as well? We need to shed light on this as much as possible. Do we have an actual accounting of the millions spent on charter schools run with and by friends in high places.

  2. The basic problem is cutting taxes for corporations that donate to the campaigns of the legislators who approve the corporate tax cuts. This tax cutting is then compounded by paying for profit charters and high stakes testing corporations from education funds. The final step is when legislators choose to pay for certain things while refusing to pay what is owed to public employees and public schools.
    Legislators are actively damaging public schools and public services in order to sell them off to for-profit entities who pay employees a subsistence wage and no benefits. The public services provided via the juicy government contracts will be of whatever quality or quantity provided by the contract holder - the contract holder who is accountable to no one. The parking meters and toll roads are perfect examples on a smaller scale of what is happening. Our own legislators, elected in their gerrymandered districts, are dismantling the public services at the heart of society.
    Firing teachers and stealing funds intended for teachers and other public employees are parts of the process of dismantling.
    We used to call this anti-American corruption.