$5.8 billion budget approved by Chicago's school board

Thursday, July 24, 2014

While officials acknowledged the potential pitfalls of using a one-time accounting maneuver to cover a gaping deficit, Chicago’s Board of Education Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.8 billion operating budget and another $1 billion in spending on capital projects and debt payments.

The budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year has been roundly criticized for making cuts to neighborhood schools and increased spending for privately run charters, as well as for the tactic of adding two months to the fiscal year to to help cover an $862 million shortfall.

Calling the budget a “stop-gap budget,” board member Henry Bienen said the accounting maneuver could hurt the district’s bond rating and lead to higher interest rates for future CPS-issued bonds.

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