CHICAGO (WLS) --ABC7 has learned state Republicans will introduce legislation to take control of the Chicago Public Schools system away from the city. The move comes as the system's finances are on the verge of collapse.
Republican leaders plan to unveil their take-over legislation on Wednesday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been asking for a financial lifeline from Springfield and this may be the only one the governor is willing to throw.
"We are going to take action to protect the school children," Gov. Bruce Rauner said.
The governor hinted at his plan Tuesday, but now, we know a bit more. A source says Republican leaders will introduce legislation that would allow the Chicago Public Schools system to declare bankruptcy and pave the way for a state takeover of the cash-strapped school system now controlled by the mayor.
"I'm very concerned about the trajectory we're going with CPS and right now the mayor's only message to state government is, 'Hey, we failed to financially support our school children so send us half a billion dollars.' That's not a reasonable position for the mayor to take," Rauner said.
"We're not asking for anything more than the rest of the state already gets," Emanuel said.
On Tuesday night, Emanuel's spokesperson told Eyewitness News: "The mayor is 100 percent opposed to Gov. Rauner's "plan" to drive CPS bankrupt. If the governor was serious about helping Chicago students, he should start by proposing -- and passing -- a budget that fully funds education..."
This proposed takeover of CPS by the state comes at a time when Illinois isn't paying many of its bills and we've been without a budget for six months. Expect that to be just some of the pushback when Republican lawmakers announce their plan Wednesday.