Alderman irked after 2nd CPS funding meeting canceled

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A meeting between Chicago alderman and City Hall to outline how the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools plans to stay open through the end of the year was canceled on Tuesday.

This was the second meeting on the topic to be canceled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. And alderman, parents and community leaders have many questions about the mayor's plan.

"Right now, there is a sense of urgency but no one is acting like it is," said Chicago Ald. David Moore (17th Ward).

On Tuesday, several aldermen stood with CPS parents and community groups after the meeting was canceled.

The coalition has a plan of its own. Two ordinances have already been introduced and are in City Council committees -- one to direct tax-increment financing (TIF) fund surpluses to CPS and another is a corporate head tax to fund the financially troubled school district.

"We need revenue and the mayor, up through today, has failed to provide us with details of his plan," said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward).

Carole Brown, Chicago's chief financial officer, said the meeting will be rescheduled for the next week as CPS and the city consider options to keep the school operating through the end of this year.

"When we come to this situation where we're having to identify funds to take on the state's responsibility, every option is on the table," Brown said.

"It is unfortunate, but what do you do?" said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward). "We're put between the proverbial rock and hard place. Whatever we do, we are going to be criticized for it. What we need to do is what's best for the children right now."

Strategies to fund CPS through the end the school year do not address the ongoing funding issues for the state's largest school system.

On Tuesday, Forrest Claypool, CPS CEO issued a statement, which read, in part: "We are working on a responsible solution, but all the finger pointing should be directed at the source of the problem--a governor who fully funds white schools while cutting funding for black and brown children in the middle of the school year."

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CPS will remain open until end of school year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference.

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