Downgraded!?

The big education story of the day is that Chicago's bond rating has been downgraded and the city is taking a lot of heat for the rainy day reserve raid. There's also pension news and commentary, some overnight violence, and a new private school coming together.  Still no word from CPS about the Lincoln Elementary program to verify addresses, though some commenters (below) believe the school is being overly stringent about its ID requirements. BUDGET

CPS' bond rating is lowered, raising costs for troubled school district Tribune: Moody's Investors Serviceon Tuesday downgraded Chicago Public Schools'bond rating after the cash-strapped district proposed a budget that would deplete its financial reserves.

Moodys' downgrades Chicago Schools to A1 Reuters: On Friday the Chicago Public Schools unveiled a $5.16 billion fiscal 2013 budget that cut spending and levied property taxes to a maximum rate to tackle a $665 million deficit.

Emanuel Defends CPS' Choice To Use Up Rainy Day Fund CBS2 Chicago: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending the Chicago Public Schools for balancing the system's budget through what some say is the risky step of draining the school system's “rainy day fund.”

Rahm's schools team blunders badly in new budget Crain's Chicago Business: That's what's so disappointing about the new budget Mr. Emanuel's team at Chicago Public Schools has put together for the school year that begins next month.

CEO Brizard to Mayor Rahm: Look what I found! Reader: Good news: Mayor Emanuel's staff at the public schools found $144 million in cuts and savings, which means they managed to balance the budget!

Moody's downgrades Chicago schools' debt, warns of second hit Crain's Chicago Business: Citing a "drastic" drawdown of reserves, Moody's Investors Service Corp. late today downgraded Chicago Public Schools' debt by one notch, and warned a second hit is in the offing.

PENSIONS

Unraveling the history behind the mystery of Illinois' two teacher pension systems Zorn: To catch you up, here's a simplified explanation of the current sticking point on state pension reform: Chicagoans pay twice for teacher pensions: once for local educators, and once for suburban and downstate educators.

Forum: A tarnished Fourth SouthtownStar: Chicago Public Schools should operate as do our private and parochial schools, which have a higher success rate at a lesser cost. The CPS deficit will only be reduced when drastic measures are taken to restructure the educational system and eliminate ...

SCHOOLS AND PROGRAMS

More details on New Eastside private school Chicago Journal (blog): A group hoping to build a new private school in New Eastside is getting ready to to make its case to the community at a meeting, and new details on the project have emerged.

'Year Up Chicago' Gives Disadvantaged Youth a Chance to Work HuffPost: They provide cash stipends for the lucky entrants (80 were accepted for their upcoming class out of 1,200 who applied) who take five months of classes...Then they embark on a six-month internship with a major corporation, such as Accenture, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citadel, among other partners.

Suburban superintendent lashes out at Chicago The Capitol Fax Blog (blog): The Chicago Public Schools educate 16 percent of the children in Illinois, with the suburban and downstate districts educating the rest. The state's funding formula for Chicago Public Schools — money for special education, bus transportation, free and ...

VIOLENCE

Economic and social breakdown reason for shootings Sun Times Mark Brown: What we’re seeing is the result of an economic and social breakdown in poor neighborhoods, not inadequate policing. Still, you want to make sure the police are doing everything possible.

Girls, 12 and 13, wounded in Far South Side shooting Sun Times:  Two girls were wounded in a drive-by shooting Tuesday night in the Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side.

PEOPLE

Where is Byrd-Bennett? Mike Klonsky: It's July 9th and we haven't seen hide nor hair of her and the CPS website still refers to BBB as "chief education advisor." What gives, Mr. Mayor? What's up with that, CEO Brizard? Doesn't the system need a top educator? Why isn't anyone asking, Chicago media? Did you think this story would just go away?

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Get Creative With Strategic Sourcing (Part 1) Spend Matters: Last week, the Chicago Tribune published an insightful piece of reporting highlighting how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have identified almost $50 million in savings from procurement and total cost management strategies led by a new CPO.

Ariel Investments' Mellody Hobson is new chairman of After School Matters Chicago Tribune: Daley children join boards of their late mother's charity; Mellody Hobson to fill Maggie Daley's leadership role.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup

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  • The bond rating stories just prove that the consequences of the long held belief in Illinois (and involving most units of government from the state on down) that bond proceeds are revenue are coming home to roost. Someone asked me if municipals were a good investment for return, and as the linked article indicates, while the interest rate has to go up to attract buyers for lower rated bonds, the question is whether the state, city, CPS, CTA, et al. can actually pay their debts. Apparently to the dismay of those like the Chicago Muckrakers, only at the expense of other obligations of government.

  • Here's some positive CPS news for a change. A Hancock HS student's graduation speech is highlighted in Ed Week's Words of Wisdom: 10 Inspirational Graduation Speeches. Look for the speech by Fatima Salgado, an outstanding student and future doctor from the Southwest Side: http://tinyurl.com/d825y4x

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