The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chicago Public Schools:
Banks First, Kids Last

May 11, 2015

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner both say the Chicago Public Schools have a big budget crisis. They both agree that this crisis is caused by the unreasonably high pay of Chicago teachers and their underfunded pensions. And they both lie.

The Chicago Public Schools has a budget crisis because the politicians have set up a system that drains the schools of money, to give that money to the big corporations, starting with the banks.

In its budget for 2015, the Chicago Board of Education says it will pay 604 million dollars to the banks for “debt service.” That is more than 10 percent of the total budget. On top of this, the banks stand to suck another potential 228 million in “penalty” payments out of the schools through “swap” loan scams.

Even without the “penalty,” the Chicago Public Schools will give almost as much to the banks as the 688 million that the system owes to the teacher’s pension fund this year. But the system owes that big amount to the pension system because it has underpaid into the pensions for decades.

Chicago Public Schools has NEVER underpaid the banks. No, in this capitalist system the banks’ money is sacred.