Friday, June 26, 2015

Where did the money go?

As mayor, Richard M. Daley spent hundreds of millions of dollars on unnecessary pet projects—and now successor Rahm Emanuel seems to have the same bad habit.

With the usual poisonous comments about CPS teachers (pigs, whiners, swine) being posted in response to the CTU's announcement that contract negotiations have stalled, we turn our attention to one of the essential questions:  Where did the money go?

Background info:
  • The teachers' pension fund was close to 100% funded in 2000
  • Between 1995-2005, CPS collected more than $ 2 billion in tax revenue from CPS teachers, counselors and paraprofessionals (and paid none of that revenue into the pension fund)
  • At the request of the School Board, CPS has been twice granted "pension holidays," periods of time during which CPS does not have to put any money into the pension fund
    • Pension Holiday #1: 1995-2005
    • Pension Holiday #2: 2011-2013
  • Currently, Illinois has the worst unfunded pension liability in the U.S., at $85 billion
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts were established under Mayor Washington in 1986
On 6/30, a $634 million pension payment is due from the city to the pension fund. The city's cry: BROKE!  Which brings us back to the question:

Where did the money go?
Where else did the money go?

Cronies, kick-back artists, charter profiteers, Aramark big wigs, vendors, University of Chicago thought partners, number-crunchers, CPS Talent Office staff, CPS Network chiefs, and David Vitale and Deb Quazzo's banker buddies

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