Emanuel Mum on Whether School System Will Pay Upcoming Pension Payment


The Chicago Public School system has a big bill coming due at the end of the month: that’s when CPS owes a $634 million contribution to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

But will CPS be able to make the payment? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has remained quiet on this point.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Asked if the school district can come up with the money, the mayor did not directly answer, instead turning to his recent refrain that he hopes to work closely with the state to address CPS’ financial woes.

The district’s ability to make its looming teacher pension payment has become an issue in Springfield, with Republicans viewing it as a leverage point on Democrats who control the General Assembly.


CPS owes $634 million to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund by month’s end. It’s unclear what would happen if the cash-strapped school district did not make that deadline, however, because state law does not specify.

“If they don’t follow the letter of the law, we have the option to sue,” said Charles Burbridge, executive director of the teachers’ pension fund, who noted the district had included the payment in its annual budget. “We are expecting to get that payment. We have not had any sign from anyone that that payment is not coming.”

Meanwhile, the city is waiting for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to approve a bill that would slash Chicago’s payment to its public safety pensions by $220 million.


Photo by Pete Souza via Flickr CC License

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