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PENSION UPDATE: CTPF still demanding full payment of CPS pension money.... Board of Education approves additional hundreds of millions in charterization and privatization at its June 24 meeting, while claiming the pension is what's bankrupting Chicago schools...

Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale was still power at the Board's June 24, 2015 meeting, despite the overwhelming evidence that a part of the Chicago Public Schools's so-called "financial crisis" is due to Vitale's version of business management of public education. Vitale was the person who pushed through the Board's purchase of variable rate bonds during his years as "Chief Administrative Officer" of CPS under Arne Duncan, and then blocked demands by the Chicago Teachers Union and others that the Board try to get arbitration to reduce its exposure to the huge penalties that have now arisen because of the Board's junk-bond ratings from two of the three bond rating agencies. Above, Vitale pushed the Board's privatization agenda during the June 24, 2015 Board meeting, defending further charter school expansion, despite the "crisis" his management had brought about. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.After the Illinois General Assembly failed to pass a bill proposed by Chicago Rep. Barbara Flynn Curry, the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) reiterated its demand that the Chicago Board of Education pay in full the money it owes the pension fund as of June 30. The pension fund also repeated the historical fact that the reason things have become so desperate is because the politicians allowed city officials to stiff the fund for years. The most recent denial of adequate funding came in April 2010, when then Governor Pat Quinn agreed with then-CPS CEO Ron Huberman that the Board should get a three-year "holiday" on its pension obligation.

The "holiday" cost the fund a minimum of $1.2 billion (the amount that the Board would have had to pay the fund). Quinn pushed through the "holiday" fot CPS without ever bothering to check Huberman's claims that Chicago schools wouldn't be able to open on time in September 2010 unless the schools could deny the CTPF the $450 million annual payment for those three years.

The latest CTPF statement follows here:

CPS Payment Update

SB 437 House Amendment Number 1, a measure which would have allowed the Chicago Board of Education to extend the due date of a $634 million pension payment from June 30 to August 10, 2015, failed in the Illinois House on a vote of 53-47 yesterday afternoon. The measure needed a three-fifths majority, (71 votes), to pass. Representative Lou Lang (D-Chicago) has filed a motion to reconsider the bill, and Speaker Madigan has indicated that it will be called again during this session. The legislation introduced on June 23, 2015, by Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) passed out of the House Executive Committee that morning on a vote of of 8-2. "For the Fund, this vote does not change the reality that we must meet our monthly obligation to pay the benefits that have been earned by our members," said CTPF Executive Director Charles A. Burbridge. "We hope that the Board of Education lives up to its obligations as well. Full payment is required by state statute, and is part of the promise that CPS makes to our members. Everyone needs to come together for the sake of our schools, not just in Chicago but across Illinois. Education funding is critical to all."

Pension Checks Not Impacted

Monthly benefit checks and direct deposits will continue as scheduled. Legislation which could delay a pension payment to CTPF will not change regularly scheduled payments for CTPF members. CTPF currently has more than $10 billion in assets and will continue to make regularly scheduled pension payments.

Additional Updates CTPF will continue to update members on the status of the CPS payment and other news on our website: www.ctpf.org.



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