At a hearing, part of a lawsuit five families brought against the state on behalf of CPS in mid-February, attorneys clashed over the state's funding and argued over whether IL government can be sued for discriminating against students.
"Instead of pointing fingers and blaming decades of fiscal mismanagement on a governor who has been in office for two years, CPS should be urging legislators to pass a balanced budget that includes changes to our education system in Illinois that will better meet the needs of every child", said Beth Purvis, Illinois Secretary of Education, in a statement after the hearing. "That's a $500 million annual gap", CPS CEO Forrest Claypool told reporters after Wednesday's court hearing.
The ruling comes as CPS says it could end classes early this year because of a funding shortfall.
Chicago families will have to wait a little longer to find out when the school year will end for Chicago Public Schools.
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They also said imposing a requirement that Chicago's school system receive a bigger slice of the funding pie with regard to teacher pensions would impose financial harm on districts outside the city that are not involved in the lawsuit.
"As a parent, I will volunteer to keep my school open with other parents to keep kids safe", she said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel bristled when asked whether he would do anything to keep the school year from ending early.
The state's lawyers have argued CPS has no legal standing under the Illinois Civil Rights Act to sue the state for discrimination. "CPS would not be facing these frightful choices if Gov. Rauner took action to ensure our students received the same State funding that predominantly white school districts in the rest of the state receive".
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Franklin said he would rule on April 28 on the question of whether CPS can move forward with its lawsuit.
CPS has "made due" with state funding in the past, the state's lawyers said, but only after the governor's veto did the lawsuit arise.
Claypool has said the district has 20 percent of the state's public school students, but gets only 15 percent of state education funding. Claypool said this disparity discriminates against CPS, where 90 percent of students are of color, while the rest of the state districts are predominately white. She said CPS funding has increased, despite declining enrollment and rising property values.
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