Rauner: No Chicago schools help unless Emanuel pushes agenda

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner says Illinois won’t help Chicago Public Schools avert a financial “disaster” unless Mayor Rahm Emanuel starts pushing some of the Republican governor’s legislative agenda.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner

Rauner repeated that position Monday, saying it won’t change even if CPS begins laying off thousands of teachers.

CPS faces a $1 billion budget shortfall, due largely to increasing pension payments.

Emanuel wants state lawmakers to change how pensions are funded to reduce CPS’ costs and make the system more equitable for Chicago taxpayers.

Rauner said he’s “very disappointed” the Democratic mayor hasn’t backed his priorities. Those measures include letting local governments opt out of collective bargaining with public-worker unions.

Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins says it’s “unfortunate” that Chicago children “are being used as pawns in a political chess match.”