Standard & Poor’s sent Chicago Public Schools’ credit rating deeper into junk territory in the wake of the new $9.5 billion teachers’ contract. The ratings firm said the new contract will make the district’s financial crisis worse.
Major ratings agencies have assigned a negative outlook to Illinois. To move forward, the state can’t pass just any budget – especially one that’s $7 billion out-of-whack – to get beyond its crisis. With today’s fiscal stress, a bad budget is worse than no budget. A budget without reforms will only allow Illinois’ debt to continue to spiral, putting investors – and more importantly, Illinois residents – at risk.
The district’s borrowing does take pressure off of the district’s immediate cash-flow problem. However, it does nothing to solve the CPS’ long-term financial crisis and its structural imbalances – in fact it only makes things worse.
Illinois paid $53 million more to borrow money through its Jan. 14 bond sale than it would have paid had politicians not let the state’s debt and government-worker pension obligations spiral out of control, while driving out taxpaying residents and businesses through tax hikes and costly regulations.