CPS getting nearly billion-dollar boost for schools

Chicago Public Schools are getting a nearly billion-dollar boost for new schools and renovations to older schools.

But no one is saying exactly where that money is coming from.

At Cardenas Elementary School in Little Village on Friday, officials showed off new computers and internet systems, which is why Mayor Rahm Emanuel and school leaders chose the school to make a major announcement about spending.

"This is the largest investment in recent history or even in my memory as a lifelong Chicagoan,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson.

Among the highlights of the $989-million-dollar capital plan is a new $70-million dollar high school building on the west side, with the exact location still not determined.

Also, a $75-million-dollar replacement for Hancock High School on the southwest side, $30-million dollars for upgrades to Dirksen, $24-million for Waters, and $20-million each for Palmer and Rogers schools.

There will also be new camera and security systems at 50 schools, and 30 schools will get new or rehabbed athletic spaces and fields.

"I do not believe a child's education should be determined by a zip code or their family background,” Mayor Emanuel said.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Teachers Union criticized the plan as "unbalanced" with not enough money going to schools in primarily African American neighborhoods.

Officials didn't say where all that money is coming from, but the mayor suggested that better bond ratings and the new school funding formula will play a major role in securing that money.

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