The Chicago public schools have absorbed cuts and layoffs and now faces a new crisis point. With a $500 budget deficit, the city is looking to the state to avoid the loss of thousands of teachers’ jobs.

John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat and president of the State Senate, has proposed a compromise that the mayor supports, the governor supports, virtually everyone supports….but the Chicago Teachers Union.

He says it will avoid a strike and layoffs.

Why does the union oppose it? The bill eliminates the current funding system without proposing a new one to teplace it.

““Three-eighteen is not about stopping a strike. Three-eighteen is about destroying our school system,” said Stacy Davis Gates, the legislative coordinator for the Chicago Teachers Union.

“Davis Gates is referring there to something Cullerton himself wants the bill to accomplish. Along with peppering Senate Bill 318 with things like a property tax freeze to get Gov. Bruce Rauner in, and teacher pension payments for Emanuel, Cullerton added a remake of the state’s school funding formula–one of his own major goals. He says under the way state government currently gives money to schools, poor districts like Chicago don’t get the money they should and wealthier districts are getting more than they should.

“So Cullerton’s bill puts an expiration date on the current way Illinois funds schools. In effect, he says he wants to end a bad system to make way for a better one. But Davis Gates with the Teachers Union says the union has a big problem with that. You can’t end school funding first coming up with a way to replace it, she argues.

“This bill, again, is irresponsible,” she said. “You cannot say that we are providing a solution to a problem when you eliminate the entire revenue stream to the school district.”

“The teachers union also wants big things that aren’t in Cullerton’s bill, like a new income tax system and an elected Chicago school board. In the meantime, the clock is ticking on Chicago Public Schools. District leaders say they have only a few months before cuts will be necessary – right in the middle of the school year.”