The Chicago Teachers Union says an audited budget for the last school year showing an extra $344 million indicates the city's school district has manufactured a fiscal crisis.
However, Chicago Public Schools officials say the money is budgeted for the current school year. They say the money appears on last year's books thanks to Cook County sending out property tax bills on time for a change.
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The Chicago Sun-Times reported union President Karen Lewis contends the school district always understates revenue while over-projecting spending. She says months after the budget is drafted, the final audited versions typically show a smaller financial hole.
CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll says the $344 million turned up because of early payments by the state and county governments. The district projects a $700 million deficit.