The Chicago Board of Education last week approved the new $295 million three-year contract with the Chicago Teachers Union but put off a vote on budget amendments needed to cover the first-year costs of the pact.
Members of the union ratified the contract in early October. The pact ended a seven-day walkout by teachers, the first in 25 years. The contract could be extended to a fourth year.
“This contract is the result of two sides coming together to put our students first,” Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said in a statement.
The board also approved a new contract for Barbara Byrd-Bennett as the new chief executive officer. She replaced Jean-Claude Brizard who resigned earlier this month.
The district will pay for the first year of the contract mostly with budget one-shots including debt restructuring and capitalized interest bond proceeds.
The amendments to the district’s budget will be the subject of hearings before the board takes action at a meeting next month.
Hit with two downgrades prior to the announcement of the new contract over its draining of reserves to balance the 2013 budget, the board’s roughly $6 billion in general obligation debt was further lowered after the deal was reached.
Fitch Ratings assigns the board’s debt an A rating and negative outlook. Moody’s Investors Service rates it A2 with a negative outlook and Standard & Poor’s rates it A-plus with a stable outlook.