CHICAGO — Ahead of the Chicago Board of Education's expected vote Wednesday on a new $5.9 billion budget, a local watchdog group endorsed the plan to eliminate a $712 million deficit through cuts, use of reserves, and a property tax hike, but warned of a looming fiscal crisis unless the district overhauls its spending habits.

The Civic Federation of Chicago in its review released on Monday praised the Chicago Public Schools' new leadership team for "making significant expenditure cuts and implementing reasonable increases in revenue."

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