Fitch Downgrades Chicago Board of Education Rating

Fitch Ratings changed the rating from A+ to A

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Gaemme Alberto Chavez

A second major bond-rating agency has downgraded Chicago Board of Education debt following last month's Chicago Teachers' Union strike.

Fitch Ratings changed the rating from A+ to A, and said the outlook remains negative. In a statement Tuesday, the agency said the labor agreement negotiated to end the strike calls for increased costs to Chicago Public Schools at a time of "highly stressed operations.''

Fitch said dramatic changes are needed to close next year's budget gap. The rating applies to approximately $6.1 billion in debt.

Moody's Investor Service downgraded the board's debt last week, citing similar concerns. It was a move with which Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was "not pleased."

Chicago Public Schools says in a statement that years of revenue losses and "misplaced priorities" have led to educational and financial crisis and tough choices must be made over the next three years.
 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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