Some $24 million tax increment finance funds will be used on improvements to three Chicago public schools.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to use the money to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at Melody Elementary, Faraday Elementary and Al Raby High School. Four elementary schools, Ericson, Jenson, Spencer and Tilton, will also see new playgrounds as a result of the mayor's plan for the TIF funds.
At the start of the week, the mayor announced plans to put an addition on Edgebrook's Wildwood Elementary as a means to addressing overcrowding. On Sunday, the Emanuel also plans to use TIF money to partially fund a new school on the city's far South Side.
Despite these announcements on various ways the mayor plans to use TIF funds for city schools, there has still been no movement towards allocating some of the money to help ease school budget cuts or rehire some of the more than 3,000 school workers who lost their jobs over the summer as a result of the cuts and school closings. The Chicago Teachers Union, city council Progressive Caucus and education activists have been calling for the use of TIF funds to address budget cuts and layoffs throughout the summer.