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Chicago Public Schools sells bonds to keep doors open

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools has sold $725 million in tax-exempt bonds it says will help get the district through the rest of the school year.

Because the district has received a low credit rating, it must pay an 8.5 per cent interest rate on most of the bonds sold Wednesday. Officials say the sale raised less than the $875 million the district wanted.

The district is rated three levels below junk status by all three major rating agencies. Recent financial documents have revealed the district had barely enough cash to make it through the year.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner criticized the sale, saying the district and Chicago’s mayor have again “kicked the can” down the road.

Ron DeNard, the district’s vice-president for finance, says borrowing money is never done lightly.