Comments on: Reality check: closing schools, saving money? Chicago Community Stories Thu, 03 Apr 2014 01:18:42 +0000 hourly 1 By: Valerie F. Leonard Fri, 19 Apr 2013 02:57:13 +0000 Thanks for yet another great article, Curtis! It should also be noted that the book value for all CPS buildings is $4.7 billion. When you add the total capital costs presented in the utilization spreadsheets, the total is $7.2 billion, a number that can’t be traced to any audited statement, official statement or capital budget. In fact, CPS only planned to make a total of about $813 million over the next 5 years. They don’t have the bonding capacity to make all the improvements they claim need to happen. As I read the article, another thought came to mind. These inflated capital costs serve more than one purpose. Clearly, one purpose is to make it appear that the maintenance needs of the buildings are greater than they are, to justify the divestment. Another purpose, as stated in the article, is to make it appear that there are greater savings to be realized than are actually possible. A third reason could be, to justify the excessive capital expenditures that will be made right before they sell off the public assets at bargain basement prices to their friends and supporters, including investors, charter school operators and campaign contributors to the Mayor. After all, by law, CPS cannot provide capital funds to charters.