• AP Photo/Scott Eisen
  • Rahm Emanuel addressing the Clinton Global Initiative last Thursday, June 13

Over the years I’ve heard just about every conceivable explanation and defense of the $450-million-a-year mayoral slush fund known as tax increment financing.

On Friday I heard a new one: it’s “a wash,” financially speaking, for the Chicago Public Schools.

I found that conclusion in an editorial in my Sun-Times, home delivered as always. Reading this over my morning coffee was a truly disheartening way to start my weekend.

In any regard, the editorial ran under the headline “How CPS got into its financial mess.”

The basic premise is that the schools have been broke, are broke, and probably always will be broke. At the moment, Mayor Rahm’s dealing with this state of brokeness by closing schools, raising the maximum class size, firing teachers, and replacing older, higher-paid teachers with younger, lower-paid ones who can look forward to being fired just as soon as their salaries rise.

In short, the mayor’s divesting in public education at the very moment that everyone—well, almost everyone—wants him to invest in it.

Back to the Sun-Times editorial.