- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Board of Education has approved a $5.6 billion budget that includes roughly $225 million in tax hikes and authorization of more than $1 billion in debt.

The budget passed Wednesday also authorizes an additional $2.5 million for consultants, including several linked to schools CEO Forrest Claypool, and $38 million more for Chicago’s charter schools.

CPS now is authorized to spend up to $28 million on services such as audits and facilities analysis.

Chief Financial Officer Gail Ward told the board private consultants have helped the district save about $87 million out of about $200 million in savings the district has claimed it achieve.

Demonstrators outside the board meeting demanded the resignation of Claypool and for an elected school board. They contend his spending priorities do not emphasize the need of the district’s students.

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