Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he is prepared to do “some very difficult things” to keep the Chicago Public Schools afloat and aruged that the nearly-bankrupt school system is $596 million in the hole only because the state is Illinois’ “largest deadbeat.”

“I understand that the governor wants to blame [Comptroller] Susana Mendoza, wants to blame the speaker, wants to blame the Senate president, wants to blame me, wants to blame the Supreme Court. I would like him to do his job just like the Chicago Sun-Times editorial said today,” Emanuel said.

“Your primary responsibility is to pass a budget and work with other people. It’s not everybody else’s fault when you haven’t done the primary job that you got elected to do and he has not done that and we’re now all paying the price for it. We’ll meet our obligations. We’ll step up and do ’em. We will do some very difficult things. But it cannot absolve the state of their responsibility and they are A.W.O.L.”

Earlier this week, Emanuel’s Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown came clean with the magnitude of the problem needed to meet the mayor’s demand to stave off a threatened early closing of Chicago Public Schools.

Brown disclosed that CPS needs $596 million — five times more money than the $129 million gap previously made public — because of a delay in receiving block grants from the state.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES