Thursday, October 5, 2017

The plunder of Chicago Public Schools continues

Rahm is taking his "reform" cues from DeVos.
First comes news today that Rahm and Claypool are "revising" the CPS budget in order to pour $37M more into the pockets of charter school operators. CTU V.P. Jesse Sharkey warns that there's,  "no guarantees that the money they’re handing over goes into classrooms or for children.”

The new school funding law, which was supposed to benefit school districts, rich and poor alike, without increasing tax revenues -- impossible-- is in fact, taking million of dollars away from public schools through so-called "scholarships" (vouchers) for private school parents, providing huge tax breaks for the rich, and now, giving away millions more to privately-run charters.

Before revising its budget, CPS must hold public hearings, but they’ve only been scheduled downtown on a Tuesday during business hours, which will surely limit public participation.

On top of that, despite its own promised five-year moratorium on school closings, the board is moving ahead to close many more neighborhood schools under a new mass closure policy that allows closings if the initiative comes from the "community".

According to the Sun-Times:
Community members in Austin said Wednesday they don’t want Chicago Public Schools closing any more schools on the West Side even if they’d get a brand new elementary school in exchange.
And their input matters because proposed rules CPS released late Friday afternoon could allow more unpopular closures after June if they’re proffered by principals, parents or yet-to-be-defined “community members”.
So the new game is more school closures, consolidations, charters and vouchers. But this time around, blame it on unnamed community members.

It seems pretty clear that the mayor is taking his "reform" cues from his new pal, Betsy DeVos, since their closed door get-together last spring. 

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