Thursday, May 19, 2016

The imminent death of a public school system. Rahm brought in ax-man Claypool to chop CPS.

Rahm's ax-man, Forrest Claypool. 
The mayor's announced 40% budget cut could be the final nail in CPS's coffin. And make no mistake, this is exactly what he brought in ax-man Forrest Claypool to do.

According to the Sun-Times:
The district says principals have to “plan for the worst — higher class sizes, loss of enrichment activities, and layoffs of teachers and support staff” while waiting for the General Assembly to take action on proposed pension help or revising the state’s funding formula, spokeswoman Emily Bittner said.
The base per-pupil rate will drop from $4,088 to $2,495 if the proposed budget becomes final. It includes an equivalent cut for charters, too, she said.
According to a report in EdWeek, by the end of the school year, in late June, the Chicago school district will have just $24 million in cash—enough to support two days of operations.

As for the state, its declining "investment" in K-12 and post-secondary education, coupled with (self-inflicted) deficits from the city's mounting pension liabilities and debt service, have put Chicago's schools more than $6 billion in long-term structural debt. Last year, the school board approved a budget with a $480 million hole in it, hoping state lawmakers in Springfield would come up with, what they're calling a "bailout". They didn't. It seems that bailouts are reserved only for the big banks.

Question: Will this also mean a 40% reduction in PARCC testing? Doubt it.

You might call the assault on the nation's third-largest public school system, a joint venture or bipartisan effort on the part of Rahm Emanuel and his current nemesis, but long-time drinking partner, Gov. Rauner. As always, Rahm is playing the role part of victim, blaming all the city's ills, from it record-high murder rate to great sell-off of public space on the previous administration or on Springfield. And of course, there is plenty of blame for mismanagement to go around, including lots for the Daley administration and Daley's school chief, Arne Duncan.

Yesterday's union rally against Gov. Rauner's agenda. 
But even while House Speaker Mike Madigan holds firm (for now) against Rauner's assault on the state's schools and Senate Pres. Cullerton at least offers up a plan (a cockamamie plan with no added revenue) to equalize state school funding,  Rahm and Claypool have been too busy attacking the unions or firing dissident principal Troy LaRaviere, to offer up more than token resistance to the governor.

While Madigan was speaking at the rally in Springfield, fist held high in the air... [Sorry, still LMAO] ... Rahm was nowhere to be seen.

Rahm is the worst kind of autocrat. He holds total power over the school system, but wants no transparency or  accountability for the mismanagement, corruption seeping into CPS from City Hall.

In fairness to the mayor, he's put himself in such a weak position, nobody in Springfield really gives two sh*ts anymore what he thinks. Even long-time pal Hillary Clinton, who's in town and in the burbs today raising money, won't come within blocks of him.

Now it's up to the teachers union, principals, parents and community groups to stop the 40% budget cuts and demand that Rauner release a budget with adequate funding for all state school districts and special education.

It's now or never for CPS.


  1. A 40% cut would devastate special ed. Lawsuits they couldn't win would ensue. There is no more flesh to cut. Any cut would hit bone and destroy what too many parents and children rely on. I say it will never happen.

  2. Rahm - the David Dinkins of Chicago

  3. This is a very serious question. The City Fire Code says you must have at least 20 SqFt per occupant in a room in schools. For a class of 40 plus one teacher, that's more than 800 sq feet per room. Lots of CPS classrooms are smaller than this. Can the CPS legally set up classes that exceed the fire code standard? What happens if the CPS violates the standard (taking into account that the City of Chicago has a tough fire code because of the Iroquois Theater and Queen of Angels)? Who can demand enforcement? Would it be "insubordination" (and thus a "fire-able" offense for a teacher to refuse to teach in such a classroom. Would it be insubordination for an administrator to report this violation to the fire deparment?

  4. Calypool is out to destroy our neighborhood schools and the kids that go to them. Middle class students will now flee -- all who will be left are the poor and disenfranchised, the special ed kids, and the die-hard public education fans. But this will destroy our property values as well, and we will all leave.

  5. Sweet home ChicagoMay 20, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    I'm not going anywhere. If anyone leaves, it's Rahm/Rauner


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.