Thursday, August 24, 2017

Saying no to vouchers in IL

CTU cartoon.
As expected, IL speaker Mike Madigan didn't have enough votes yesterday, to override Gov. Rauner's veto of school funding bill SB1, so he postponed the vote until next week. He's now claiming that in the interim, eight Repugs will jump ship. If that's true, there's no need for any further compromises on the part of Democrats. Right?

Rauner hates SB1, even though it is essentially a Republican bill that fails to bring any new revenue (higher taxes on the state's wealthiest). He claims it's a bailout for Chicago schools -- it isn't --and as we know, Rauner is only interested in bailouts for billionaires.

But not so behind the scenes, an alternative bill, hatched originally by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cardinal Blase Cupich which would inject the same inadequate immediate funding into the school system while throwing a lifeline to the politically isolated governor (his own education proposal, didn't get a single "yes" vote last week). The win for Repubs would be a school vouchers or "scholarship" plan that would pull an estimated $75M in tax credits, away from public schools and into the pockets of private and Catholic school operators. It would also further the state down the school privatization road.

When we asked Democratic State Senator and candidate for governor, Dan Biss about vouchers on Hitting Left a few weeks ago,  he called vouchers, "a catastrophe" and "unacceptable". He said, for him, vouchers are "a red line" that he, and assumedly other Dems wouldn't cross.

Protesters in Springfield along with the CTU are trying to make sure they don't cross it.

Another HL alum, @Ameya_Pawar_IL, also running for governor, tweets:
#SB1 is a funding equity bill. Adding school vouchers undermines equity. School vouchers is not a compromise. Override @GovRauner racist
We will be continuing the conversation on SB1 and vouchers tomorrow on HL with parent activists Wendy Katten, from Raise You Hands, and Cassie Creswell from More than a Score. Brother Fred will be out of town. So my co-host, back by popular demand, will be CTU political organizer Brandon Johnson.

Don't miss.

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