* The Chicago Tribune editorial board commissioned a poll…
Overall, 4 in 10 respondents give the [Chicago public] schools a barely passing grade of C. Another 2 in 10 grade the system a D. More award an F (8 percent) than an A (7.8 percent.)
That’s not a report card any child would want to take home.
* Well, not quite. Here are the parents’ answers…
Suppose the schools in your neighborhood were graded A-F. as students are often graded. What grade would you give the school that your oldest child attends?
When asked about all schools, yeah, 40 percent give Chicago’s public schools a “C” and etc. But parents give their own kids’ schools pretty darned good marks.
* In other fun with numbers, I’m not gonna take any sides on Gov. Pat Quinn’s suggestion that automatic transfers ought to be looked at and possibly capped at this fiscal year’s level. But keep in mind that this is not a cut. It’s the elimination of an increase. So this reaction to capping the Local Government Distributive Fund at current payouts is absurd…
Winnetka stands to lose about $140,000 in revenue, Bahan said, projection that’s on par with the Illinois Municipal League’s numbers. That would amount to a reduction of 1.5 full-time staff, he said, or a 1 percent increase in property taxes.
The Municipal League is predicting income tax revenue growth at 6 percent, while the governor’s budget office is predicting a 3.7 percent growth. Six percent seems like a lot, considering the state of the economy. But whichever side is right, this is not a cut of “X” dollars to Winnetka, it’s simply not giving them an extra “X” amount of dollars.
* And this is from a press release…
State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) will file a resolution next week calling on United States Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk to seek a commitment from the new United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to aggressively pursue federal prosecution of firearms offenses within the Northern District. According to Brady, greater prosecution of violent gun crime will result in enhanced safety and security for all citizens in northeastern Illinois.
“In 2012 the City of Chicago experienced more than 500 homicides, the vast majority involving the use of firearms,” said Brady. “Recent news coverage has shown that those convicted of firearms offenses in Chicago and Cook County receive minimal and inconsistent punishment. Stringent enforcement of these laws will have a positive effect in our neighborhoods and will increase safety by reducing gun violence.”
Brady pointed to other cities that had moved toward collaborative zero-tolerance enforcement and education efforts, emphasizing the positive effects observed in those communities as proof that it could work in Chicago. “Communities such as Richmond, Virginia have seen significant reductions in gun violence when local and federal law enforcement agencies work cooperatively to prosecute these violent crimes.”
Among all federal judicial districts, Chicago ranks lowest in prosecuting gun-related violence despite a recent surge in violent crimes involving weapons. In 2011 the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago prosecuted, according to some accounts, just 25 gun-related murders.
* I can’t help but wonder if his “according to some accounts” line is from the NRA…
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, was on Meet The Press on Sunday in a debate session opposite New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. During an exchange with host David Gregory, LaPierre took to task the Obama administration for what he defined as a poor record enforcing federal gun laws in dealing with gangs in Chicago:
WAYNE LAPIERRE: I mean, let me give you the real sad thing though. Let me hold up a mirror right now to the whole national news media and the White House. I just got the TRAC data from Syracuse University of enforcement of federal gun laws. Last time I was here, I brought it from 2011; it just came out from 2012.
Do you know where Chicago ranks in terms of enforcement of the federal gun laws? Out of 90 jurisdictions in the country, they ranked 90th. Why doesn’t NBC News start with, “Shocking news on Chicago. Of all the jurisdictions in the country, Chicago’s dead last on enforcement of the federal gun laws?” Why doesn’t the national press corps, when they’re sitting down there with Jay Carney and the president and the vice president, why don’t they say, “Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drug dealers with guns?