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Hillman: What Rauner said isn’t wrong

Monday, Jun 6, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* If you don’t know him, let me assure you that Kyle Hillman ain’t no Raunerite. Here he is on Facebook today

This was a photo of an elementary school in my neighborhood. That is lead paint falling on kindergarten rooms. This school STILL has lead paint falling in hallways.

CPS knew about this. They knew the school fire doors worked improperly, that the fire alarm was broke in the main building. All of these were considered OK.

The school has been gutted by a funding formula CPS put in place. The school has no technology teachers, no librarians, after-school programs have been gutted and our social worker is hanging on by the grace of his nonprofit.

You know what they do get in Illinois Prisons? Library Services! Mental Health Services! Educational Services.

So yeah the Governor’s solution of REDUCING funds for CPS is madness, but what he said today wasn’t wrong. If Claypool doesn’t want his schools to be called worse than prisons… FIX THEM!

“Frankly, the Governor’s comments comparing Chicago schools to ‘crumbling prisons’ are disrespectful and beneath his office.” via Claypool.

You know what is really disrespectful and beneath (their) office? Allowing schools like this to happen, our Mayor owns this.

* Kyle’s photo…

…Adding… Kyle says this pic was taken in Gale Elementary in Rogers Park.

* On the other hand

On a day that saw both Gov. Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel refer to Chicago’s public schools as “prisons” — Emanuel admittedly caught in a slip of the tongue — supporters of CPS took to social media to prove the politicians wrong.

#NotAPrison became a rallying cry on Twitter for parents, teachers and administrators. They posted examples of good things happening in the city’s schools — in spite of a funding crisis — from talent shows to campus cleanups, and even the occasional hug.

Go check it out.


  1. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    If this were English composition class, I’d say Hillman’s thesis statement is this:

    = = So yeah the Governor’s solution of REDUCING funds for CPS is madness, but what he said today wasn’t wrong. = =

  2. - Fixer - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:33 pm:

    If he wants it fixed, he should say what school he’s talking about and what room.

  3. - Reality Check - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    What Hillman overlooks is the obvious racial taint to the governor’s remark. After last week saying Central and Southern Illinois are where the hard-working, taxpaying families live, and that they’re being forced to bail out Chicago — taken by many as a white vs black dog whistle - the governor compounded his error today by saying Chicago schools are crumbling prisons. Since people of color are disproportionately over-represented in both, it definitely sounded like another dog whistle. And whether intended or not, engaging in that kind of rhetoric IS wrong.

  4. - Earnest - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:35 pm:

    >The school has been gutted by a funding formula CPS put in place.

    That sounds like a place to begin a conversation. Or looking at why the problems Hillman lists weren’t addressed.

    As far as whether what Rauner said was wrong…what does it matter when his actions differ from what he says?

  5. - cdog - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:36 pm:

    Setting aside the war of words,
    this seems criminally negligent.

  6. - John Reynolds - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    I’m sure the schools near Bruce N Di dont have these problems.

    He says he has no social agenda, and his wife agreed with him!

  7. - Blue Bayou - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    This makes no sense.

    If the schools are falling apart, physically, is it because there is a resources problem, and a support problem, or because teachers got a 3% raise?

    Clearly, you can say Rauner is making an entirely ideological point, and not compromise logic.

    What the hell is wrong with people?

  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:40 pm:

    Rauner’s dog whistle notwithstanding…

    School(s) like this, this is Rahm, all day, every day, twice in Sunday.

    But fair to the kids. Not up for discussion or debate.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:40 pm:

    “Not”… ugh, phone

  10. - cdog - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    Many times, it is lack of management skills, and oversight.

    Any paint contracts been awarded at this school lately?

  11. - Fred - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    Lead paint dripping off the ceiling!?!

    How can this classroom be open? We’ve understood lead hazards for how many years now?

    The paint peeling appears to have been going on for a long time, if it’s been ignored for years, the management failure is on an epic scale.

  12. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:52 pm:

    You don’t have to target Chicago for schools that are “crumbling”. My district has rooms where the leaky ceiling are dropping plaster on the tables and classroom materials, hallways and rooms periodically sealed off with asbestos warnings, dysfunctional archaic plumbing that fails and power needs unable to keep up with technology, causing temporary blackouts. We have them in our far north district too.

    The common theme here is my district, like the schools in certain CPS communities, serves mostly high poverty, minority students. Are they prisoners because these districts are poorly funded, compared to wealthier communities and elite schools in Chicago’s better neighborhoods? Yes, but what’s the answer governor? Perhaps equal funding for all Illinois students? Instead of insults aimed at the student populations that receive far less than their better housed peers?

  13. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 4:55 pm:

    Sorry for the grammar mistakes, typing too fast without proof reading.

  14. - Kyle Hillman - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:08 pm:

    Truer words have never appeared on CapitolFax: “If you don’t know him, let me assure you that Kyle Hillman ain’t no Raunerite.”

  15. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:11 pm:

    Make schools subject to Chicago building inspections and codes. If this school as an apartment build do it would be shu down

  16. - mokenavince - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:14 pm:

    I’m in Chicago schools every day the oldest schools go back 70 to 100 years. Yes they need repairs,but most were really well built.

    Kids and people are tough on schools. But by and large their are people really trying to keep them from falling down.

  17. - Qui Tam - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:14 pm:

    When I see things like this, I don’t understand why always we brag about being the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

    If a parent sued for lead poisoning - taxpayer funded lawyers would defend this…

  18. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    Not wrong about the condition of schools, but how does he prioritize fixing them? That’s not anywhere on his agenda.

  19. - mokenavince - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:26 pm:

    FYI there is still a lot of work being done in Chicago schools everyday. It’s tough to run over 600 schools with out a budget. When Madigan comes up with a wacked out budget kids suffer.Ask your House member to stand up to him. See what happens. Nothing. Rauner is no better, prisons my butt.

  20. - cdog - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:29 pm:

    Excellent suggestion to make schools subject to inspections!

    Public Health, Bldg and Zoning, etc.

  21. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:29 pm:

    As I have pointed out before, the City of Chicago SD 99 spent $15,120 per student in 2013-14.

    My local school district (Lewistown CUSD 97) spends $8,496 per student.)

    Maybe the schools should have allocated just a little money over the years and addressed this serious issue over a multi year time frame. No, that would take too much common sense

  22. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:30 pm:

    Kind of off-topic, but my daughter and I just dropped off about 500 pounds of used books to BooksFirst! last Saturday. BF is a couple of families who live in Chicago and have seen and reacted to the problems that some of you are also describing firsthand.

    Since its founding in 2012, BooksFirst! has collected 40,000 books creating libraries for 7,000 Chicago Public School PS kids. The books are delivered through a volunteer network to 12 public schools **without libraries** and with 20% or more homeless kids.

    Think about that–elementary schools WITHOUT LIBRARIES. Words fail me.

  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:39 pm:

    Federalist, your school district is almost all white (and almost zero ESL students) with a much lower poverty rate than CPS students.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:45 pm:

    If the governor of Illinois believes some schools, on his watch, are “crumbling prisons” it is his moral obligation to change that fact.

    What could be more important?

  25. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 5:54 pm:


    And your point seems to be that if the children are not White we have to spend nearly twice as much money on them as they do in my local school (51.4% poverty rate by the Illinois Report Card).

    That does not cut it and you should know it.

  26. - LizPhairTax - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 6:40 pm:


    I wouldn’t presume to speak for Rich, but I think you’re focusing on the wrong side of the parentheses.

  27. - Harvest76 - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 7:08 pm:

    To be fair, Rauner didn’t say the school were “in worse shape than prisons”, or “worse off than prisons”, he said they “are prisons”. That is a very different imagery.

  28. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    If they are prisons it’s because of disproportionate funding. That’s the point.

  29. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 8:20 pm:

    And what is your point? If you have one state it.

    I’ll stand by what I saidieven if is not the PC CW.

  30. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 8:22 pm:

    Make no mistake, I did not get off topic as schools were mentioned in this track.

  31. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 8:22 pm:

    Gale Elementary is in East Rogers Park, just south of Evanston and about 3 blocks from the lake. Grew up in the area. It once was prime middle-class, then deteriorated and now there are a few folks trying to bring it back.
    The politics of how that neighborhood was allowed to run down with the condo craze starting in the early seventies probably would fill a few chapters in the poli-sci books.

  32. - DRB - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 8:30 pm:

    Get a paint store or home center in the area to donate supplies. Have the Principal contact the parents of the students of this school and have a weekend where the parents come in to scrape and paint. My Daughter attends parochial school and this is what the parents do there. Now, problem solved.

  33. - Juice - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 8:42 pm:

    Federalist, first of all, over $2,000 of CPS per pupil spending is for their pension contribution, which Lewistown does not have to worry about.

    Second of all, all research has said that higher concentration of poverty requires more resources necessary for each student. Similarly, ESL students are quite expensive as well. Then there is also a significant cost of living difference between Chicago and Fulton County. So yeah, just with pensions not twice as much, and given the need, the district’s are probably much closer. Also not sure why you felt the need to capitalize the word “white” or refer to kids who aren’t white as “them”, but I suppose it has something to do with you so awesomely being non-PC.

  34. - Macbeth - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 9:28 pm:

    Of course what Rauner said is wrong.

    Of course it is. To argue that it isn’t is wrong.

    Chicago schools are not “crumbling prisons”.

    Hands down, the most racist thing I’ve heard in a long time.

  35. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 9:31 pm:


    Yes, you will always have a phony reason for differences in expenditures while advocating for school funding equality. Always want to have it both ways but I am not going to fall for that.

    As for the “White” comment. It just shows you for what you are really are. I did not bring up race in the first place- Rich did that. Any part of that you do not understand.

    AS for ESL expenditures being quite expensive. How much do they cost per student? And why is this so overwhelming, if indeed it is. Perhaps WE all should consider why this is so ‘necessary’ in the first place so that our tax dollars go to this rather than to ALL students in the state.

    I could go on but I will stop for now. Would love to have 15 minutes with you in an open debate. I taught in public schools and was a university Professor for 30 years. Do not underestimate me.

  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 9:35 pm:

    SCHOOLS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSPECTED EACH YEAR….obviously that is not happening in Chicago.

  37. - Federalist - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 10:23 pm:

    - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 6, 16 @ 9:35 pm:

    SCHOOLS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSPECTED EACH YEAR….obviously that is not happening in Chicago.

    Great Comment!

  38. - Valerie F. Leonard - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 3:38 am:

    If CPS changed their name from Chicago Public Schools to Chicago Prison System, the Rauner Administration would give them money such that they could end every year remaining in his administration with a surplus, whether a budget was passed or not.

  39. - Carhartt Representative - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 8:07 am:

    =I could go on but I will stop for now. Would love to have 15 minutes with you in an open debate. I taught in public schools and was a university Professor for 30 years. Do not underestimate me.=

    At this point, I don’t think I could. Ignorance is something we all battle with on myriad topics, but willful ignorance is something else altogether.

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Taking a page out of Willy’s playbook:

    The Mayor Owns This!!!

  41. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    Carhartt Representative - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 8:07 am:

    =I could go on but I will stop for now. Would love to have 15 minutes with you in an open debate. I taught in public schools and was a university Professor for 30 years. Do not underestimate me.=

    At this point, I don’t think I could. Ignorance is something we all battle with on myriad topics, but willful ignorance is something else altogether.

    I’ll take your word for it. Your comment that says nothing is a masterpiece of ignorance.

  42. - trish - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    Several years ago, plaster from the ceiling fell in close to students in a classroom. The grade school was classified as unsafe by the state, and for a couple of years, classes were held at area churches, and some high school rooms that were available. Our county was more or less told we had to build a new school by the state. This is in southern Illinois. We now have a K-12 school, which isn’t in the best condition because of shoddy construction. Why were we forced to close our school, but schools like this are allowed to remain open?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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