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CPS rejects revised Rauner plan

Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

Rauner agreed the [K-12 school funding] formula is unfair, but said two GOP school funding plans will allow time to negotiate a balanced budget and for schools to open as planned, something he’s “very concerned” about.

* I asked CPS spokesperson Emily Bittner if the district supports the governor’s latest proposal, which would hold all schools “harmless” but wouldn’t provide any extra money for Chicago’s school system. Her e-mailed reply…

Opposed. Doubled down on a broken funding formula that punishes the state’s poorest kids.

* Meanwhile, the Illinois GOP sent this out on behalf of a Republican legislative candidate today…

Time for Springfield Politicians to Work Together
Legislators Need to Come Together, Compromise to Stop Nuclear Plant Closures

Last week, Exelon announced that it would begin taking steps to shut down the Quad Cities nuclear plants. Candidate for State Representative in the 71st District, Tony McCombie, issued the following statement:

“The culture in Springfield is toxic. Politicians continue to refuse to work together and compromise on anything. Eight hundred hardworking employees will lose their jobs if our legislators fail to immediately act. The closure of the Quad Cities plant will simply devastate the region and add to our decline in economic activity. It is time for our representatives put the future of Illinois first and work around the clock to come to an agreement on Exelon, our state budget, and much needed reforms before the damage is permanent.”

Some good faith on helping CPS might go a very long way toward an Exelon agreement. Just sayin…

* By the way, Emily at CPS also sent me this…

Hey, Rich -

Thanks for indulging me on this. We tracked down the classroom featured in the photo you have (which I think comes from a 2014 DNAInfo story).

Goes without saying that CPS has issues with infrastructure and classrooms all over the system - which is what happens with a $3 billion deferred maintenance backlog. But in this particular case, repairs were made. Attached is a photo of what the classroom looks like today.

We’ve invested at least $1.6 million in capital improvements at Gale in the past five years, including repairs to steam leaks that caused peeling paint, as well as priming and painting the ceiling.

Thanks again for your time.

* She was referring to Kyle Hillman’s photo that I posted yesterday. Here’s the new pic…

* That looks pretty good. Unfortunately, Hillman sent me another photo today along with this e-mail…

This was the hallway photo taken when I was given Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky a tour. (Whose mother once taught at the school). We let CPS know about this months ago, which was dismissed until “maybe this summer”. It was asked if they could speed it up and do over Spring Break but they didn’t. In the meantime, lead paint continues to fall on the kids.

Also if you look at one of the FOIA’d lead tests you will see they found maximum lead readings throughout the building - this was after they “fixed” the earlier classroom, and in another test they found lead dust on the handrails. They have a problem, but won’t fix anything unless we go to the media.

We had a malfunctioning fire alarm for two years and it took Congresswoman Schakowsky, Sen. Steans and Rep. Cassidy to demand a meeting before CPS finally decided to fix it.

Would be great if CPS worked as diligently as the communications department does though.

The lead testing stuff is here. Truly scary.

* And here’s the hallway ceiling pic, which according to Kyle is its current condition…



  1. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    CTU rejects the CPS plan. CPS rejects the Governor’s plan.

    Round and round we go, when compromise and productive dialogue occurs, no one knows.

  2. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    If there’s an 800lb dogmatic gorilla in the room, it’s hard to compromise on … well, anything.

  3. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    “dogmatic elephant,” I mean. Not gorilla.

    Although, the gorilla would have its difficulties, too.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    ==lead dust on the handrails==

    This is an elementary school. Kids in first grade are being exposed to lead dust. At school.

    Not to mention the nearly 200 CPS schools with an asbestos risk to students and teachers. This is what $5.5 Bill a year pays for? Everyone needs to do better. This is bad.

  5. - Kel - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    One snap shot of one improved classroom at Gale Elementary doesn’t address the long-witheld FOIA evidence of dangerous lead levels throughout that school - lead levels CPS had known about for years. They simply didn’t care until those photos and some news coverage happened. I know because I took those pictures, and helped wage that fight. CPS has consistently lied about repairs to that building. Rather than offering up one photo of one repainted ceiling, how about they produce actual evidence that all the lead problems and other safety hazards at Gale Elementary have been addressed? Because they can’t. But we shouldn’t stop demanding that they own up.

  6. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    Too bad the GOPie call for theComEd/Exelon rate gets buried in the CPS back and forth. But could ask Candidate McCombie how much of the rate hike will he or BigBrain will pay. I would prefer to pay zero.

  7. - Sue - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Forest- when you can’t open schools in Septdmber- remember this day When you need a handout you should just say thank you and move slobg

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Gale isn’t the only school that need repairs. So how about our electeds touring these schools pass a budget?

  9. - Juice - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    Anyone else remember that one time a Governor had mailers sent out to Chicago democratic districts attacking the local members of the General Assembly for not doing enough to help out with CPS finances?

    When did that happen? And who was that Governor again? Oh, that’s right!

  10. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Reminds me of a bill that Rep. Flowers ran a few years ago that would have required all schools to ensure that the children had washed their hands before lunch. It seemed like an odd bill, and, as a school board member in a downstate district, I could not understand why such a bill was necessary. I asked a state rep friend, and was told that some of the schools in CPS did not have running water in the bathroom sinks and that the bill was intended to force CPS to fix the plumbing. After that, I had more respect for some of the odd bills Rep. Flowers sometimes puts up.

    It’s no wonder that a lot of these kids have little respect for their schools, because it is obvious to them that the adults in charge of the system have little respect for the schools. It sicken me when downstate and suburban voters are given school funding reform as an us vs them choice. We are clearly putting less money than necessary into the school system throughout the state.

  11. - Illinois Bob - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    Kyle just lost all credibility by posting a picture that was a lie concerning the condition of the classroom. I tried to post that the picture really didn’t pass the “smell test” based on what I learned managing capital work for CPS in the 2000s. Why do you post his stuff, Rich?

  12. - stateworker98 - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    That looks like my ceiling in the Stratton Building.

  13. - Kyle Hillman - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    Not sure how this was a lie — but ok Bob. My post on Facebook was pretty clear. Here is my quote with key words capitalized.

    “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. “

  14. - Illinois Bob - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 3:20 pm:


    When you show a picture of something that has been fixed and play games like saying “was” (without stating it’s been fixed) that’s deceiving at best and lying at the worst. Are we going to get into parsing what the meaning of “was” is Mr Clinton?

    There obviously is (or WAS?) a hallway ceiling problem likely due to a roof leak. Has the roof leak been fixed? If so, when is scraping and painting scheduled? Things happen, and responsible management fixes them. You can’t just wave a magic wand, Master Voldemort.

    There are legitimate problems with the CPS facilities program. Playing these kind of games doesn’t help solve them.

  15. - Kel - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    Did someone just call Kyle Hillman “Master Voldemort” and argue that the word “was” is deceptive and unclear?

    Stellar discourse. Words mean things, and if anyone’s still confused, “was” is past tense, whereas a number of safety hazards at that school are present tense. But I suppose Bob doesn’t have time to care about that. He’s too busy giving out weird nicknames and getting confused about the mechanics of the English language.

    Newsflash: fixing one ceiling (the one that happened to be featured in a news article) in a building full of safety hazards (that CPS fought like mad to cover up) is not “responsible management.”

    I swear, I’m downright embarrassed for some people.

  16. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 7, 16 @ 5:36 pm:

    Well, Bobster, from the looks of that foto, you must have done a heckuva job “managing capital projects.”

    How much did that patronage gig pay?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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