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It ain’t over ’til it’s over

Friday, Aug 25, 2017

* Tribune

Republicans said they had reached an “agreement in principle” on a school funding measure. Democrats said they had reached an “agreement in concept.”

The bill, however, is still being drafted, and details were closely held.

It was against that backdrop that Mayor Emanuel offered this observation during a hastily called City Hall news conference late Thursday afternoon: “You’re never done until it’s done.”

Agreed.

* Also, there’s stuff like the CTU’s response

And while it’s being cheered by lawmakers on both side of the political aisle, the Chicago Teachers Unions said its essentially calls it a reverse robin hood scheme.

CTU said the deal rips off the public schools by funnelling at least $75 million a year towards vouchers. […]

CTU leaders say it’s reliance on vouchers siphons money from poor districts and allows the rich to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

“We see vouchers as a problem because its going to rob the money that the same black and brown kids, both Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner talk about saving,” said Stacy Davis Gates, CTU Political and Legislative Director. “It’s going to rob them of those very valuable funds.”

The CTU said vouchers are aimed at the heart of public education and amount to stealing from black and brown children.

* And here’s GOP Rep. David McSweeney’s press release this morning…

The “compromise” education formula deal appears to be a total capitulation by the Governor. I now understand why Mayor Emanuel is so happy. It appears that CPS could get even more money than under SB 1 and the state will spend about $7.5 billion more on education over the next ten years without real reforms that cut school administrative costs and encourage consolidation. While I support the scholarship tax credits, overall this is a bad deal for taxpayers that will set up immediate pressure for another harmful tax hike.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Will Caskey - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Obviously I don’t speak for anyone in ILGA but I doubt Chicago holds up the deal, gross not-technically-voucher deal or no. Inasmuch as the city has felt the pain of the budget standoff it’s been with CPS and ending that is worth a lot of compromise


  2. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    ==total capitulation==

    It’s called compromise. You get something. I get something. Governing is hard isn’t it Rep McSweeney

    ==without real reforms==

    There’s that mantra again. Why don’t those beating that drum just say “we’re not getting 100% of what we want so it isn’t good enough.”


  3. - winners and losers - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    But does any group have the guts to actively oppose, and work against, this deal?

    It appears the school superintendents will accept almost anything to get SB 1.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    The Four Tops, governor and Emamuel are all making nice noises. In late August, everyone needs a deal. If that ain’t enough to get it done, we’re in deep stink.

    Still, Gov. Lucy has been known to pull the ball back. And at risk of being chastised by the state mental health director, his state of mind has been rather unpredictable lately.


  5. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    But this won’t be SB1, if I understand what will have to happen. Won’t this have to be a new stand-alone bill, still requiring a 3/5ths to pass because it’s after June 1, 2017 and the need to take immediate effect? If that is the case, then this could turn into a real mess with legislators like McSweeney against some parts, while some Dems may be against the tax credits, for instance. Then, if it does pass both houses and goes to Rauner, without an MOU, that he won’t be pressured to find bits of it to AV? This is why there is still pressure to override the AV of SB1. That still may be the only way to solve this without going into September or (don’t even want to think about it), the November session.


  6. - Montrose - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    I think it is a good sign that all sides feel like they both got something and are losing something. I think they call that compromise.


  7. - Dee Lay - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Let’s be honest here: If the four tops came to an agreement with the Gov’s blessing, and then he AVs it - he is getting overridden faster than you can say “Tax Dodging Vouchers…er Scholarships”


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    To the Post,

    Here’s my take on all this; CTU, McSeeeney, even Rauner…

    71 and 36.

    The problem has been Rauner has refused to take wins and now each side sees any compromise, “rounding error” type pilot projects notwithstanding, as the reason no comprise can ever be accepted.

    The politics here are pretty transparent.

    On one hand, you have Rahm Emanuel all out giddy with these details of a deal.

    The other hand, you have Dan Proft as giddy, claiming victory and the hill worth fighting for this victory.

    Rahm and Proft.

    Where Rauner failed is in the miscalculation of the SB1 veto when what’s gained here in this compromise, is the framework of SB1 “plus more” for Chicago which was suppose to be off-limits, and Proft beside himself with glee, wanting victory declared for a pilot program.

    Rauner could’ve got more.

    Dems could’ve got less.

    But what I’m reading and seeing, like with Rahm and Proft, is sides saying this is “better” and “let’s get this done”

    Those like McSeeeney, a deal framed like SB1 or even sweeter like this agreement, they won’t be on board anyway.

    So, cobble 71 around McSweeney.

    Those like CTU, they are t looking at the “Bailout” as the helping, they are looking at the $75 million as the hurting. They won’t be “on board” full voice because it’s not in the best interest of CTU, half-loaf notwithstanding.

    It’s a math game, not a funding game… 71 and 36.

    The math game needed a face-saving chance for Rauner, Proft is trying to make that argument.

    Know where the 71 and 36 are neede and where to find them, then we will all know if it’s soup yet.


  9. - blue dog dem - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    I am very happy that compromise looks like it has been reached. HS football can now kickoff without fear of shutdown. CTE full bore ahead.

    But this school funding thing does nothing. Nothing to turn the tide of the financial slide. Is it a band-ade for CPS? Prolly. Will it stop or slow rampant property taxes. I’ll take wagers on the not a chance. Will it stop the states population decline?

    All this hoopla over who won and lost. Maybe the kids, temporarily. But only til THEY get the bill as adults. If they stick around to pay for it.


  10. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    There’s best-of-both-worlds compromise and worst-of-both-worlds compromise. McSweeny is right in that the quid pro quo for the extra spending, esp. for CPS, should have been some reforms. That’s good compromise. Rauner didn’t care about that, he only wanted to stick another knife into Chicago. Though CTU’s opposition is kabuki because that $75 million is nothing compared to staving off CPS’ day of execution, the private school special interests made out well too.


  11. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    (I should add that I don’t think the bill is all bad: simply because the current system is so inequitable)


  12. - Rod - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    We all need to read the actual bills. But as we all also know from the past when there is a hurry up deal like this things can be slipped in. Parts of SB 1 will be cut and pasted into the new bill. Each word has a meaning in legislation and before winners and losers are declared it might help to read those words.


  13. - Century Club - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    We’ll see if CTU, IFT, IEA go full bore against the deal. I doubt it, though I am sure they will continue to bash the back door voucher program.

    For the GOP: they back Rauner up on the idea the Chicago “bailout” money should actually go to their districts instead, but now are going to vote for less money for their districts in exchange for private school tuition money. I’m wondering how that feels.


  14. - Ron - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    CTU is the worst.


  15. - Molly Maguire - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    I think it has to be understood now, from what we have seen, that the CTU is going to remain in opposition mode, and is not going to collaborate with mainstream politicians. It has worked for them so far, and under current leadership, it is not going to change.


  16. - Bobby Hill - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    Are the scholarship tax credits only hitting Chicago public schools or is it being spread downstate as well?


  17. - Ron - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    There is a taxpayer revolt brewing in Chicago and Cook County with Preckwinkle and the unions bleeding us dry. CTU is in our crosshairs.


  18. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    ==CTU is in our crosshairs.==

    Don’t give the IPI cartoonist any ideas.


  19. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    ==CTU said the deal rips off the public schools by funnelling at least $75 million a year towards vouchers.==

    About $175 million a year is “funneled” towards the 7% pension pick-up. Wanna trade? I’ll add a librarian to be named later.


  20. - PhD - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    ==We’ll see if CTU, IFT, IEA go full bore against the deal.==

    No way. There is too much money at stake for these organizations to really try to block an agreement. $75 million to support scholarships for poor children is loose change in $11 billion state budget for education and pensions.


  21. - Cassandra - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    All the publicity about the potential tax benefits of giving to private schools could increase giving I suppose.Sure, the schools could use it for other than scholarships, I suppose. But school choice for poor kids is an attractive prospect. I have read many memoirs about poor young people whose lives took an upward trajectory when they switched to a competitive private elementary or high school, through parental sacrifice or a wealthy benefactor. Even highly competitive private colleges are looking for talented low income kids these days, so they can demonstrate income diversity in their student bodies. It’s a good time to give.


  22. - Sick and Tired - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Can someone tell CTU to just shut up? Unlike downstate schools, almost all the new CPS money will be sucked up by the CTU pension fund. They’re the ones who benefit the most! And instead of thanking the parties who finally made this happen, they’re out there with their usual strident, hysterical leftist attacks.


  23. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    == this could turn into a real mess with legislators like McSweeney against some parts, while some Dems may be against the tax credits, for instance. ==

    It’s going to be an old fashioned structured roll call, with both sides putting votes on it. They’ve already decided how many votes each side will contribute. They’ve already wrote off the few hardliners on both sides.

    Now it is up to the floor leaders to decide, from the remaining group, who has to vote Yes and who gets an opportunity to pass. This is a bit easier than the budget, because it’s hard to vote against school funding. But there will be some votes from vulnerable districts … and that will be the result of some arm twisting and some campaign support promises from the floor leaders.

    That’s what real compromise actually looks like … and it only took two and a half years to get here.


  24. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    The groups will issue their releases.

    But they will not put boots on the ground to kill the bill because it will not work.

    Put “ending vouchers” on your endorsement questionnaire and let’s move on.

    This does potentially jam up Biss as he tries to run through the left flank. We will have to see whether they run these as separate bills, so that GOP can vote again against a “Chicago bailout” while Democrats vote against “privatizing education.”

    Best way to enforce MAD is one big rollcall.


  25. - California Guy - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    CTU is the ripoff, not the funding deal. They’ve evolved into a political blob that refuses to compromise.


  26. - Jim O - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    The ‘compromise’ includes demands not within the original SB1. Yes some nice goodies (higher financing methods) were giving out to Chicago.

    PUBLIC moneys should ONLY go to PUBLIC uses. Just as with policing, if a private company wants extra security then let that company raise funds to pay for it (raise prices, cut costs, whatever) and not expect to use public funds. The ‘tax credit for private scholarships’ is about skirting of laws separating public education from religious education institutions. The talking point that ‘not all private education is religious’ is a convenient distraction since the primary pusher of idea is a religious institution.

    Accepting a deal that includes the ‘tax credit for private scholarships’ is capitulation to Rauner’s technique of ‘create crisis to force change’. Once you’ve given in to the bully (regardless of the nice trinkets he provides), the bully will be back again and again and again because he knows something will get you to accept his demand.


  27. - No thanks ctu - Friday, Aug 25, 17 @ 4:53 pm:

    The last thing this down state tax payer wants is a ctu pension bail out. How about you lead by example take a pay cut or pension cut give it back to schools


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