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Speaking of dramatic awards…

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* From the CTU

“Tonight’s vote for a voucher scheme for the state of Illinois is disappointing, and the worst assault on public education since mayoral control of schools was granted in 1995. We are now firmly in line with the President Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos privatization agenda.

“We have a new funding formula and more revenue for our schools. These are substantial achievements, despite Gov. Bruce Rauner’s incompetence and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s impotent ability to provide direction from City Hall. Unfortunately, Illinois legislators have voted to ‘reform’ the worst school funding system in the country with a ticking time bomb of a voucher scheme, and the Illinois Democratic Party has crossed a line which no spin or talk of ‘compromise’ can ever erase.”

* From the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association

Emails sent to principals across the district have been forwarded to the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA). These emails indicate CPS officials are coercing principals into lobbying for Springfield’s voucher legislation during work hours. District officials frame their instruction to principals as being motivated by a need for funding in general, but no such lobbying instructions were sent for any of the previous voucher-free versions of school funding legislation. One of the district emails includes a section that states, “there will be a Google Sheet for you to indicate the result of your calls.” Such sheets are often used in CPS as accountability measures to ensure principals turn in required documentation. Emails from two different network chiefs contain the coercive sentence, “These calls need to happen today or tomorrow.” This indicates that lobbying for the passage of the voucher bill is required rather than optional.

The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association condemns CPS’s flagrantly unconstitutional action. CPS’s attempt at coerced employee political mobilization makes principals feel pressured to support the pro-voucher positions of CPS officials and the mayor who appointed them.

* While the e-mails do say that, they also say stuff like this

Every Principal that was in attendance on Friday, August 25th morning heard Chip make the request of them to reach out to their state officials. Principals may also want to reach out to their school families urging them to reach out to their officials

Emphasis added.

* And from the former leader of Raise Your Hand who moved to the suburbs when her kid was high school age…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - A State Employee Guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Give the CTU credit: in an age of declining support for teachers unions, they are still a major force, probably the strongest single local in the nation. Granted, it’s in part due to silly hyperbole like this, but hey, results nonetheless.


  2. - Mr B. - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Parents love charter schools. Good schools are the key to retaining wealth in the city. Else parents move to the…burbs.


  3. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    The principal thing is weird, and apparently, ours failed to follow direction.

    At about the time of the failed vote, our principal sent out an urgent message to get a call-to-action message to go on the school’s website and do an e-blast to parents with the same message. But that message was to contact members to override SB1.

    By the time I responded, SB1 had already failed, so I suggested that the message was out of date already. The principal was insistent about SB1 override though, pointing out that the deadline on it was 8/29.

    By that time, the new bill had passed. I told the principal the status and that the House wouldn’t be in Tuesday to act on SB1 again. The principal still wanted the message to go out - it went on the website but we didn’t agree to the blast.

    I was talking to my wife later (she’s on the chain too) and told her that the principal was probably off the reservation re: SB1 and was instead pushing the CTU position. Guess I was right.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    ===Parents love charter schools.===

    Bruce and Diana Rauner love Charter Schools so much, they had one named for them…

    … but still clouted their denied, Winnetka-living daughter into Payton Prep.

    You’re welcome.


  5. - Chicago Parent - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    CTU and its proxies are at least clear in their intent–they would rather kill historic school funding reform for poor children and significant new funding for CPS rather than give an inch on their leftist, anti-parental-choice ideology, which in this case is directed against a mere $75 million, temporary experiment.

    The radicals are running the show. Thank goodness the legislature didn’t listen. Kudos to Speaker Madigan and the many rank and file Democrats who didn’t buckle to CTU pressure.


  6. - Piece of Work - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    If those private schools didn’t exist……….


  7. - H-W - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    I opposed the tax credits portion of the legislation. I wrote letters to editors. In the end, it passed. As others have said, “accept a win.”

    As I see it, the legislation was reduced from $100 M to $75 M. A win. The bulk of SB1 legislature was passed under an amendment. A win. State school districts will be funded sooner, rather than later. A win. CPS schools will receive sufficient funding. A win. A small portion of the funds that past politicians have routinely stolen from Chicago teachers retirement system will be returned. A win.

    The only issue left, as I see it, is whether a law suit emerges questioning the legality of indirectly funding public schools through state income tax deferments. But other than that, this is how compromise works. Both sides give and take. Everyone can either be happy or bitter. I find bitterness unattractive.


  8. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    So she’s for school choice when it’s the choice she wants but it doesn’t count for those that can’t afford to move. No more needs to be said.


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    “Illinois Democratic Party had crossed a line….”

    So where you gonna go? The Whigs?


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    “They didn’t give in on other ‘turnaround’ agenda items, why this one?”

    Because thousands if not millions of kids’ education depends on it? Because it’s a very rare opportunity to pass education reform? Because CPS gets a big win, and tax credits for private schools are such a small part of this?

    Plus, since Democrats didn’t “give in” on the rest of the TA, doesn’t that make them “pure” enough?


  11. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    School choice is the worst! Unless its by buying a nice house in a really expensive district, in which case, lovely!

    The CPAA email is ridiculous, Troy Laravie is tilting at windmills with his run for mayor and thinks that each time he tries to poke Rahm it will raise his stature and improve his chances.

    “Ticking time bomb” - Gotta wonder what language they’d use if the bill actually included real vouchers (vs. this watered down, time-limited, tax credit scholarship program that’s income tested so only lower-income people take advantage).


  12. - Galena Guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    NPC - choice is reserved for those who can afford to choose. Sigh.


  13. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    CTU has been condemning kids from poor neighborhoods to substandard education for decades, they refuse to embrace standards that allow parent to gauge success. But CTU never hesitates to insist they need more money for salaries. The solution is to allow parents to evaluate which school, be it public or private, is best for their kids. This bill is a small step in the right direction.


  14. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Similarly to my commitment to help primary any representative who voted against it, I would be thrilled to provide excellent opposition research to any representative who faces a primary because s/he voted for it.


  15. - Gene Debs - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    Why doesn’t Illinois just adequately fund all schools? The answers to that are many: structural deficits, the North/South antagonism, and maybe just a tiny bit of racism/class division? The poorest performing schools are mainly located in the poorest communities.


  16. - JackD - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    I missed it in the stories I’ve seen, What is the income limit for the tax credits?


  17. - Evanston Dem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Isn’t it a conflict of interest for members to vote for the voucher/tax credit when their kids go private schools?

    And here I thought only Madigan was the one trying to take advantage of the system.


  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    –CTU has been condemning (blah, blah, blah) for decades…–

    Gre Tex, you sound like quite the expert on Chicago schools and their history. Lots of scholarly and on-the-ground research, I take it.

    When does your book come out? You shouldn’t keep all that knowledge and insight to yourself.


  19. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    Some credit to the CTU — at least their “Where’s Mine?” message is loud, persistent and consistent.


  20. - H-W - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Galena Guy - The was I view this, it is not really so much about choice, as only 6,000 children may receive the scholarships (a very small number, relatively). I actually see this as a literal means by which some citizens are allowed to determine where their tax obligations shall be spent. I lack such choice. I must pay 5% as taxes, and do not determine where they go. But a few luck citizens get to say “I spent my tax dollars at “Holy Moly High,” so deduct that from my state tax obligations.”


  21. - Culture of Clam - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    I disagree with her at times but Wendy is a great person with a servant’s heart. She should run for Biss’ seat.


  22. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Did Troy from the Chicago Principal Association just say, “but no such lobbying instructions were sent for any of the previous voucher-free versions of school funding legislation”? For the past two years CPS has been pushing their 20 for 20 campaign for fair funding. Not one of those supported bills included “vouchers”.


  23. - Ed Equity - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    Wendy Katten remains on the Board of Raise Your Hand and is the Director and is the Director of RYHAction, the 501c4 affiliated with Raise Your Hand, that lobbies for policies in Springfield.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170405/lincoln-square/founder-of-cps-advocacy-group-quits-so-her-son-can-go-evanston-hs

    Last year, Wendy moved her family to Evanston to get a better education for their son after Chicago public schools failed to meet his needs.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/raise-your-hand-founder-steps-down-from-cps-work-to-move-to-burbs/

    The big question is: why is she allowed to do it and not someone with the same exact story but without resources?

    Kids should have the same options as hers….but cant afford to move to Evanston.


  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    - why is she allowed to do it and not someone with the same exact story but without resources? -

    I’m all for a program to send poor, underprivileged city kids to more affluent suburban public schools. Something tells me the affluent crowd won’t like that as much as vouchers.


  25. - A guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    ==but cant afford to move to Evanston.===

    If you saw Biss’ tax return, it turns out not to be so much apparently.

    At the very least, Wendy is being more than a little hypocritical here. I am amazed to see the fiery debate on this. Not from Karen Lewis; but from rational people.


  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    Guy, there’s been a fiery debate among rational people about public funds for religion-based schools for a couple hundred years now.

    You’ll see the irrationality when those that favor tax dollars to prop up the archdiocese of Chicago go apey about the same deal for Islamic private schools,


  27. - A guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    Sling, I bet I won’t.
    School choice has been discussed and implemented in plenty of other places. Far more generous incentives than what we see here.

    You think this was worth going to the wall for on the parts of those folks who got the funding (and then some) that they asked for (demanded).

    Color me very cynical, but I never think education debates here are “about the kids”. Because they aren’t. Never have been. The fiery rhetoric was just more proof of this.


  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    –You think this was worth going to the wall for….–

    No, I’ve written many times in recent days that I was in favor of the compromise to get out of this mess. You can look it up.

    You’re making stuff up to misrepresent my clear position because…. that’s what you do, rather then address the points raised,


  29. - A guy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    Apologies Sling. I haven’t been able to chronicle your every post and have only been able to briefly scan. Good for you on the compromise. I was reacting to your post, not your recent history. As for the Islamic schools…I think they are already covered in this legislation. In fact, I know they are. If they qualify for the very limited number of these scholarships. My bet is that they’ll get an appropriate share along with Christians, Jews, and all other private entities.


  30. - AndradeRep40 - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 1:07 am:

    Even for me Will? I may be calling you very soon. Thanks for the offer.

    - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Similarly to my commitment to help primary any representative who voted against it, I would be thrilled to provide excellent opposition research to any representative who faces a primary because s/he voted for it.


  31. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 1:39 am:

    Demographically, Evanston is quite similar to Chicago.
    But Evanston schools are 100% integrated.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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