General Assembly rolling over for Rahm

Despite the lack of public support for the move, the state Senate and House have each passed somewhat different versions of Mayor Emanuel’s school sledgehammer bill. It seems that he will be allowed to close as many as 100 schools in 2013 with little time for discussion and no time for adequate planning. Catalyst has a detailed report here about what happened today.

Thanks, state elected officials, for being so careful with our children.

Curtis Black posted a strong indictment of CPS’s poor management, and called the mayor’s proposal a “political ploy.”

If “chaotic, disorganized closings are such a bad idea,” as Emanuel said in backing the idea, why demand yet one more round of them before you agree to stop, she asks at PURE’s blog.  “It sounds as if the mayor is saying, ‘I promise to stop beating you after I get in this last round of punches.’” She points out that parents have heard promises of community engagement time after time, and that the argument that school closings are necessary to close the district’s budget gap don’t measure up to reality (as Sarah Karp has detailed in Catalyst). Byrd-Bennett’s insistence that the closing of 100 or so schools has nothing to do with the plan to open 60 new charters also strains credulity.

Thanks to Mike Klonsky for his shout-out, too.

Both the Tribune and the Sun-Times came out against the proposal. The Sun-Times reported that the 5-year “moratorium” on closings wouldn’t keep them from other interventions:

Julie Woestehoff of Parents United for Responsible Education said a “turnaround’’ has the same affect of a “closure” on adults in a school. “This seems to be more evidence to suggest that this is a phony moratorium,’’ Woestehoff said. “It’s a moratorium whose details are TBA. “How can people sign on to support something when the details seem to change from hour to hour? It sounds like a moratorium of convenience and nothing that can be trusted or supported by Chicago parents.’’

The S-T further reported that the first three hearings before BBB’s panel will be in churches, moderated by pastors with ties to Mayor Rahm. This way, they won’t have to actually PAY people to come out on their side. They will simply count on the pastors to bring out their congregations.

Done deal.


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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.