Senate President criticizes GOP efforts to distract from real issues

cpslogoSPRINGFIELD - The following statement was released by Senate President John J. Cullerton regarding Republican leaders misdirected ideas on Chicago Public Schools:

“This is not going to happen. It’s mean spirited and evidence of their total lack of knowledge of the real problems facing Chicago Public Schools. The unfair treatment of pension systems by the state is the immediate cause of CPS’ financial problem. That situation ought to be addressed rather than promoting this far-fetched notion that the state is somehow in the position to take over Chicago schools. This ridiculous idea only serves as a distraction from the state’s problems that these two state leaders should be focusing on.”

Reactions from other Senate Democrats:

Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) today called on Republican leaders in the General Assembly to focus on solutions to the state’s budget crisis rather than proposing such ill-conceived ideas as a state takeover of the finances of the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools.

“Illinois’ own well-documented fiscal problems deserve the full, undivided attention of GOP leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner right now,” Harmon said. “If Illinois under Gov. Rauner’s leadership can’t find a way to fund basic human services and grants promised to needy college students, it’s certainly in no position to take over Chicago Public Schools.”

Harmon noted the irony of Republican leaders who are defenders of local control touting a plan that would wrest local control from Chicago taxpayers.

“Notably, Republicans are the ones who put the control of Chicago’s public schools in the hands of the mayor back in 1995,” Harmon said. “The Republicans are strong proponents of local control except when they’re not.”

State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago), the chairman of the Senate Education committee, released the following statement regarding Republican plans to take over Chicago schools and force bankruptcy:   

“The governor has forced the state into a financial crisis, and now he wants to take over one of the biggest public school systems in the nation. I find it hard to believe that this decision has the best interest of CPS students and families in mind. We need to get CPS back on level ground, not force it into bankruptcy and then allow the governor to treat it like another business."

“I do not trust the governor’s ability to manage Chicago Public Schools any more than his willingness to properly manage the state’s budget. The out-of-tune, out-of-step Republican leaders are using this tactic as a distractor. No one in Chicago or the state is fooled,” said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, (D-Chicago, 17th).

“Bankruptcy may work for corporations but it doesn’t work for our children in Chicago,” said Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter, (D-Chicago, 3rd). “Shortchanging our kids, teachers and communities for partisan points is a new low, even for Rauner.”

“This legislation is a non-starter and clearly is only a distraction from the very real problems the state faces,” Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago, 10th) said. “Breaking teachers' contracts and the promises made in those contracts will only hurt the working men and women of our City and State."

"This plan won’t work and distracts from the state’s problems the governor has created by failing to approve a budget," Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago, 20) said. "The Republican leaders need to focus on stabilizing Illinois instead of taking over the nation’s third largest school district. The last thing we need right now is a hostile state takeover that could disrupt students’ education and end contracts for dedicated CPS teachers."

“The problems of poverty and inequality that are causing this crisis in Chicago are the same problems affecting districts all across the state," State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). "We need a statewide solution for a statewide problem, and we have a plan that will fundamentally fix school funding in Illinois, not just remove and replace one part of the larger problem.”

“A state takeover and forced bankruptcy won’t help our teachers," said Senator Bill Cunningham. We need to be working with them to get them the resources they need. Not trying to undermine their work and economic stability.”

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago.


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