Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, sent a letter home with all 381,000 students. The letter, dated as of Monday, according to a report on WGN-TV, accused Gov Bruce Rauner, Republican of Illinois, of “cheating” kids, especially those who are most vulnerable: poor ones, minorities.
The station said a letter from the governor’s office read:
Rather than cutting services and creating a crisis to help justify a campaign to raise taxes in Springfield, it would be helpful to everyone if CPS would work with all parties to enact a balanced budget package that includes comprehensive pension reform and a new and equitable school funding formula. (attributed to Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis)
And about that $215 million? The governor’s office says CPS is making cuts even as lawmakers in Springfield are working on a budget that would provide additional funds for Chicago schools. Ms Purvis wrote that CPS was trying to “arbitrarily create a crisis” with “a curiously timed and unfortunate announcement.”
Enrollment has dropped in recent years at the nation’s third-largest school district, according to the Chicago Tribune, and CPS did receive a special block grant from the state. Still, the $215 million hole is real, though its precise origin is elusive.