The Mayor has told us that by paying teachers less he will be helping children learn more or that paying teachers more he will be hurting children because he would have used that money how exactly to help children learn more? See, he and Mr. Brizard know that they are lying to us. The only questions we’ve yet to ascertain is how hard are they lying to us and why. What should be crystal-clear to you without having to look at anything at all is that Mayor Emanuel and his pack of plutocrat-weasels are not interested in the welfare of your children or their educations.
They are interested in being able to take credit for reducing costs and creating innovative public-private partnerships while putting those f&$^#* public unions to paid once and for all because that is what the Mayor’s political funders want and that’s the kind of politics he’s spent his whole life defending. They are also doing everything in their evil power to enlist the public and even other workers within CPS in their attacks on the Teacher’s Union by claiming the 4% raise, not the Mayor’s unwillingness to get revenue from his wealthy and powerful corporate backers, is the problem and are attacking kids. In reality the Mayor is just attacking the public education system little the apparatchik of corporate power that he is.
If that sounds harsh it’s because when this prick-rat-bastard says: "Our children got the shaft." He’s not lying it’s just that he is the one giving the children the shaft. He’s doing so by not paying their teachers, making them take longer bus rides to school and taking $75 million out of the budget without doing a forensic audit and building a plan to address the budget based on that. It demonstrates how little they care about kids because it shows you and I and that they don’t have any kind of grasp on the actual CPS budget numbers. I say that because without a forensic audit from which to investigate the budget before whacking away $75 million in infrastructure and capacity that they’ve already decided that kids are worth $75 million less than they were before. We also know that they don’t know if cutting this money has already done real damage to the system and neither do we because no one should assume that there were $75 million dollars worth of cuts to be made in the system.
You may think that sounds like an irresponsible thing to say because why would Mayor Emanuel, noted money guy who surrounded himself with a phalanx of corporate money guys do something so cavalier? I don’t know why but when you look at the numbers and their actions it appears as if they have no idea what’s going on. Our deficit is roughly $724 million. We have some pools of money to draw on. The State of Illinois owes us $300 million. We have $75 million in the Education Jobs Fund and $100 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money. This seems pretty straight forward but it so isn’t it scares me like it should scare you. The situation is.. as they say in the cartoons… bad. To get some sense of how bad it is and how little the Emanuel Administration knows about the CPS budget the Mayor says that the CPS budget numbers include the $300 million that the state owes CPS.
CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll disagrees with her boss. The number crunchers in the Mayor’s Office and at CPS aren’t saying anything. In fact no one in charge of finances in the Mayor’s Office appears to have a handle on exactly where $300 million dollars worth of inputs actually is. If you or I made a math error like that we wouldn’t be qualified for our jobs… so why are they? It’s even possible that the actual deficit is not $720 million its really $820 million because there’s $96 million dollars that the Daley Administration thought should be counted but the Emanuel Administration doesn’t think should be counted but, being ferrets, in the employ of a weasel, Becky Carroll was willing to say that it might really be in there but they would see. If this sounds like magical accounting that’s because it is and that’s why taking $75 million out of the schools seems like what it is… guessing.
We also know that if the Mayor was interested in helping the school system he’d look for some revenue. We didn’t hear a lot about his concerted campaign to get our $300 million from the state of Illinois. We know that he hasn’t explored altering property tax abatements or the TIF program to find funds for schools or he could advocate for ordinances and laws that prohibit the abatement or diversion of the school portion of property taxes. We know that he’s eliminating $19.6 million in revenue by dropping the corporate head tax as fast as he can, which could go to schools. We know that he’s not pursuing the $80 million dollar property tax the Daley Administration was considering or the 2.7% increase in sales taxes.We know that he is not looking into demanding more money from the federal government. We know he’s not engaged in creating innovative Community Benefits Agreements with existing corporations to raise funds for schools.
Since Mayor Emanuel does not understand the numbers and is not looking for additional revenue for our schools, which means for our children… what the hell has he been up? Our guy is slashing budgets and pay and hiding behind children. A question I keep waiting to hear answered is… how will this help kids learn? For example, if we don’t find extra cash class sizes are going to jump from 28… already too high, to 36. That’s gotta be bad for the book learnin’. We know that none of Chicago’s best schools have disempowered unions but now since all schools in Chicago have a disempowered union what do you suppose that will do for the schools? We know that “value added” measures and merit pay are failed ideas that don’t help kids learn. We know that Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind are bad models and that the Mayor can’t wait to bring more that model to the city.
We know that the Mayor has not enunciated a plan for what to do with the children who in the schools that get out competed for the resources that will apparently only be going to the most competitive schools. That sounds like a way to throw away thousands of school kids every year because it systematically makes bad schools worse instead of developing strong schools everywhere. We know that the best school systems in the world pay their teachers on par with doctors and lawyers… that’s right you want a good school system you have to pay for it to some degree but our plan is pay teachers less and make their working conditions longer and worse because that will create a benefit for kids or we will fire them and replace them with younger, cheaper teachers… It sounds like insanity when put the way it actually is… does it?
So this is not about providing your children with quality education or securing funding to pay for any kind of education. This is about money because for Mayor Emanuel this is an accounting problem. The goal is to create a system where only the most aggressive and strong survive and anyone who can’t compete is on their f$#*&ing own. Just like in an idealized corporate market place because these are their values. The worst part of this is that they, as pointed out above aren’t even doing a good job with the dollars and damn cents.