Chicago parents were puzzled this week when their children brought a letter home from Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool that criticized Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump. Claypool had the letter sent home with all 381,000 students in the school system, and his critics are blasting him for using parental communications to further his political sentiments.
“Dear Families,” the letter began, “Governor Bruce Rauner, just like President Trump, has decided to attack those who need the most help. Governor Rauner broke his word by blocking Chicago from receiving $215 million for our schools.
“That $215 million was supposed to be a first step–just a first step–toward treating your children fairly,” Claypool continued. “But Governor Rauner broke his word.”
Claypool accused the Republican governor of cheating Chicago students “of their fair share” just to “score political points” with his conservative supporters.
“Please join with us in demanding that the governor and his friends stop acting like President Trump,” the letter concluded.
Absent from the letter was any recognition of the fact that Chicago is a city almost entirely controlled by Democrats. Nor did Claypool admit that the Illinois legislature was also controlled by liberals.
On Tuesday, Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis released a statement calling on Claypool to simmer down.
“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 [Chicago Public Schools] would work with all parties to enact a balanced budget package that includes comprehensive pension reform and a new and equitable school funding formula,” Purvis wrote.
This is kinda like when your cable company runs a scroll across your television warning you that you’re about to lose the Home & Garden Channel if they can’t reach a settlement. Except we’re talking about the public school system and parents who just want to see Chicago politicians act in the best interests of the students.
The idea that anyone in Chicago could have the temerity to blame Republicans for…ANYTHING…is a bridge too far. How much of the city do you have to control before you can get your way? These Democrats could winnow the Republican Party down to one meaningless seat in the House of Representatives and still find a way to put all of the state’s troubles on him. This is the same city, after all, that blames the gun laws in neighboring states for the war-like conditions in the Southside.
We would ask the Democrats to take personal responsibility for their failings…but then again, if they did that, they wouldn’t be Democrats.