United Working Families Statement on Chicago School Budgets

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Following is the statement of Emma Tai, Executive Director of United Working Families, on the school budgets provided to Chicago principals:

“Today, principals across Chicago received woefully inadequate school budgets that will mean yet another round of brutal cuts for students, parents, and teachers. Bruce Rauner and Rahm Emanuel continue to pass the buck for the laid-off teachers, the short-term borrowing schemes, and the overcrowded classrooms. It’s the other guy’s fault, they say. There’s not enough money, they say.

“They are lying. We live in the fifth-richest state in the richest country in the history of the world. The problem is not lack of money, but lack of political will.

“For evidence of the bounty of our local economy, we need look no further than the hundreds of millions of dollars that these men spend on their personal political ambitions. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic frontrunner, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, will spend over $300 million on the 2018 election. Chicagoan Ken Griffin—one of the richest men in the world, and a prominent donor to both Rauner and Emanuel—has already donated a record-breaking $20 million to Rauner’s re-election campaign. Emanuel has pledged to raise $30 million for his own 2019 campaign.

“School cuts are not a fact of nature. A 25 percent African-American unemployment rate is not inevitable. A 10-year-old boy shot in the street is not predestined. This suffering is the result of decisions made by those who are more interested in protecting the profits of the rich than the good of the public. Rauner and Emanuel like to point fingers at each other, but the reality is that they are cut from the same cloth: new political bosses for our new gilded age, protecting their wealthy friends at the expense of everyone else.”

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