Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool again accused Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner of discriminating against the district’s minority children by refusing to sign a funding bill.
And again, Claypool got called out for short-changing CPS’ African-American children via special education funding and proposals to close three high-performing black majority schools.
Claypool joined Illinois superintendents imploring Rauner to sign the bipartisan Senate Bill 1, which gives 268 districts more per-pupil money than Chicago. Rauner has threatened to veto the measure that has passed the legislature, calling the money it contains for city teacher pensions a “CPS bailout”.
“By dividing the state, region against region, and playing the regrettable dog-whistle politics of race, the governor and his surrogates are placing their own politics ahead of their own responsibilities to the children of Illinois,” Claypool said. “Only Governor Rauner stands in the schoolhouse door, blocking progress.”
CPS critic Troy LaRaviere chastised Claypool, who is white, for similar discrimination and beseeched former principal and second-in-command Janice Jackson, who is African American, to “come back home, sister” from Central Office.
The head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association called the distribution of $3.5 million in special education appeals “racially discriminatory to a degree that is flagrant and nauseating.” Schools serving mostly white students saw, on average, 60 percent of their requests fulfilled, according to CPAA, and 14 percent for majority Hispanic schools.
“Mr. Claypool, since you blame the state quite a bit for racially discriminatory finding, would you care to guess on average what majority black schools got?” LaRaviere asked. “The answer is 9 percent.”
LaRaviere also denounced CPS for trying to shut down three highly-rated majority-black schools this year: Kellogg on the South Side, Field on the North and now National Teachers Academy.
“When has this district ever attempted to shut down three majority white schools in one year?” he asked before turning to Jackson.
“Our principals love you, they’re very disappointed because you were one of us. When are you going to leave this cesspool and come back home? Come back home, sister.”
CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner said “Dr. Jackson’s integrity and years of service speak for themselves.”
Contributing: Rachel Hinton