Rahm is facing tough re-election polling numbers.
A challenge by Alderman Bob Fioretti and CTU President Karen Lewis looms large.
Of the list of complaints that Chicagoans have about the Mayor, none that have catalyzed opposition more than his historic and massive shuttering of neighborhood public schools.
They have been replaced by charter schools. Some charters are being built directly across the street from existing neighborhood schools.
Recent enrollment reports show empty seats in many of these charter schools.
Others, like those run by Rahm’s election chair, Juan Rangel, are scandal ridden and under federal investigation.
It is not surprising that the Sun-Times is reporting that Rahm will not open any new charter schools in 2015.
For the first time in years — and during a mayoral re-election race the president of the Chicago Teachers Union might join — Chicago Public Schools officials said Thursday they are not planning to recommend any new charter schools to open in 2015.
The district, which by state law must issue a request for new schools every year, won’t accept proposals until December, spokesman Bill McCaffrey said, adding, “To ensure adequate time for the process, that RFP would accept applications for schools to open no sooner than the fall of 2016.”
The Sun-Times adds,
That likely means no fighting over charter schools this winter as the mayoral campaign ramps up.
The Sun-Times must be kidding!
Concept and UNO charters.
As a mayoral issue, Rahm politically owns them.
Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, Illinois state director for the pro-Emanuel Democrats for Education Reform group said in a statement that Chicago students “urgently need access to more high-quality charter schools, particularly in underserved communities.”
And by “underserved communities” Nieves-Huffman must mean those like the four square miles of Humboldt Park where Rahm closed every neighborhood public school.