Senator Cullerton: Call the ERSB for a Senate vote. Chicago schools need funding AND democracy.


It turned out that in the end a House vote for an elected school board in Chicago was not too difficult.

It passed 100 to 4.

Even the Speaker voted yes.

It seems the Mayor has few friends.

Nobody even wants a campaign photo op with him.

He is this election season’s Where’s Waldo?

Chicago Tonight’s Paris Schutz reports:

We’re told it will likely not get called for a vote in the Senate, at least not before next Tuesday’s primary election. But the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago), says he’ll continue to work the Senate roll call on a bill that flew through the House with bipartisan support.

Why won’t Senate President Cullerton call a bill that is so widely popular?

Friends of the Mayor have tried to divert the ERSB (elected representative school board) with the argument that the focus in Springfield should be school funding.

But CPS needs funding and democracy.

I would argue that a part of the financial mess that CPS faces is a result of mismanagement and pension theft by the Mayor and his hand-picked board.

Rauner has his own plan for CPS. He wants a state takeover.

State takeovers have a bad rap right now. Two words: Flint water.

Senate President Cullerton has to choose among a popular plan for an elected board, continued control by an unpopular Mayor or the Rauner takeover plan.

Talk about no-brainers.

The Sun-Times’ Mark Brown writes:

There’s a possibility that Emanuel, seeing the handwriting on the wall, would relinquish the school board in the “grand bargain” with Rauner and the Legislature that he believes is possible — after the primary.

But the mayor remained dug in Thursday, arguing to reporters that Chicago’s system of elected local school councils already gives the city “an elected school board for every school” which he described as “the largest democratic body in the country.”

He should have saved his breath. He lost that argument with the public long ago, about the time his appointed school board voted to close 50 public schools at his behest in 2013.

The mayor is right about one thing: The elected school board legislation doesn’t address the real underlying problem, which is meeting the schools’ revenue needs.

This is typical Mayoral distraction.

As if the Mayor and his elected school board have not had five years to address revenue needs without funding failing charters, TIF money, stealing pensions and reneging on contractual teacher salary payments.

The Senate should vote on the bill. Now. Not later.

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