In 2017 I posted about the dirty dealings between Forrest Claypool, Rahm’s hand-picked choice to head CPS, and policies that directly led to a reduction and delay in special education services.
The City Council Progressive Reform Caucus on Thursday demanded Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool testify before the City Council Education Committee after a WBEZ investigative report found CPS leadership had implemented secret plans to reduce programs and support for special needs students.
“The report revealed what many CPS parents have long suspected–that likely in violation of state and federal law, CPS redirected funds intended for students with special needs, and significantly reduced the programs and specialized supportive services for special education,” said Progressive Caucus Chair Ald. Scott Waguespack (32). “These disturbing revelations deepen our already grave concerns about Mr. Claypool’s leadership.”
The Illinois State Board of Education is now considering action that would take control of special education services away from CPS.
If ISBE takes this action Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s schools team and CPS special education programs would fall under state control as the mayor pursues re-election.
Many of us who support special education reforms applaud the conclusions of the ISBE investigation into CPS delays and denial of services. Finally.
Troy LaRaviere, President of the Chicago Principal’s Association and mayoral candidate has been talking about this for years.
Lori Lightfoot, who announced for mayor this week, needs to make Rahm’s control of CPS and Forrest Claypool’s stinky contractual relationships – the scandal around special education services – an issue as well.
Mayoral politics aside, the real victims here have been Chicago students with special needs.
ISBE launched a sweeping investigation of CPS special education practices last year and found a 2016 district policy overhaul delayed and denied services to students.
In a statement, (current) CPS CEO Janice Jackson repeated her view that the district moved too quickly in implementing the special ed changes.
This is all about corruption at CPS and pay-to-play.
And another reason Rahm must go.