“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” – William S. Burroughs.
Some pundits (Yes. I’m looking at you Eric Zorn and Laura Washington) have dismissed the accusation of racism when it comes to school closings.
They sneer at Karen Lewis for suggesting such a thing when the Mayor closes schools that are over 90% African-American in a district with 42% African-American enrollment.
I wonder what they will say if and when lawyers go into federal court and file a civil rights complaint against the CPS? What if a judge orders an injunction?
Will these pundits side with the board?
CTU President Lewis has called on families to show up at their schools on opening day.
Will these critics join with the Mayor and stand in the school-house door and block students from entering?
There is another issue which could be even more of an Achilles Heel for the Mayor’s closing plans.
The shifting of thousands of CPS students will create chaos for Special Needs programs and support. In my opinion, there is no way this can go ahead without parents and others with standing going to court with the complaint that CPS is in violation of federal special education regulations.
It is a criminal assault on children with special needs.
Mike has more on this today.
I find it suspicious that the Illinois Board of Education has chosen this moment to change the rules limiting special education class size.
Reports the IEA:
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has voted to propose elimination of its rule, Section 226.730, which limits the number of special education students which can be placed in both general education and special education classrooms. If ISBE’s proposal becomes law, it would mean there would be no state limit on the number of students with disabilities that school districts could place in either type of classroom.
How convenient that the ISBE would propose a way for Rahm and his board hacks to overload classrooms with Special Needs students. That is what they would have to do to receiving schools when other neighborhood schools are closed.
A conspiracy theory?
You don’t have to be paranoid to think it.
I have another conspiracy this morning.
On the last days of the March General Assembly the Senate passed Senate Bill 1.
The final bill first failed by one vote. Before any of us could make calls to our senators, Cullerton had rounded up the one vote. The Senate voted again. They get to do that.
SB1 would mean that current TRS active teachers would have their cost of living raises in retirement slashed or give up access to state health insurance.
The reason Cullerton had such a difficult time getting SB1 passed was that there are still many in the Illinois Senate who believe it is an unconstitutional violation of the pension protection clause.
Here’s the conspiracy part.
Just days before the vote a Sangamon County judge ruled that a similar pension impairment of another state employee group was constitutional.
It is generally agreed that the timing of this ruling gave permission for some waivering senators to vote with Cullerton.
But Springfield Leaks reports that the judge, Associate Judge Steven Nardulli, is a family court judge.
Family court judges don’t normally handle cases dealing with the constitutionality of pension legislation.
And guess what? Representative Elaine Nekritz, the Illinois House pension busting queen, is best buds with Nardulli’s wife. Dining out pals. In fact the two of them had dinner together on the evening that the judge heard arguments in the case.
She’s a Springfield lobbyist for the Illinois Bankers Association.
I’m not kidding.
This is Illinois. What do you think?