#StopCPScuts: Public education and public under attack in Chicago

Moody’s lowered the bond rating in Chicago. Which means that they believe Chicago cannot be fully trusted to pay back all the money loaned to them in bonds. It’s rich folks talking to more rich folks about how they should spend their money, as my sometimes mentor Don Washington explained to me today. He’s got a great take on it and you should read it because he’s much more knowledgeable about public policy and this stuff than I am, and he speaks in the dual gravitas of a policy wonk and an experienced community activist.

But I just wanna focus on Rahm’s solutions, as they are typical to neo-liberal and conservative tax policies. The solution for taxes for conservatives is always lower taxes. Neoliberals like Rahm don’t necessarily believe that, but their rich allies may. And neo-liberals will side with their allies. Knowing that he can’t bleed more property taxes out of landowners as the rates that have been exponentially raised the last decade, Mayor Emanuel ignores the incredible junket of taxes that are already at this disposal in the slush TIF funds (more than half of the near half a billion dollars put into these funds – largely from downtown and rich areas are taken from money that is supposed to – and that taxpayers are told do – go to the schools. That’s $250,000,000 per year. And we wonder why we’re at this crisis.), and he ignores the tax breaks he gives to the wealthy (like DePaul University which he is buying valuable land for, turning it tax free in the process, and then leasing it to the school – a stunner of a revelation coming out as it did at the same time 49 schools in Black and Brown neighborhoods were being shuttered).

cps protest arrest

So how does Chicago’s City Hall respond to a financial/economic crisis they’ve created? As always, by punishing the workers and the poor. And Rahm responds by firing thousands upon thousands of teachers and crowding classrooms – after closing fifty schools in one year! Because that’ll make middle class families want to stay and relocate in Chicago. And prepare black and poor students for the middle class world which is quickly dwindling.

I see were this is going. We’ll be talking more about this through the week. For now, please read my storify on the demonstrations and attendant thoughts:

#StopCPScuts: Public education and public under attack in Chicago

  1. We need a school board elected by parents and held provincially #stopcpscuts
  2. If #cpsboard cuts 20-25% of budget in #cpsschools, we cut 20-25% of their pay. If they close 49 schools, we close them! #stopcpscuts
  3. 2nd flr City Hall is filling up fast with parents, students, and activists to #stopcpscuts
  4. Each year, more than a quarter billion $$ are taken from #cpsbudget by TIF funds, w/ most earmarked for rich developers & corps #stopcpscuts
  5. Representing the 35th Ward and Darwin School. Remembering Von Humboldt School, RIP. #stopcpscuts
  1. Our children are being hurt and targeted all over the land and thru us by White/Rich Supremacy #stopcpscuts #justice
  1. Ald Maldonado is speaking against militarization of immigration. Wants to militarize school. Parents are angry, rightly
  1. Chicago has TIF surplus of possibly 1.8 BILLION dollars. Give it back to schools and #stopcpscuts!!
  2. We need teachers in the Fall! Not more money for DePaul! #chant @ctulocal1 rally #stopcpscuts
  1. Rousemary Vega, #CPS parent who held sit-in at Lafayette Elementary, forced out of #CPSboard mtg pic.twitter.com/YyMrUrN8qe
  1. “@WBEZeducation Bienen: Structural deficit. We take in less $ than we spend. Either raise taxes, cut expenses, or borrow. #cpsboard” Nope
  1. Again, another false claim by City Hall. There are money but they’re reluctant to use it. May upset plutocrats.


  1. Again, the cuts in public school means direct attacks on not just poor, but now also middle class. #stopcpscuts Don’t think you’re safe, Chi


  1. #CPSboard & #Rahm ARE Zimmermans. And our kids are suspicious.


  1. Maybe he should stop lying! “@CTULocal1 Board President Vitale pleads with CTU President Lewis to stop calling him a liar.”


  1. Trend: When horrible, horrible laws/policies are pushed thru (cf Texas abortion bill, Stand Ground) it allows plutocrats to push other ones


  1. Trend: When it happens to underclass, it’ll then be pushed through up the scale to middle class. We need more #solidarity #cpscuts


  1. White Chicago wasn’t really paying attn when #cpsclosings was happening. But schl cuts will affect their decisions of where to raise kids


  1. 20-25%. That takes out essential programs, art, music, gym, teacher aides, support staff – things that CPS have too few of #stopcpscuts


  1. Diana Arangulo, student: “We want a school board that is not all rich people! Are you listening to me now?” #CPSboard #StopCPSCuts


  1. Student. giving a Declaration of Education. Certain inalienable rights… whether you live on the north side or the south side.


  1. We don’t have money for public schools, but we do for DePaul and Wrigley! YAYYY #stopcpscuts

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