And people wonder why School Choice is so popular… Chicago Public School administrators sent all their students home with a politically charged letter accusing Governor Bruce Rauner of “cheating” the children in their district with his policies, by comparing him to President Donald Trump. Over 300,000 students in the district carried the letters home to unsuspecting parents. A local TV station, WGN has published a copy of the letter, along with some of the parents’ reactions….
The “Dear Parents” letter begins by stating “Governor Bruce Rauner, just like President Trump, has decided to attack those who need the most help.” Twice the letter accuses Gov. Rauner of “cheating” children. Once it says the governor “stole” from kids. The letter goes on to cite Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool’s often repeated claim that the governor broke a promise by blocking Chicago from receiving $215 million for city schools.
One CPS parent who contacted WGN wrote: “This is so inappropriate. How can he send political propaganda home?” The letter, paid for by taxpayers, does not mention democrats who have been in control of the city and state legislature for decades.
Government watchdog groups questioned the district’s decision to use such strong partisan language in a letter sent home with kids. “Invoking partisan politics – especially at the national level – is not the most effective way to build trust with parents and students,” said Sarah Brune of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
Gov. Rauner’s office released a letter of its own Tuesday. Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis wrote: “Rather than cutting services and creating a crisis to help justify a campaign to raise taxes in Springfield, it would be helpful to everyone if CPS would work with all parties to enact a balanced budget package that includes comprehensive pension reform and a new and equitable school funding formula.”
WGN has a copy of the actual letter here.
Public schools are garnishing all the headlines this week, for all the wrong reasons.