Tag Archives: school finance

Here is my view on CHICAGO SCHOOLS (as published in the Chicago Tribune on April 10, 2014)

Vallas Has No Credibility Talking About Schools

I am the former executive director of the City Club of Chicago and president of the Public Policy Caucuses, and I was the chief consultant to both the Chicago and Detroit Boards of Educations.  I recently received an email from the Paul Vallas campaign promoting his bid for lt. governor. He refers to his experience as former head of the Chicago Board of Education as a primary credential.  He also echoes the Democrat’s constant call for more money for schools.

The Chicago urban schools are among the worst in the nation. They did not improve under Vallas’ leadership.  Instead of bragging, he should be apologizing, and explain his failure to improve the education of mostly minority students.

In calling for even more funding, despite the desperate financial condition of the state, he perpetrates a long-standing Democrat myth that the only problem in education is lack of funding.

Like all government bureaucracies, the Illinois education system is riddled with excess personnel and enormous waste. Most new dollars flow directly into teacher contract settlements – with nothing for the classroom.  In some cases, settlements absorbed 110 percent of new money – meaning the student budget had to be cut.  In other cases, one time financial fixes left the schools with unattainable out-year salary and benefit deficits.

The very Democrats who have deprived quality education to mostly minority students would have parents and taxpayers believe that the old failed policies of the past will somehow work.

They never will, because the students come last. The structure is designed to reward the unions for their role in underwriting the Democrat Machine.  They oppose giving parents a choice in education because every student sitting in a classroom is money for the unions and the politicians.

Vallas’ campaign claims are as pathetic and dishonest as those of all the Machine politicians who preceded him.