An investigation has been launched on the State’s largest school district. The Illinois State Board of Education launched an investigation Thursday on Chicago Public Schools nearly two weeks after Gov. Bruce Rauner called for a thorough review of CPS’s books as part of a proposed state takeover of the district.
Gov. Rauner cited decades long mismanagement of Chicago Public Schools as a reason he’s called for the state to takeover the cash strapped district. The district has called for nearly $480 million in additional funding from the state, or face teacher layoffs. Gov. Rauner says if CPS’s finances are handled by the State, faculty layoffs won’t be necessary.
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“I don’t think there’s a single teacher who should lose his or her job in Chicago, if the financials are handled property. And that’s what we’re looking at right now, is trying to invegativate that,” Rauner said.
House Republican Minority leader Jim Durkin echoed the Governor's call for more accountability on the part of Chicago Public Schools, saying the the district must meet the same standards as the rest of the schools in Illinois.
“CPS needs to be held accountable to the same standards as the rest of the schools in the state of Illinois,” Durkin said. “But it’s time has come, that they need to be held accountable just as my school district, your school district, and every school district from Southern Illinois to the Northwest part of the State.”
On Wednesday, House Speaker Michael Madigan said, due to a large percentage of Chicago students living in poverty, its diverse minority student population, and low percentage of English speaking students, special attention in terms of education funding must be given to Chicago Public Schools.
“The largest school system in Illinois, it’s 86% poor children, 85% minority, 16% English learners, take all that together and that particular system deserves special attention, special consideration.”
Chicago Public School is requesting nearly $480 million from the state, and Senate President, Democrat, John Cullerton said legislators should concentrate education funding to districts that are struggling, and have a benefit on schools statewide.
“Focus education dollars where there’s a consideration of poverty. And that will probably benefit not just Chicago, but East St. Louis, and Taylorville, and other poorer school districts,” Cullerton said.
Chicago Public Schools must submit information to the State Board of Education by March 4th.