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Ill. Gov. 'Holding Citizens Hostage With Austerity Agenda' With Plan for State Takeover of Chicago Public Schools


Ill. Gov. 'Holding Citizens Hostage With Austerity Agenda' With Plan for State Takeover of Chicago Public Schools

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has been accused of "doubling down and holding Illinois citizens hostage with his austerity agenda" following his backing of Republican plan for a state takeover of the Chicago Public Schools.


It's a turf war between political parties. When a public institution becomes a political and economic problem like CPS has become, it doesn't have a leg to stand on anymore, and then it becomes something to fight over. It is a political hot potato that is only worth anything if it allows politicians to take control of something they didn't have control of before. The teachers threatening to strike aren't looking at the big picture. When they are going to lay you off anyway, and take over your school system, threatening to not show up for work is not much of a threat. The state politicians don't care what kind of contract the teachers have with the city. If CPS declares bankruptcy, the contracts will most likely be null and void. The Republicans have time on their side; they can wait this out as long as they want. However bankruptcy is not a solution for the schools, it is only a victory for Republicans. The state is just as bankrupt as the city is and the state is not going to be able to manage it any better. Both parties will kick this can down the road and then blame each other for what happens to it. And it probably isn't going to have a very good fate. Public school systems are dying institutions in a collapsing society. Things were a lot different in 1956, but that was then.....


And just what might you suggest would solve the problem? Placing blame on teachers is not productive, belaboring that times are different is not constructive and both lead to exactly what the grasping, slobbering, greedy proponents of the privatization of public education nationwide want: the public educators, parents, teachers, and administrators to simply roll up into a ball and take the usurpation of their schools and abolishment of their jobs literally lying down. One thing for sure, the governor of Illinois authorizing the state to take over would be a colossal across-the-board failure from which the school system may never recover. And Arne Duncan laid the groundwork for this eventuality...what a disaster he was/is.


Ironically, next time an election rolls around, another republican will be voted in.


What does the public want from teachers who are given 40 kids to teach. Cut the class size to half of this and let's see what happens. The powers that be are trying to break the public schools so they can get the state money in their already overflowing coffers.
Search Diane Ravitch and Bernie Sanders I oppose charter schools

and then read the comments from the teachers and find out what is really going on in education in this country.


Your analysis is bunk.

The driving forces behind this tactical ploy (taking over public institutions based on assessment of their finances) are privatization and Union-busting.

Both are key components of the broad sweeping corporatization agenda, which is reaching a new crescendo with these "emergency management" anti-democracy coups.


I'd add that the distinction between 'management' and 'administration' is a conceptual instrument that has been under 'leveraged' in popular discourse.

The former is now completely - but only for the time being - crippled by its strangulation under the fraud laden derivatives model of "management". The constant morphing of derivatives is like a star preparing to implode. Pathological levels of extraction post-Glass Steagall is actually the historical economic norm of the west - now slobbering over globalizing it. Any person of the original indigenous nations and African Americans is already familiar with what is now trickling up the predatory capital feeding 'chain' otherwise known as "civilized" society.

This harkens back to the actual historical records of colonzation and what was actually meant by 'civilizing'; gleeful church/state domination ultimately intended to 'assimilate' any and all, by any and all means possible into 'resource' configurations from which to extract colonizable 'dominion' (domination). This by royal courts and churches (and now their contemporaries) incapable of imagining any other methodology let alone any other healthy epistemology or ontology. The full diversity of healthy ways of being is something western institutions are still demonstrably incapable of recognizing except to extract fragments for profit. Hence the concepts of inclusivity, equality, equilibrium, well being, creativity etc, inherent in true learning processes, are relegated to modes of 'value' extraction under the rubric of its archaic feudal pipeline systems; notable is the constant generation of 'feuds'.

The domination narrative by which these crises arise and get flung into the age-old grinder happens once again, but this time the cumulative poisoning required for the 'externalized cost' argument is now unprecedented and undeniable. It's correlate, the war making machinery now sucking on psyches with its paranoid surveillance behind smoke and mirrors, I would liken to an opiate junkie kingpin and minions overdosing on viagra.

I would submit that the 'externalized cost' aspect needs an equally forceful documentation and articulation by the 'grass roots' as being the central poison that it is.
The nightmare version of natural life and living will continue to be shoved down throats, then temporarily soothed, and people encouraged to self-identify as fractured 'sectors', de facto 'reserved' for later extraction. Ask any indigenous person about the historical status, context and meaning of 'reservation' - a very interesting word to consider in the western lexicon.

... rant over


For those who can envision a future, even set backs are encountered with hope. For the dying whose hope is vanishing, the future is accepted with anger, bitterness, and finally the resignation of the inevitable.
Scott ("Kochie") Walker in Wisconsin, Rick ("Whitey") Snyder in Michigan, and now Bruce Rauner in Illinois have rightly inherited the results of decades of the enactment of their ideology of government.
De-industrialization (because both capital and entrepreneurs have the inalienable right to go where they can get the best deal).
Corporate tax avoidance (because why should these constitutionally protected "persons" be treated with less "fairness" than anyone else?).
And representative government that has sold out to the highest bidder instead of representing the best interests of ALL the people.
The result is the destruction of what once was the largest middle-class economy in the world, the increasing deterioration of the infrastructure of state from roads, bridges, and water supplies to (alas!) educational institutions.
The Midwest US is dying and their present will be the future of the rest of the US, even of the vaunted sun-belt, as this pernicious and hypocritical philosophy of government works its will over a media distracted people.


All you did was reword my statement and make it yours. The people who comment on this site have delusionally utopian views that have nothing to do with reality. Your comment is nothing more than a frustrated childish response.


All Illinois has to do is look to its northeast to see how poorly state takeovers by repubs work. The Flint emergency manager is now in charge of Detroit Schools. I guess they did not tell him that his job was not supposed to be creating emergencies.

Rauner needs to go.


Not in this case. Rauner ran a stealth campaign, he not once argued for "right to work zones" something he proposed upon taking office. Actually, he ran a rather milquetoast campaign and that, combined with the constant bickering between Governor Quinn and Madigan in the Legislature, opened the door for this wine snob and friend of Rahm to get elected. He's toast if he runs again and I think he and the Tribune know it and are trying to do as much damage to democratic procedure they can before time runs out. No, absolutely No, candidate can run on "right to work" in Illinois.


In no way am i rewording your "delusionally utopian views that have nothing to do with reality," although it's funny you would say that without apparently recognizing what you are saying about your own view that i am "making my own."

And i love your claim that critics of these tools are the unrealistic ones! Thanks for both those laughs.


I live in Illinois, he's toast.


Excellent! Thank you.



Defunding the Commons to "prove" that public organizations do not work is done for the ultimate purpose of privatization. This non-democratic, totally destructive plan of action is directly taken out of the neo-liberal playbook designed to benefit the constructors of neo-liberalism ... the capitalist ruling class.

Without exception, Capitalism ultimately destroys everything it touches.


The governor of Illinois needs to have his fascist ass goose-stepped out of Illinois.


Rahmbo Emmanuel brought this war on himself with all his Wall Street dancing racism and covering for police thuggery. Let him sort it out, if he isn't in jail before he can come to his vulgar senses.


Teacher's have a right to organize, the problem is created when they are on both sides of the negotiating table, too often the case in metropolitan areas.

All the disputes about public schools and privatization should be accompanied by commentary on the costs of public education in the cities and the performance of the teachers measured by the outcomes of their efforts.

The easiest way to bring down the wrath of both the public school administrators and the teachers is to suggest a simple avenue: give parents and students a choice, not between charter schools and public schools but all private schools and public schools.

It is difficult not to conclude, despite protestations, that parental choice is seen as a very serious threat to the public school establishment and one may surmise as to why. Many observers can speculate but the question deserves some attention.


Hey, look how well that privatizing and appointing unelected officials to city position has worked for Flint and Detroit. What was it Bush said during Katrina? “Great job ….Brownie!!!!”


What I hear are the teachers themselves saying, "see, public doesn't work". Nobody is more discontent with the way public schools are run than teachers and their unions. But in the very next breath they preach about how great the public school system is. Instead of offering an alternative, the teachers demand more status quo. They just keep recycling the same play book. The school system and union contracts are the boxes that the teachers can't think outside of. If the public school system is so great, then stop complaining about it. As long as education is delivered through public school systems, those systems will continue to be a political target. But teachers won't have it any other way. They refuse to think outside the box. Companies like uber and airbnb have revolutionized two huge industries in the United States in only a couple of years. They have shaken up industries so much that some people are worried. Why are they worried? Because somebody came up with a new way to do something that had been done differently for years. They were able to think outside the box. Huge bureaucratic education systems are archaic crumbling old institutions that don't (can't) function in our modern society.

I am going to watch this issue as it unfolds over the next few weeks. I expect teachers to recycle the same old failed play book, and I will expect it to produce the same old results. Nobody is trying anything new here. Most of these comments on this article are written by frustrated teachers who want to go back in time so they can relive the glory days when the US had money to throw at big pension plans and school systems. They need to move education into the modern world, or someone else will. There will be changes made to the education system. There is no way to avoid that. Teachers are demanding the status quo, and therefore they will be left behind. They could be leaders in the way education is changing, but they refuse to be. Go ahead. Go on strike. You'll get about as far as Ted Cruz when he led the shutdown of the US government a few years ago. Did it accomplish anything? Yes, it accomplished exactly what Chicago teachers are accomplishing. Shut it all down in order to save it. Yeah right. I'll be waiting and watching, but I won't be holding my breath.