Budget & Finance

Chicagoans Not Amused at Gov. Rauner’s Comment Comparing Schools to ‘Prisons’

By Denisa R. Superville — June 07, 2016 2 min read

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said on Monday that some Chicago Public Schools resembled “crumbling prisons.” And people in Chicago were not amused.

The school district called on Rauner to apologize. Mayor Rahm Emanuel accused Rauner of auditioning to be the running mate of presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

And CPS parents, teachers, principals, and others took to social media to blast the governor over his language. With the hashtag #NotAPrison, they rebutted the governor’s claims.

The governor’s remarks about Chicago Public Schools came amid heated back-and-forth between Rauner and Emanuel about who is at fault for the lack of a state budget and a state education spending plan. It also came on the same day that superintendents from 15 low-income districts, including Chicago and Peoria, blasted the governor for playing politics with school funding and asked Rauner to step up and work toward a more equitable school funding formula.

For context, here is the governor’s quote, as published in The Chicago Sun-Times on Monday:

“The simple fact is that when you look objectively at the state of Chicago Public Schools, many of them are inadequate. Many of them are woeful, and some are just tragic. Many of them are basically almost crumbling prisons. They’re not a place a young person should be educated.”

CPS officials shot back that the district had made remarkable gains in recent years—even as it faced deep financial constraints.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.