After Gov. Bruce Rauner compared some Chicago Public Schools to "crumbling prisons," Mayor Rahm Emanuel likened his rhetoric to that of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and insinuated that the governor was pushing to be the billionaire's vice president.
"Last week, I said his rhetoric of division and divisiveness- of targeting [and pitting] one group of people against another- was Trump-like," Emanuel said during an appearance at Chicago's 1871 tech hub, according to the Sun-Times. "Now, it sounds like he's auditioning to be Donald Trump's running mate."
During his speech Monday, the mayor claimed Rauner "may have a stereotype that plays to his political philosophy, but those are not the results" with CPS during Emanuel's five-year tenure as mayor.
He referenced a study by the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research that shows open enrollment high schools driving a steady rise in citywide graduation rates over the past 15 years.
"I would just say to him, 'This is not about right-wing ideology. It's about results,'" Emanuel said. "And the test scores that came out today from the University of Chicago speak to what our children and our teachers in our [schools] are doing."
Rauner, who also toured 1871 Monday, made comments about the "tragic" state of some CPS schools.
"The simple fact is that when you look objectively at the state of Chicago Public Schools, many of them are inadequate," Rauner said. "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."
Rauner also outlined his plan to change the formula.
“In order to change the funding formula, so Chicago can get more money and other low-income districts can get more money, in the end we need more revenue, we need more money going into the school system,” Rauner said. “We just need to put more money in and I’m eager to do that and I’ve proposed this for over a year as a way to get a compromise, a balanced budget and more resources and revenue with reforms.”
The governor claimed that the effort to accomplish these measure have been affected by Democrats’ unwillingness to stand up to powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan and exacerbated by "kicking the can" and "borrowing."
“In private, [Senate] President Cullerton and Mayor Emanuel are supportive of the reforms and they know we can get a balanced budget and we could have more revenue, they know that,” Rauner added. “But they haven’t been willing to stand up to the speaker and the speaker doesn’t want a compromise, doesn’t want a grand bargain, doesn’t want any reforms right now. He’s been pretty clear about that.”
Rauner toured the state last week, pushing stopgap measures to fund schools and other essential government services after the Illinois General Assembly did not pass a budget plan before the end of the spring legislative session last Tuesday.
A group of Chicago aldermen, including Ameya Pawar, Howard Brookins and Danny Solis, also wrote a letter to Rauner last Friday rebuffing comments the governor made during last week’s tour.
“Earlier this week, you made a stop downstate where you let Chicago residents know how you really feel about us when you claimed that our city isn’t filled with hardworking families who pay the taxes in Illinois,” the aldermen wrote. “Then you took it a step further when you said taxes should go into all communities except Chicago.”
The group also noted that Chicago Public Schools “shouldn’t be punished for their demographics.”