Rauner Moves Forward with CPS Takeover

Governor pushes for state control of Illinois’ largest public school system

Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving forward with his plan for a state takeover of Chicago Public Schools and is looking for an interim superintendent for the financially troubled school district.

In a memo to his appointed Secretary of Education and the Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Rauner asks that they assess financial data at CPS. Additionally, the governor also asks that they "identify potential Independent Authority candidates who are ready to step into CPS."

Last week, Senator Christine Radogno and Rep. Jim Durkin introduced SB 2275 and HB 4498 which, if passed, would give control of CPS to the Illinois State Board of Education.

“If enacted, their legislation would add CPS to ISBE’s existing authority to remove board members of distressed school districts and replace them with an independent authority,” the memo said. 

"We believe taxpayers and the school children of Illinois in Chicago deserve better," Durkin has said of the proposal. "The goal here is to provide the tools to right the ship. I want to re-emphasize this, this is not a bailout. This is not a state bailout of CPS. Taxpayers statewide should not and will not be held responsible for the historically bad decisions made by Chicago politicians."

Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union on Monday unanimously rejected a contract offer from the City of Chicago. In response, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool announced hundreds of millions of dollars in school budget cuts amid negotiations with the CTU.

Mayor Emanuel has scoffed at Rauner’s proposal for a state takeover of CPS.

“It’s not necessary and if they have that type of time of their hands, then pass a budget,” Emanuel said last week.

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