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CHICAGO—Today in his annual budget address, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “We must do everything we can, and leave no stone unturned” when it comes to Chicago’s public schools. He did, however, leave some things out:

  • His administration’s refusal to sue banks to recoup illegitimate losses tied to toxic interest rate swaps
  • His administration’s refusal to levy the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) capital improvement tax for four years
  • His administration’s passage of a school budget with $500 million in fake money that will, in the words of CPS CEO Forest Claypool, necessitate layoffs by Thanksgiving
  • His administration’s closure of 50 schools and the disarray created for thousands of families
  • His expansion of selective enrollment options in lieu of relieving overcrowding
  • His administration’s approval of $20 million in no-bid contracts for SUPES and the $200 million maintenance contract for Aramark that has resulted in mass layoffs and dirty schools
  • The absence of a promise to immediately surplus any tax increment financing (TIF) increases tied to his property tax increase
  • His administration’s continuing push for Springfield action that’s anything but assured
  • His administration’s lack of action on specifics he campaigned for—like a tax on luxury goods and services
  • His administration’s continued reliance first on regressive taxes such as hiked fines, fees and taxes on cell phone services
  • His administration’s continuing willingness to pass costs to others—such as keeping closed mental health clinics shuttered—thereby forcing more and more people into Cook County jail
  • His administration’s continued differential policing of low-level drug offenses that result in tickets for some and jail for others, and dragnet-style checkpoints in Black neighborhoods with low DUI incidents and no checkpoints in white neighborhoods with high DUI incidents