Of course, the right-wing Rauner-funded think tank attacks student civic engagement.

The Student Power Forum is a nonpartisan voter education forum. It will be hosted at the CTU Center by several nonpartisan community organizations, including Chicago Votes, La Casa Norte, and Good Kids Mad City. The event is similar to a Chicago Votes event happening at Hancock High School, student-led candidate forums held at Whitney Young in recent years, and several students-to-the-polls events Noble Charter School Networks is holding this month—all nonpartisan. All candidates from both parties in the districts participating in the candidate forum were invited; those who appeared on the run-of-show were the ones who accepted invitations. 

As public school educators, our members — especially civics and government teachers — have an obligation to provide students with an understanding of the democratic process and opportunities to participate in it. Ironically, this nonpartisan event is being targeted by Donald Trump-supporting, Bruce Rauner-funded spreaders of misinformation. As we are witnessing both locally and nationally, a lack of voter literacy regarding the electoral process has led to misinformation, creeping nationalistic fascism, and the harassment of women, people of color, and LGBTQIA people. Illinois Policy’s real problem is with the CTU providing civic engagement and education for our 90% student-of-color district. 

Illinois Policy is connected to and funded by the same people who fund attacks on voting rights, election denial, and conspiracy theories about voter fraud. That they are painting student voting and civic participation as unethical is sad but unsurprising.