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Mike Klonsky shows the face of Bruce Rauner, a billionaire financier who doesn’t like the public sector, especially public schools and unions. He loves charter schools and even has one in Chicago named for him.
Rauner and State Superintendent Tony Smith want to abolish all unfunded mandates. Smith was once part of Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. But he has gone along with Rauner’s program.
“For Rauner/Smith that’s exactly what the call to abolish mandates means. Rauner wants nothing less than to privatize all public space and eliminate civil rights protections and public employee unions altogether.
“Yes, let’s get rid of unfunded mandates like, Rahm Emanuel’s longer school day, like Common Core and PARCC testing madness. But we need to keep mandates that ensure student safety, special education, ELL, class size ceilings, caps on charters, and school desegregation as well as all other fundamental civil and human rights — including teachers’ right to bargain collectively with elected school boards.
“The response to necessary, but unfunded, mandates, should be to adequately fund them, not abolish them.”