Subscript: The Daley administration lies when it lets public schools crumble. The money is there once the buildings are privatized

…The next time you hear "There is no money" for fixing up the crumbling school your children attend, know you're hearing another official lie. Take Austin High School on the farthest western edge of Chicago. Nobody should be surprised that for 20 years, Austin High School was told there is no money to fix up the building, which was just about falling down.

Once the school was privatized, of course, Mayor Daley and Arne Duncan found the dollars to fix up the building. More than $20 million has already been spent on outside work at the Austin building. During the most recent school year (2007-2008), what is now in Austin (two “small schools” — one a charter; one other kinds of something) had fewer than half the students the building was serving as a general high school in 2003-2004. That was when Arne Duncan and (then Board president) Michael Scott attacked the school and all its teachers, claiming they were going to stop taking 9th graders — for one year — to improve “security”.

Of course, it was a ruse to privatize the school, which Duncan and Mayor Daley had long promised to Michael Bakalis and his “American Quality Schools.” No rehab money in 2004, but $20 million by 2007. And that’s only the tip of a quarter billion dollar iceberg. Check out Morse, Bunche, Calumet, and Collins for the places that were rehabbed at a cost of ten million dollars or more in order to further the privatization of Chicago’s public schools…


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