Rahm tells a Whopper
One of Rahm Emanuel’s specialities is The Whopper. No, not the greasy concoction they sell at Burger King, but another unhealthy concoction people are expected to swallow cheerfully: The Big Lie.
Rahm is lying in his latest TV campaign ad where he claims he is,”…fighting for pre-K access for every 4-year-old, no matter where they live.” That’s a lie that hurts small children, who are among the most vulnerable people in our society.
This was made clear at a press conference held by the Bright Futures Coalition on Thursday January 8 at Chicago City Hall. According to the Bright Futures Coalition, enrollment in early childhood programs has actually declined by 1.634 children over the past 2 years.
One reason is the fact that Rahm closed 50 schools in 2013, which included ones with early childhood programs. In addition, there are eligibility standards and other bureaucratic obstacles that parents can find hard to overcome.
Jeanette Taylor, a CPS parent said,”I teach my children not to lie. But that’s hard to do when the Mayor stands there and tells lies.”
Zerlina Smith, a member of the Head Start Policy Committee of Chicago Public Schools, commented on the school closings saying,”…that they reduced the number of existing programs resulting in larger classes.” In some cases class sizes have reached 30 children. The ideal is 1 adult to 10 children with 20 the maximum class size.
Smith also reminded Rahm that,”There are never enough resources for Black and Brown communities. Our children are struggling while the Mayor is claiming credit for programs that existed before he arrived and will be here when he is gone.”
Many of the existing programs are only 1/2 day, as is the Mayor’s latest early childhood education program, to be financed by the $17 million he is borrowing from investors like Northern Trust, Goldman Sachs and other high rollers. That $17 million will only cover 2,618 children.
The 1/2 day schedule of the new program makes it very unhelpful for working parents, especially working moms. But it is very helpful for Rahm’s wealthy investor friends who can expect to double their money at the interest rates they are charging.
Jesse Sharkey, acting president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has a better idea. By re-negotiating the toxic credit swaps, pursuing TIF reform, and instituting a financial transactions tax on LaSalle Street exchanges, Chicago could achieve,”True universal daycare and pre-school for all Chicago children.”
A financial transactions tax would require a modification of state law. The affluent traders and Mayor Emanuel could easily go to Springfield and change the law if they truly cared about Chicago’s children and the future of the city.
Jackson Potter of the CTU summed up Rahm’s duplicity in three words, “It is unfortunate that Mayor has chosen the most vulnerable children of the city as a campaign prop. It’s clear the Mayor has chosen profits over people and bankers over books.”