The Tribune’s revelation this week that CPS and the Mayor’s Office did, indeed, prepare some kind of memo identifying schools to be closed must have been something of an embarrassment to the administration. But the Reader’s Ben Joravsky had said months ago that nobody should believe the Mayor when he says there’s no list.
“He says he has no list of schools he intends to close,” Jarovsky wrote in the Reader. “OK, everybody, let’s have a show of hands. How many of you actually believe him?Look, he’s been mayor since May of 2011. They’ve been studying school closings for months. We already went through one round of this months ago. Remember the paid protesters? They’re the people the mayor bused in to cheer on the school closings. And he wonders why no one trusts him.”
Ben is joined this week by WBEZ’s Achy Obejas. They talk about the complicated mess the CPS has created for itself as it prepares to close lots and lots of older, neighborhood schools, many in heavily-minority communities. And worst of all, the extension Barbara Byrd-Bennett requested and won from the Legislature will probably all be used for meetings, bureaucracy and process, and parents will still find out about school closures at the very last minute. Both panelists express skepticism that parents will be allowed to participate any more in the decisions than they were before.
Also, Achy makes a confident prediction – that as the gun-control debate heats up, nothing much will get done. Maybe a reinstatement of the automatic weapons ban, she says, and possibly a small amount of funding for mental health programs. But nothing that really counts, such as controls on gun shows and sales limits on large-capacity ammunition clips and devices.