CHICAGO — Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis lashed out at Mayor Rahm Emanuel Thursday after Chicago Public Schools released its list of schools to be closed, calling him "the murder mayor."
"Look at the murder rate in this city. He's murdering schools. He's murdering jobs. He's murdering housing. I don't know what else to call him. He's the murder mayor," she said.
Lewis called the school district's decision an "abomination" and said it should find ways to raise revenue by getting the mayor's "rich friends" at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade to pay "their fair share."
The mayor, who was out of town on a family ski trip, drew the brunt of her comments, but issued a statement.
"Over the past decade, this decision was delayed while we put more money into keeping buildings open rather than investing it where it should be — in our children's education," Emanuel said. "Our children's futures are bright and consolidating schools is the best way to make sure all of our city’s students get the resources they need to learn and succeed."
Emanuel and Lewis have clashed publicly, notably during last year's teachers' strike. In 2011, she accused the mayor of pointing his finger at her and yelling, "F--- you, Lewis."
"This policy is racist. It's classist, and we have to continue to say that our mayor, who was away on a ski trip, dropped this information right before spring break," Lewis said. CPS students go on spring break next week.
But the mayor said, "By consolidating these schools, CPS can focus on safely getting every child into a better performing school."